My Ducks and my garden ponds-Please give me ideas!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicnsrthebest, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Chicnsrthebest

    Chicnsrthebest Chirping

    Sep 1, 2008
    I'm hatching out a few little mandarin ducks and I've got 2 ponds in my back yard that I'd like to give them access to.

    The trouble is, my poultry runs are in another part of the yard, and I can't attach them to the ponds, because
    #1 I don't want to ruin the look of my back yard with pens, and
    #2 they are too far away.

    I have taken a picture of the back yard, you can see the driveway behind the ponds. The little building houses all the fitration equipment.

    I'd love to just free range my ducks during the day and put them into the run at night, but I'm so afraid of hawks getting them.

    I'm not always home every day either as I work, and I don't want them penned up all day with no access to the ponds.

    Can someone help me with ideas as to what to do?
    It would have to be something that can be taken down in winter, as we get lots of snow and cover our ponds in winter with greenhouses. (yeah big job putting them up and taking them down every year)

    Ideas please?

  2. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
    you could always pen them up with a kiddie pool when you aren't home, and let them free range when you are. I never let mine free range if I am not home.
  3. Chicnsrthebest

    Chicnsrthebest Chirping

    Sep 1, 2008
    Yes that's a good idea.
    The run is very secure, but only about 10 x 16.

    (I'm planning on painting that little shed by the way [​IMG])
  4. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Songster

    Sep 19, 2008
    Personally, I'd stick with the kiddie pool, those ponds are very nice and ducks would eat the plants/pooh in them and they would not be as nice to look at in a very short time!! [​IMG]
  5. hypnochyck

    hypnochyck In the Brooder

    Mar 11, 2009
    Benicia, CA
    It seems to me that you might be able to buy one of those camping pop up kitchen tents. It's covered on top, netted on the sides, can be staked into the lawn on the corners and weighs very little, plus they have a zipper door for you to go in and out. One or two people can just lift it off when they go to their run at night or just when you have company or are home and can watch them. Although, home or not, a hawk or eagle is much faster than a human can ever be, so I understand your worry about that. I'm terrified of letting my baby chicks roam even when they are full sized hens and I'm there with them! I've seen lots of raptors come down and get my song birds over the years.[​IMG]
  6. Chicnsrthebest

    Chicnsrthebest Chirping

    Sep 1, 2008
    Quote:Yes, I remember when I was young, our chickens were free range.

    I was out in the yard and a hawk dove down to grab a hen right in front of me. Luckily, our german shepherd was there with me and saw the hawk coming down, and sped ahead of me and jumped up at the hawk, almost grabbing it. The hawk was so scared it forgot about the chicken and made tracks. That was one lucky hen that day!
  7. Chicnsrthebest

    Chicnsrthebest Chirping

    Sep 1, 2008
    Quote:Hmmm, yes, but I've also read that a couple ducks (I will probably only have 3 or 4 at most ) can be good for your garden ponds, because they eat string algea and small fish.

    Our ponds sometimes get that algea, and it's overrun with small goldfish which multiply every year.
    We've got some pretty large koi that I'm sure poop as big as a little mandarin! [​IMG]

    We do have a bottom filtration system, though, too.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  8. Marie66

    Marie66 Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Far South Austin
    I have to agree with previous poster. Those ponds would need to be larger to receive any benefit from the ducks, and yet not get all disgusting.

    Maybe you could have a permanent pen/run near the chickens, with a few kiddie pools and then, maybe make some sort of tractor pen, or that kitchen tent idea, to put up over one or both of the ponds as a special treat for your ducks every once in a while?

    very pretty ponds, by the way!!
  9. sianara

    sianara Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    My advise would be to post this on the duck forum.
  10. mightieskeeper

    mightieskeeper Songster

    Mar 6, 2009
    Clio Michigan
    You could build a 4x4x4 ark next to the pond for the ducks. Good luck on your Ducks!

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