Three weeks ago I got three 4 week old Cayuga/Pekin mix ducks. I have no idea if they are male or female so far. Our plan is to keep the females as laying ducks and butcher the males in the fall.
It was pretty easy to prepare for them since we are using the old goat house that we used while we were building our barn. It’s an old dog run (we think) with a small house that we have already predator proofed and winterized. It has turned out to be the perfect duck house/pen. The pen has a lot of tall grass in it, which they love to hide in and it’s right next to the cement pond. We do plan to repaint the building the same brown as the house and barn.
We don’t really know the story behind this pond. It’s about 10 feet in diameter and maybe 2 feet deep. It has a drain but it hasn’t been used in years. The pond has some good size cracks in it from sage brush growing through it so we’ve cleared most of that and will try to fill the cracks then seal the whole thing with flex seal in the hopes that it holds water.
We just bought 14 6×6 and 6×10 fence panels from a lady this weekend for only $10 per panel and plan to fence off the pond and connect back to the original pen. We will also build a new gate so that we have easy access to the pond for cleaning and refilling. Since the pond is on a slope the drainage will run downhill so we intend to plant a cherry tree inside the fence to keep the goats off of it and to reap the benefits of regular poopy duck watering.
Last week I expanded our duck flock by getting three more brand new hatchlings that I got from my friend and fellow homesteader. She also hatched the first four ducks and our turkeys. These guys (gals?) will be ready to move to the duck house in a week or so. They are heartier than chicks and can go out sooner. I’m just waiting for them to get big enough not to fit through the chain link but they grow faster than the chickens and turkeys so it’s quick.
We had no idea we would enjoy the ducks so much! They are so much fun to watch. They move as one and are a bit crazy if separated. They have just started quacking instead of whistling which is neat too. They are loud but not obnoxious or easily heard from the house. They are MESSY but in their pen it’s fine. I put a baby pool out for them and they love it. It has to be changed out about every third day but it’s not a hassle. I love duck eggs so I’m really looking forward to them laying!