Off-Grid Living

An Upgrade For the Cayuga Ducks

Sometimes when we build things there is a plan that is made months in advance. Other times we build based on what is available. This is the case with our Cayuga ducks. We had an area where we could raise our Cayuga ducks, and all we needed to do was add a fence to keep them in. We knew from the beginning that at some point they would actually be able to fly over the small fence we built, but it was necessary to put up the fence until we were able to do more.

This is the original space for the Cayuga ducks which they have out grown.

Our Cayuga ducks haven’t started flying yet, but the water container they used needed to be upgraded to a bigger container. We already had the bigger container (which was a small kiddie pool), but it was half the size of their living area and there was no place to dump it. Since we dump and wash out their water daily this was a big problem. The first time I tried to dump it I ended up flooding their living space. Well ducks do like water and it was a hot day, but we definitely needed to make some changes if this was going to be a daily problem.

The Solution

I realized that I needed to increase their living space while at the same time finding a new space for their water so we could dump it daily. My daughter and I examined the current place and tried to come up with a new solution. All of our solutions involved moving the ducks to the back side of their current place and enclosing that. The biggest problem with that was we would be losing the protection from the weather and would need to build an new covered enclosure for them. The second problem was that it would be roughly the same size as the first space, so we wouldn’t be giving them more space. However, we would be able to dump the water daily without flooding their living space.

I called my husband to talk it over with him because he was temporarily out of town on business. I really hoped he might have some ideas. He immediately understood the problem and said, “Okay put a hole in the back of their coop.”

Why didn’t I think of that? Oh well, as long as someone was smart enough to think of it; it doesn’t matter if it was me.  So today we cut a hole in the back of their covered enclosure and then we added fencing to enclose a new area. This doubled the size of their living space while keeping a covered space for bad weather. It also allowed me to do something that I wanted to do. It allowed me to take their water out of their covered space. I didn’t want water in their sleeping space so this was a great solution.  Having damp flooring really isn’t a big deal in the hot summer months, but in the winter months wet bedding could be deadly.

Fix it up, wear it out, make it do. or do without! 

Before we go to the store and buy anything for a project the first thing that we do when we need to make changes is go on a walk-about. We walk around our property and take note of what resources that we have that we might be able to use for our project. When we did this we found two pallets that we thought would work on enclose the west and the north sides. The south and east side were already part of the duck coop. We also found  some fencing that we would be able to use to cover the bottom half of the pallet on the west side to keep the ducks contained. On the north side we just cut old 2x4s that we also had and filled in the holes of the pallet to make a semi-solid wall.

I am super happy that we were able to come up with a solutions for our ducks and to stay within our budget (which was actually $0).