I've yet to mention we sold off the chicken coop & it's tenants. As much as I enjoyed the look of the coop, it had quirks which were not ignorable. The Captain stands 6'3 and at the highest V pitch inside, the coop was just 6 foot. The nest box setup needed improvement and became a pain due to the system already in place. There were a few other little things that were making it a pain for the Captain to help me with cleaning and egg collecting. So we took a break from poultry while I worked at the Big Farm and have decided this Spring we will raise Muscovy ducks once again. It was The Captain's suggestion and I fully agree. He prefers the ducks over chickens. Has been asking to get more since we moved here 2 1/2 yrs ago.
Remember back in 2007,when we brought home our first batch?
Frog was just a babe. So enchanted by our little basket of fluff.
Now we are browsing for the right kind of shelter, with all lessons learned from our experience in Muscovy ducks as well as the Blue coop purchased in 2011. It will be more of a long house design of just 4 ft tall. A 6 1/2 ft tall "tower" addition on one end will be done due to the desire of owning just a few chickens in the bunch. This will be set up against the wall of the workshop/Garage within the large run. The dirt will need leveling so as to prevent the buggers from nesting under any elevations before set in place.
This Tarpaulin contraption,a durable "tarp" for ease in cleaning the Duck house, is a wonderful idea.
I am rather fond of the metal curve roof seen here. An appealing gypsy caravan touch:
I feel it would be lovely on the Chicken tower end. It will be a mere 4 ft deep, but the appearance will be charming. I even love the green paint! The tower will have their entry door. Much like the one seen above. A mini door for the poultry within the large size door for human entry. As for the Long house portion, being just 4 ft tall, the "roof" will open for cleaning of the interior. This is where the Tarpaulin would come in handy.
As for their pond, Mr. M put in an outlet when we moved in for the poultry heat lamps. I am placing just a small pond system within the run and found this nice tutorial on using a submersible dirty water pump and homemade filter system. Over on Backyard Chickens by user OldGuy43. I will use a larger pool or find a larger pond hardliner on sale for this purpose.
Tutorial: * http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/716298/duck-pond-filter-shower-with-lots-of-pictures *
They will be raised for meat & eggs but will be butchered here at home. As for those pin feathers, we have decided to just skin them instead of plucking. I fear we will need another deep freezer by this time next year. Between the garden, our groceries and the foods for Moose, I will soon run out of freezer room.
MUST share before I dive back into my pile of catalogs and sketch books, this inspiring and now a must make solar lamp is in the plans for our exterior duck house night light. If I can stumble upon more old warming light shades, I'd like to put one on my garden shed as well as hanging from the twig arbor. A wonderful tutorial has been shared by The Shabby Creek Cottage:
Now off to sketch out the 2013 garden plans and find The Captains requested "Ghost peppers".
Wishing you all,