Our adventure keeping ducks begins…

8 Jan

When the electric fence arrived this week, it really hit home that this was actually happening. We are finally going to be keeping ducks!

Duck feed

We have talked about it a lot over the past year or so, but there always seemed to be some other priority – another job to do on the house, another bill to pay, some other expense. Well, last month we decided the time was right…

After spending many hours searching the internet for information and advice, the first thing we did was to decide what sort of ducks we wanted. Although there are many lovely breeds, we chose Indian runner ducks, as they are easy to keep, don’t fly, lay plenty of eggs and look cute!

The next question was where to house them. Luckily we have a big garden with a large lawn, so we thought they would fit nicely in one corner, beneath the trees and close to the house, for those early starts letting them out.

Duck house

Then came the question of housing. A standard chicken coop isn’t much use for runner ducks, as they are taller than the average chicken and apparently don’t deal well with the usual ramp that chickens use to get in. So we needed something specifically for runners. Luckily we tracked down someone locally on Preloved who was happy to make a special size house for us. Just over a week later we collected it.

At first, we considered buying an enclosed, person-height cage which the duck house would fit into and would give us easy access, but we soon concluded that the more affordable ones wouldn’t give the ducks enough space to roam. So, we decided to buy a two metre long duck run to keep them in when we go out from time to time, and to surround this with 50 metres of electric fence.

Duck Run

The electric fence arrived early this week and we collected the duck run today. We have also spent a few days making trips to local agricultural and pet suppliers purchasing feed and water containers, and the feed itself. We managed to get a pair of good wellies for free on Oswestry Freegle and on Monday we are hoping to take delivery of a free children’s paddling pool for the ducks to swim in. It looks like we will be able to buy all the equipment we need for less than £500.

All we need now is the ducks, and they are earmarked to be collected on Wednesday. Watch this space…!

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