So ducklings grow quickly. We have learned that for ourselves.
Ducklings also create quite a bit of stinky, wet mess. We have definitely learned that also.
I'll bet you didn't know that the main protein source in their food comes from dried fish meal.
Here's a fun exercise, close your eyes and imagine what it would smell like in the dining room of your home if there was a box filled with wet straw, an abundance of stinky wet poop and dead fish all marinating under the warm glow of a heat lamp. Ummmm...now you have some idea what our house has smelled like for the last 4 weeks or so.
Sweet little ducklings like these create a little bit of messy smell.
Big old ducklings like these, the kind that are so big that they can raise their heads and look over the side of the box, well they create a big 'ol messy smell.
This is a situation that necessitates a mama to gather up her power tools and find some plans to construct an abode for these sweet, albeit smelly, creatures to move on outside to a safe, warm, dry house, far, far away from her dining room.
So that's just what I did. I found these plans on ebay. They were for a chicken coop, so I amended them a bit as nesting boxes were not necessary for this purpose. Basically I needed a box with a front door and a side door, some vents for air circulation and that it be dry and safe from predators.
So about 2 weeks ago I set to work on this house. The plans ended up being quite thorough, although Bill at my local Lowes lumber dept. looked them over and made a few changes here and there. He was super patient and helpful, walking me through each step making sure I knew what I was about to do.
It came together pretty easily. I measured and drew cut lines on Friday evening. Saturday morning, Papa held the plywood while I ran the circular saw and everything was cut by about 11:00. By Sunday afternoon the whole house was together and the roof was shingled.
All told, I spent about $200 on materials which seemed like a fair investment considering online searches for pre constructed houses ran between $500-$700.
The hinged roof swings up for easy cleaning. The floor is linoleum tiled for easy hosing out. Just cause I can't smell it anymore doesn't mean the mess isn't still being made.
Here it is, in all it's glory, in it's spot in the backyard. We won't mention how much the finished product weighs and how challenging it was to bring it from the driveway down the long, slippery hill that is our yard. (Thanks for your help Uncle Eggies!)
The ducks have been sleeping here for almost a week now and we are all much happier to have fresh air!