suggested plants - if you could build the perfect waterfowl pen...?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mojo Chick'n, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Ok, all, I finally figured out where to put my waterfowl pen. Both ducks and geese (when I get them) will be together, and the pen is going to be approximately 40 x 25. This will be sort of in two areas, though, as one area will be up in the top yard, and one down a hill and behind some coops and a shed, but all one accessible space, still.

    I am putting in an 8 foot diameter (round) water trough as a swimming pool for them (it is about two foot deep). I was wondering what plants to put in the pen for them to hide under, etc...

    I was thinking some ornamental grasses for them to hide in. I read on here somewhere they like to hide in those and have their nests under them. There will be a few small trees (nothing big right now - more like 3 foot tall trees) that are already there.

    The biggest area will be on a slope, not sure if that will hinder some plants or not.

    Building in this area will give me room to expand, if necesary.

    Right now I have a ton of wild blackberry canes I need to clear out of there, and I believe the wild honeysuckle grows in there, too, in places. It is pretty thick with canes, so I'll be cutting and digging for a whole day. It's too bad I don't have time to build the pen and turn a donkey loose in there for a couple of weeks - everything would be gone [​IMG] .

    Any other suggestions for plants would be helpful.
    Just imagine if you could build the perfect waterfowl pen... what would you add...? I can choose from your suggestions that way [​IMG]

    Oh, btw, I live in south central kentucky, if that helps on plant selections. The area will also be mostly protected from high winds (which we get in the winter) and we don't get a lot of rain in the summer - although I imagine the pool being drained periodically will water most everything in there. I'll just attach a hose to the drain hole and water everything with that water. No use wasting 300 gallons of water everytime I clean their pool [​IMG] .

    edited to add a pic of the general dimensions and shape of the pen...


    thanks -
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  2. treehouse

    treehouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2008
    North Dallas
    sounds great keep us posted with pics
    I am trying to plan out a space for my ducks too.
    what are you going to make the pool out of I want it to be clear so I can see how dirty it gets and to hopefully be able to quickly tell if there are snakes in it.
  3. Dances with Ducks

    Dances with Ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] It looks beautiful! I also drain our pool onto lower areas with a hose, although we just use a kiddie pool.
    Ducks love dandelions, veggies like peas and curcubit leaves, and salad greens. [​IMG] I think if your are putting geese in there you will want a lot of grass. You could also grow alfalfa.

    Holderread: "Our favorite perennial plants for producing significant quantities of food and shade in our duck yards include mulberries, Siberian pea shrub (caragena arborescens), and grapes. . . The fruit and seeds from these plants require no harvesting because the fall to the ground when mature and the ducks eagerly consume them."

    Some people caution against planting trees in a duck yard because all the nitrogen may burn out the trees. It would depend on how many ducks.
    Hmmm. . . [​IMG] I wonder if that sloped area could get muddy and slippery if there is much of a grade, any thoughts about terracing? There is a tendency for everything in these pens to get nibbled down to the ground. [​IMG]
  4. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:Thanks for the tips - and yes, I was worried about the slope, also. The main slope is between the large area and the small area, the pool will be at the bottom of the slope (bank, really). We were discussing it today and we plan to put in a retaining wall around the pool, so they don't wash out the hill too badly.

    The rest of the slope isnt that steep, so I'm thinking it'll probably be ok. I know how the ducks love mud [​IMG] so I imagine any small plants won't last long in there. I have a lot of pots, maybe I can start some stuff, then transplant it periodically through the summer.

    The trees are already there, and most of them are Walnut trees - so I doubt too much nitrogen will kill them [​IMG] they tend to kill everything else under them. Just about all I have up by the yard is walnut trees - I swear I must have 30 of them out there. The main area will be free of trees, though, there is just the ones mainly by the bank. We also looked at this one big cedar tree, and decided to change the plan a little, to keep that out of the pen, so it'll be about the same size, but not as deep and longer side to side on the bottom area.

    Thanks for the ideas [​IMG]

  5. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  6. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:Well, I was going to get one of those 8 foot diameter (round) water troughs at TSC - but I'm thinking the first year they may get a kiddie pool, just because of cost of thepen [​IMG] Plus, the water trough is 2 foot deep, and considering how often I'll have to clean it, that's a lot of water to be pumping in and out.

    So, I'm still looking at options for a pool. I want something sturdy enough to withstand the critters, yet not so deep as to be wasted water. Also, it has to have a drain, or be able to have one installed. (PVC pipe is our friend [​IMG] )

    I'll let ya know what I come up with, too bad it's so early in the season for the stores to be getting pools and such.

  7. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:SWEET!! I like the hoop part of it. Gave me some ideas

    thanks [​IMG]

  8. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    I'm pretty sure kudzu would grow well...

  9. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:[​IMG] I don't have that here, thankfully - although I have seen it nearby. None on our property and I'd liek to keep it that way.

    I do have wild passion flower, though, it grows in a vine of sorts, and gets a little melon like pod on it that is filled with seeds.

  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    So you are still getting geese? [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by