Working on the Duck Cabin

We’ve been fighting our usual Michigan weather to start building the cabin for Freckles and Penguin. One day it’s 70 degrees and sunny and the next it’s 45 degrees and raining. But we have had enough nice days that we’re finally able to begin working on the duck cabin!

Working on the Duck Cabin

The Plan –

Mr. Comfortable made a rough sketch to show me what the cabin will look like when completed. Of course he had to show the sketch to Freckles and Penguin first!

Working on the Duck Cabin

Working on the Duck Cabin has had a slow start.

First we had to come up with the plan. I told Mr. C how much floor space the ducks required and he drew up a plan. Next he began sorting the wood for suitable pieces. Our chainsaw died so the poor man has been reduced to using a mini chainsaw that is supposed to be for trimming very small branches from standing trees.

Using that saw has made the job a lot slower and more difficult but Mr. C kept at it. We now have logs cut for two walls.

Working on the Duck Cabin

It doesn’t look like we’ve made any much headway but cutting logs for the duck cabin is probably the longest part of the job. We had a huge pile of wood leftover from the ice and wind storms we’ve had over the last few years. I think we could have made a nice little tiny house for Mr. Comfortable and me with all that wood!

The front and back of the duck cabin will both have doors so we don’t need as many logs for them. Doors in front and back will make it much easier to clean out the cabin.

Working on the Duck Cabin

Ducks need ventilation so that’s part of the plan!

Under the overhang of the roof we’re putting in ventilation screens. Ducks have very moist breath and the moisture has to be able to escape. If it couldn’t the straw in their cabin would become very wet and moldy very quickly. And in winter it would make things colder for the ducks. We’ll use hardware cloth the length of the cabin on two sides. The ventilation screens will be about 2 inches high and firmly attached to the inside of the cabin.

Working on the Duck Cabin

 The ducks need light but predator-proofing is essential!

Working on the duck cabin doesn’t mean just building a basic shelter. In addition to the ventilation the ducks need light even on days when they can’t go outside. No one wants to spend freezing winter days cooped up in the dark! But the windows have to be predator proof. And we have quite a few predators here. We rarely see stray dogs but there are our foxes, raccoons, and even a couple of coyotes that would love a duck dinner.

Mr. C has made sure no would be diners can get to Freckles and Penguin through the windows. He’s using thick acrylic he had from some old plaques. The windows are being mounted in wooden frames that will be cemented into the walls.

Working on the Duck Cabin

To ensure that no predators can peek in and frighten the ducks to death the windows will have wooden shutters. We’ll make them so that those slick-fingered raccoons can’t open the shutters. The same type of locks will go on the doors.

Their entire cabin, the pond, and the “play area” will be surrounded by chicken wire. This will help keep predators away. No four-legged critters and no hawks will be able to get into the ducks’ area.

Working on the duck cabin hasn’t required much from me so far.

I told Mr. C the space, ventilation, and light requirements. I made a list of potential predators and what the ducks needed in their outdoor space. Mr. Comfortable has done all the work.

It’s my hope that when we begin to actually start construction I’ll be able to do some of the work. But you know men. I’ll probably have to fight Mr. C and Pete to get in on the building. Whatever it takes I’m going to have a part in working on the duck cabin! It’s going to be fun!

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A Conversation with Spoiled Ducks

In our continuing duckumentary (I know but I couldn’t help myself) series CCNN (Comfortable Coop News Network is proud to bring you the latest in the lives of Penguin and Spot. We will talk to them about how their lives have changed in the last couple of months in the CCNN Special “A Conversation with Spoiled Ducks.

Penguin & Spot are very spoiled ducks!

— Continue to video

Life with Ducks

Since we brought Penguin and Spot (and the rather unfortunate but delicious Stu) home from Indiana it’s been frustrating and fun. People are still flabbergasted that we have these two ducks living in a tub. Mr. Comfortable recently mentioned how it’s going to be strange when they move outside. He’s going to have to get used to it. They will be moving as soon as it’s safe for them! In the meantime, enjoy these pictures and videos of our life with ducks!

Life with ducks is fun and frustrating!

Since we first began living with Ducks in the tub I’ve learned a lot. I want to be sure these two ducks and any more that come along are healthy and happy. And it’s been more than just online research that’s taught me things about our ducks. They’ve shown me their personalities, quirks, and likes and dislikes!

I’ve discovered that these two are treat hogs! They have feed that is perfect for their age and where they’re living right now. But they can pick out treats added to their feed in a heartbeat! Throw in some canned corn, parsley, or even broken up dog treats (yes, they can have those occasionally) and the feed stays in the dish but the treats disappear! This means I have to stop Mr. C (a.k.a. Duck Daddy) from giving them treats the way he tries to dispense them to the dogs! These ducks would weigh 800 unhealthy pounds!

Penguin will take treats from my hand but Spot is still quite shy!

Sometimes I add water to the feed since ducks need lots of water to get the food down anyway. And they make a funny noise when there’s a lot of water in the dish so I get a kick out of it.

Part of life with ducks in the house is that every day the ducks get to swim in the tub. We try to put a reasonable amount of water in but sometimes we forget and the ducks get a deeper pool! We were just a couple of minutes from disaster that night!

Our two ducks love swimming in the tub!

They do love their swim times and they have fresh, clean water for it every evening. It’s going to be tough to explain to Mr. C that, when they’re living in their log cabin, they don’t need a regulation size pool!

The ducks have a toy, so to speak, that they absolutely love! It’s just a couple of rubber bands tied together that they can tug. They’ll take turns pulling on it! Perhaps it makes them think of worms. I got the idea from a duck raising website the name of which I cannot remember. I wish I did. They sell duck diapers and I’d like to find out the prices. It would nice for the ducks to be able to wander around the house a bit.

A very simple toy that ducks love!

They also love knocking on the side of the tub with their bills. They’re actually getting bits of down that they shake off themselves. I’ve learned that ducks will eat anything! They eat their own feathers, the down, and anything else they can get their greedy little bills on! I’ve become an expert at snatching feathers and other things up before they can pounce!

Of course the bathroom is always a mess and both Mr. C and I find ourselves going to the guest bath in the middle of the night. We’re trying to avoid disturbing the ducks! But I’ve allowed myself to become quite attached to Penguin and Spot and I’m glad they didn’t end up in the freezer…like Stu…and their future offspring.

Quarters for the ducks are a bit tight right now but in the spring they’ll have their log cabin and a tractor so they can forage and wander. For now, they seem pretty happy in the tub! It’s been interesting living our life with ducks!

 

 

 

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