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: A view from under the lid of the nest box into the run: 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. 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. My two knuckle heads being very warry of the new pen... But quickly learn where the food and water is. The surprizingly keep is much cleaner then i thought! 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; 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.