Nancy releases her ducks onto the open pond

Floatation system under the new duck house

Lily swims with her freed friends

If you follow our Timber Butte saga of building a modern day homestead you may recall that last spring Nancy bought home three little ducklings that she named Daisy, Hazy and Lazy. (See Entry #164 – May 1, 2010) You may also recall that she had a five year vision to clean up our pond that had been overgrown with Willow trees and filled with all kinds of undesirable aquatic plant life.  (See entry #179 – December 7, 2010) Well, now those two events have culminated in yet a third; the construction of a floating duck house for the three ducklings that have reached full maturity and need a new place to reside.

They say you should never name a barnyard animal if you ever intend it to go in the oven, and that is for sure the case with Daisy, Hazy & Lazy.  Nothing’s too good for them.  They have become homestead pets with barnyard privileges and as spring has sprung they are now in need of a little more space to stretch their little wings.  This brings us to the pond.  The pond is a domestic duck paradise except for the fact that every kind of duck eating predator lives in its nearby proximity; coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, etc, etc.  To turn them loose without a place of refuge would undoubtedly be fatal by the end of the first night for three little naive ducks with no wilderness experience. This brings us to the matter of the floating duck house, a new construction project I was commissioned to build. Here is how I did it.

I had read in either Grit magazine, Country Living, Small Farm Journal, or some rural periodical where someone had experienced the same dilemma.  I couldn’t find the article and couldn’t remember how they had designed it, but the idea seemed good to me. The house itself of course was fairly basic. The only issue with it was that it needed to be built light enough not to sink its floatation system.  Then of course the flotation system needed to be stable and buoyant enough to support the small house.  For this I used four plastic drainpipes with four inch PVC caps glued to each end.  I had no idea if this would work until we actually launched the contraption in the water.  To our delight it did in fact float but to our disappointment had a major list when the wind blew across the pond. We decided that with the addition of two additional outrigger capped four inch pipes it would be just right.

When we introduced Daisy, Hazy and Lazy to their new home they immediately flew out onto the pond in complete delight with their new found freedom. Daisy headed immediately for the bushes in a state of terror but Hazy and Lazy where joined by Lily our yellow Lab and all took to the pond like ducks to water.