I am Nothing of a Builder, But Here I Dreamt I was an Architect (PICS)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by nettie, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    As put so beautifully by my fav band the Decemberists, describing my adventure in building a new pen:


    And I am nothing of a builder (nope, i'm an artist)
    But here I dreamt I was an architect (Yea in my wildest dreams)
    And I built this balustrade (more like highly invovled pen)
    To keep you home, to keep you safe ( no pen could be safer)
    From the outside world (since my ducks hate going outside, lol)
    But the angles and the corners (were my number one foe!)
    Even though my work is unparalleled (uh, and un-perpendicular too)
    They never seemed to meet (causing quick jerry-rigged fixes)
    This structure fell about our feet
    And we were free to go
    (well the last two lines didn't happen. If it fell down i'd cry!, plus my ducks would just run to my bedroom instead. lol)

    For the past week and a half i have been working insanely hard on building a new pen for my ducks. Due to my living arrangments in my townhouse complex, the ducks must be inside at night and can only go in the backyard while being observed or if they're penned.
    So, I took my old pen from my art studio and put it outside. It was not good for inside, but it'a making a great outside pen. I'm going to get some avian netting for it so they can go outside and be safe. Both the old pen and the new one i made fit under my old loft bed from college, which is currently being used as storage areas in my studio. So the big project was....

    We needed a bigger pen! My two runners were sleeping in a baby playpen since they were 8 weeks old. They liked it, it kept them out of trouble... But it gets dirty quickly, and cleaning it is a pain in the bottom. And, with our new little additions, Sammy and Peter quickly growing, that play pen would be far too small for four ducks. so they needed a new giant pen!

    After 200$ plus dollars and fourty hours worth of work it's done! It's perfect! Well not perfect, but good enough! It's a total of 38 square feet, just under the 10sqft per duck rule. I'm still comtemplating adding a little loft if the ducks will venture up in to it. (but that's a project for later!)

    -So the new pen is approx 4x9 1/2 ft. It.
    -It has a 12in base of wood all around the bottom to keep shaving/bedding inside.
    - Any of the floor area in covered in self stick vinyl tiles (in green marble how fancy huh?).
    -the whole pen rests 1 ft above the groud, and is a little over two feet high.
    -Plastic netting was used as chicken wired so the ducks could see out without jumping out and throwing food out.
    -I sawed out two holes in the floor and build supports that hold up the pen while holding an area for a kitty litter pan. A wire mesh sits atop the area with the kitty litter pan. A frame surrounds the top. Shavings don't fall int the food area, and food or water falls through the wire mesh into the kitty litter pan below for easy cleaning.
    -On the other end of the pen, there is a nice 4x2 nest box i convertered from ym baby brooder. It's 2 ft tall and has a lid that can be opened in hopes of them laying their eggs in their.
    -I places their toys and jingle bells, and balls all around the pen to keep them busy. And if i ever have to go out, they have a tv at their disposal too across my studio. lol Pampered huh?
    I fill the bottom with some pine pellets and shaving over the top of it. I hope it takes a while for it to get smelly. We were cleaning the play pen and other parts of the house daily, so this should cut down on our chores a good load.

    The ducks are currenty sleeping in the pen while i sit by typing this, they are a bit apprehensive and seem to enjoy my comforting presence until they get settled. The figured out the food, water thing. But we're still working on the nest box thing. lol


    The whole pen, nest box on the right, run on the left:
    [​IMG]

    A view from under the lid of the nest box into the run:
    [​IMG]

    The front...Note the feet underneath. The two in the front were built to hold to large kitty litter pans just under the floor. These can be slid out for cleaning.
    [​IMG]

    The food and water set up. The wood around the food/water keeps the shaving from falling in. Under that wood in a screen of 1/2 inch wire. Under that is where the kitty litter pans line up to catch any spillage of food or water. It keep bugs out of the shaving, and keep thr shainvg from getting too wet when they drink.
    [​IMG]

    My two knuckle heads being very warry of the new pen...
    [​IMG]

    But quickly learn where the food and water is.
    [​IMG]

    The surprizingly keep is much cleaner then i thought!
    [​IMG]

    I love the new pen, it's so spacious for them ad i think it'll keep them really happy while inside. And it's big enough for my two little ducklings to graduate to once they are feathered.

    Here are their homes currently:
    Plastic containers, with holes cut out, lined with plexiglass glued in so they can see out;
    [​IMG]

    Where i may be nothing of a builder, i'm a painter who has limited but enough knowledge to put something together. I dreamt i was an architect, though i had many many difficulties with it. I paid someone to cut all the wood to my exact specifications, i even measured them and drew the lines out... All he had to do was cut on the lines... But the guy had some issues, thus leaving me with wood issues. I was trying to avoid using my saw, since i don't want to risk an injury that could postpone an impending surgery i have to have at the end of this month. I had to use my saw anyways, but it worked out. I had to change a few designs here and there, but over all, it came out okay, and every here at Casa Kossart and Cheng will be happy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  2. Brelansmama

    Brelansmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    McMinnville, Oregon
    Dude, my eyes SERIOUSLY bugged out of my head when I read the name of this thread!
    I LOVE THE DECEMBERISTS!!!!They are my FAVORITE band!!!
    They are from my beautiful Portland (I only live an hour form Portland)
    And I see them EVERY time they play in Portland. Colin Meloy is a lyrical GENIUS!!!!
    My 3 yr old DD's favorite song is July, July, she sings along, and requests it everytime we get in the truck. It's way cute!
    Oh, and very nice job on the new pen!
    Here I thought I was the only one who plays The Decemberists songs as internal theme songs for my life !!!!
    ROCK ON!!!
    ~Fellina~
     
  3. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    Very nice craftsmanship. [​IMG]
    I admire your work.
     
  4. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    Chicago, IL
    well thank you guys... It was a pain to build....

    Lol, yes i am a huge dcemberists fan. I didn't know other poeple knew who they were. I've never got to see them live since i live in alabama, though i did see one of their performances someone taped for me.

    My ducks are currently happily sitting in their new pen. Usually in the morning the are quacking at me as soon as the sun comes up to get them out and diaper them so they can run downstairs. Then after an hour of that they go outside. It's after 1pm and they are still sitting nicely in their new pen enjoying it, not making one noise. Last night was a little difficult since they were very unsure of it and quacked a bit. But it's going well now... One of them even managed to lay her egg in the special nest box i built! I can't find the other egg right now, so i'll see if it's been laid yet or if it's been buried. lol
     
  5. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    also Fellina, did you know their new album is due out on March 24th? They are also starting a new tour as well. They ae going to be in atlanta, so i might have to make the 3 and a half hgour journey over to see them...
     
  6. Brelansmama

    Brelansmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    McMinnville, Oregon
    Quote:I HIGHLY suggest you make the trip to see them! The energy they emit live is OUTSTANDING!!
    They usually play at least one or two songs that have never been recorded (last time it was 'the culling of the fold' a truly dark gem, as so many of Colin's songs are) That song isn't on any of their albums, but you can find it on YouTube.
    I got all 3 LP singles as soon as they were released, I like 'Valerie Plame' is GREAT!
    I can't wait for their new album!!![​IMG] [​IMG]
    (Can you tell I'm a HUGE fan!?!?!)
    I can't say what it's like to see them in other parts of the country, but it is SO COOL see them in their hometown, they seem so relaxed!
    They are a very unique band that I am TOTALLY addicted to!!![​IMG]
     
  7. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    westchester
    oh wow I love the work you did gave me some great ideas.... [​IMG]
     
  8. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    Chicago, IL
    That's why i love this site! I gt a lot of good ideas from people on here. I was going to do a completely different nest box idea (making four seperate boxes) which would have been a ton of work! But someone suggested i just make one big box with a lid. They slept in it and, update: they both laid their eggs in it! woo! One egg was a bit buried, but i guess that makes it more fun for me to find. lol. Also, G Wiz Ranch gave me the idea for the food/water set up. Mine is just slightly altered to collect the drippings and excess food spillage in the kitty litter pan underneath. I just slide them out and clean out the pen. It's very convienent.

    Kepping ducks inside is a huge chore and this pen makes it sooo much easier!
     
  9. Brelansmama

    Brelansmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2009
    McMinnville, Oregon
    This pen is IN your house, right?
    I know NOTHING about ducks, do they stay inside all the time, or just during bad weather?
    Yours are SOOO cute! I wish I had the room for some!
     
  10. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    MY ducks are always inside unless they are on their daily excursion outside. I live in a townhome and my ducks are not allowed to be in my backyard at night. Plus they'd make way too much noise outside. Inside they are very well behaved (most of the time lol). No one has ever complained of any noise. MY ducks have becomes spoiled and will only go outside if i am with them watching them. If i walk away from them, they will follow me. I know i'm crazy, but we make it work... I don't recommend for anyone who doesn't want children... Ducks are exactly like 2 year olds in the house!
     

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