Help with keeping ducks in the "city"

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Gopens25, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. Gopens25

    Gopens25 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Dec 30, 2013
    Hey there,

    I live in a fairly populated neighborhood and am trying to figure out how to work a couple of ducks into our backyard. I have permission from the city, and from my two closest neighbors, but I have some concerns.

    I used to live in rural Minnesota and adopted 2 Swedish Blues, a male and a female. Through trial and error I was able to get an enclosure that seemed to make both them and me happy. However, it was rural MN and the inground pond I built for them drained out into about 5 acres of nothing so it wasn't a problem. This is not the case where I live now. I have staked out the area for a 24 x 30 enclosure with a 10' x 12' heated coop and a (tentative) 6' x 14' water feature. And that is what I'm having an issue with. I have seen a couple people use hydroponics to grow vegetables above a small pond (http://www.freestylefarm.ca/2013/08/28/backyard-duckponics/ ) so that is one possible solution but I have zero experience with hydroponics (I bought a book though, so there's that). I have also seen this setup https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/ducks-in-the-garden that I also like, but am still worried about where the water will drain. I do not want to cause an issue with the neighbors so I'm worried about the drainage and smell.

    Speaking of the smell, I was wondering about using artificial turf in the enclosure. There will be plenty of grass outside the enclosure in the fenced in back yard (see the picture I attached) and I plan on spending a lot of time with them in the back and front yards (fenced in front yard as well). I just remember how muddy my enclosure got in MN and thought that maybe I would be better served to use artificial turf. Any thoughts on that?

    Lastly, I want to get two females because my wife (who wasn't with me in MN when I had my other ducks) said there was no way she could eat eggs if there was a chance they were fertilized. I was thinking a Swedish Blue and a Cayuga. The Blue because I loved my other Blue and the Cayuga because I think they are beautiful and I have read that they are calm, which I need here. Are there any issues with two different breeds living together? This is probably the dumbest question, but I didn't know if two female ducks from different breeds would be ok.

    The neighbor shown below is an old Marine who, when I talked to him about my project, said he was excited about it so that he could watch the ducks from his house. I am retired Navy diagnosed with PTSD and I told him that is exactly what the ducks are for and how much they helped me with my issues. Thanks everyone for any advice you might have.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,837
    187
    224
    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    For 2 ducks, you don't need a coop nearly as big as your are planning.
    Mine is 3x6 and comfortably houses 4 ducks (at one time there were more and it was still not an issue). You shouldn't need to heat it. Not sure where you are now, but even in cold winters, ducks come with their own down coats, so as long as they are out of the wind, they should be fine... or you can pile some straw around the outside of the coop if they need a little extra help in the winter.

    Breeds - no problems mixing breeds.


    I have a 11x7 raised pond. I clean it once a year or less. It does not smell when I clean the pond, just the filter box. The filter box is nasty and does stink. So what I do now is clean the filter box first and then allow the pond to drain to help with the stink. Then it really only stinks where the water drained and not for very long.
    If I had to build the pond over, the pond would stay the same, but the filter box would have also had a drain installed so I can just drain that monthly. I'm sure that would help the problem immensely.

    I'd personally skip the artificial turf - I think that would hold the smell more than even packed ground.

    If you want a garden, plant it down stream of where your pond water will drain so it gets the benefit of that water.
     
  3. Gopens25

    Gopens25 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Dec 30, 2013
    Thanks for the reply. I live in Syracuse, so we get plenty of snow and cold. The coop location is close to the privacy fence you see there, which is the west end of the backyard. That way the fence will help give protection from the wind as well. My old Coop had a heat lamp and a heated water bowl, so I may still do that but I will see.

    As for the size of the coop: I want to make sure it's big enough for me to move around in to clean as well as spend time with them in the winter while they are in the coop. I know a lot of folks have much smaller enclosures with a lift off top but again...not sure if they would need more room to move around during the cold months.

    Do you have a link or pics to the filter box of which you speak and how it works and where I could get one? Does this require a pump as well?
     
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,837
    187
    224
    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    My pond is in here...
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496237/building-a-pond-step-by-step-mostly-complete-post71
    I built the filter box and lined it. Filled it with lava rock and ac filter material. Works pretty well, but it works so well, it is kind of gross. It is a skippy filter concept, but unlike skippy filters, duck ones really do need to be cleaned.

    Where in Syr? I work there and we were planning to move and we had a hard time finding a place we liked that also allowed poultry/water fowl. I had just found a builder that we were going to use and a couple of options for land to decide from and then we decided we really didn't want to move back to NY. So now I just fly back and forth.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by