I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond

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pookey

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I curently have 9 chickens of varying sizes (1 bantam to large pure breeds) in a 4x6 foot shed with a run about 18 foot wide by 45 foot long but they are mostly freerange apart from when the veg garden is starting off then I just leave them in their run.  The floor of the run is concrete but with a small layer of soil on top and 15 foot walls all round (its an old farm building without a roof and mesh pannels on the front and back.  All works very well, the chickens spend most time on the concrete farm yard but do go into the fields sometimes for a browse.

Anyway..... One chicken has always been broody (polish cross - the ones with the wacky hair do) and I recently got 4 fertilised duck eggs (beleived 2 indian runner and 2 mallard) from a rare breeds farm in Tannaghmore.  I put the eggs under her and this is her 10th day so I'm hoping for some duckies in a few weeks - fingers crossed.   I know I need some water for them so I have been considering the options.  Was worried about putting some in the run incase the chickens fall in, I was considering a small shallow pond built with a liner in the garden (has to be small as I have a 3 & 4 year old) but read that ponds get too dirty with ducks unless there is a run in and off, so was thinking of using a kids hard shell paddling pool sunk in the garden that can be emptied, or maybe one in the run with ramped up earth up to it so ducks can get in.   The final option is I have a very strange concave 'square cave' built at the foot of an out building that always has water in the bottom and some ferns growing, I can see water trickling in and the level doesnt change so I guess water is flowing out.  There is muddy silt on the bottom - would this be any good.  I can post a photo if this helps.  The sun doesnt get in it atall and it would need a little ramp down.

Also, will my chicken housing be suitable?  I have plently of small outbuildings and wild grassland so I could make alternative arrangements for them.  I could even consider a very large pond in the field away from the children but how would I keep it clean.  I think there is a run off somewhere as when it rains I hear water pouring under the ground at the bottom of the drive but I dont have much of a budget to build something.  I would just hire a man and a digger to dig the pond,then line it and fill it our selves.
Avoid fruit and nuts.  You are what you eat.

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joyfull

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 15:46 »
childrens paddling pools - the plastic shell types are fine then you can just tip the water away every day or so. I would house the ducks seperate from the chickens as they don't roost and are liable to get pooped on from above over night  :lol:
Staffies are softer than you think.

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8doubles

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 16:01 »
I`m not a duck keeper but i should think any pond liner would need to be duck claw proof.

I am intrigued by the square concave cave with the water running in/out, did you mention a photo? :)

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too many girls

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2010, 17:33 »
i'm intrigued about the square concave cave thingy too?

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pookey

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 18:48 »
here are some pics of my mystery water cave, i have a pallet strapped to the front to stop the kids going near it so theyre not the best but if it has potential i will take the pallet off tomorrow and take better pics.
pic cave.JPG
pic2 cave.JPG
pic3 cave.JPG

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pookey

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 18:53 »
more
pic3 cave.JPG
pic2 cave.JPG

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8doubles

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2010, 19:26 »
Looks like a spring fed cistern to me. Lots of possibilities for a duck spa, hydrotherapy centre, trout lake.

Wish i had one. :)

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pookey

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2010, 19:34 »
Looks like a spring fed cistern to me. Lots of possibilities for a duck spa, hydrotherapy centre, trout lake.

Wish i had one. :)

Could you embelish on what a 'cistern' is and whats its purpose.  The house was a cattle farm before we owned it and there are raised hills behind the building where the 'cistern' is.  I know lavatories have cisterns to hold water for flushing but how would the water be used.  I tried a water pump in it but there was too much debris and silt so it clogged up.

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8doubles

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2010, 19:54 »
Just a tank to hold water, they put solid sides around a natural spring to keep it clean and accessible . It may have been the supply for the house or animal pens. If you clean the silt out (although silt does act as a filter) you may find where the outlet is.
If not it`s time to get the dowsing rods out.

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pookey

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2010, 21:27 »
what are dousing rods :mellow:  Is there any potential for the supply to be 'cleaned up' and used for the house supply?  Would I collect some of the dripping water and send it off somewhere to be tested.  Never mind duck pond, I spend a fortune on spring water! :D

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Rubellite

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2010, 21:48 »
If you let the ducks swim in it, the water would become fouled in no time at all.
I have 6 runners that currently have two shallow flexitubs filled with water daily. They are easy to keep clean, as would be the paddling pool idea. Lots of people on here use them.
I have had a pond dug in my field and have not lined it as it is in clay - we are hoping it will hold the water through the summer, at the moment it is full to overflowing. It will be trial and error as to keeping it clean when the ducks are introduced - watch this space  :lol:

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joyfull

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Re: I Keep Chickens, expecting Baby Ducks and want to make a New Pond
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2010, 23:01 »
Rubellite - if your pond doesn't hold water then in the summer you may have to puddle it - which is what we did at college - alternate layers of straw and clay not only does this help with the walls of the pond but depending on what straw you use it can help with algae problems (barley straw is best for this). If you go down this route I would love to come and give you a hand as we had great fun doing it although I did keep getting my wellies stuck in the clay and falling over  :lol: :lol:

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Rubellite

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Rubellite - if your pond doesn't hold water then in the summer you may have to puddle it - which is what we did at college - alternate layers of straw and clay not only does this help with the walls of the pond but depending on what straw you use it can help with algae problems (barley straw is best for this). If you go down this route I would love to come and give you a hand as we had great fun doing it although I did keep getting my wellies stuck in the clay and falling over  :lol: :lol:

I'll hold you to that, Joy  :lol: :lol:

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joyfull

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Any time - puddlings hard work (especially for a pond your size) but good fun  :lol:

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joyfull

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Rubellite - do you have a local agricultural college near you? if you do then you could also ask if they want to come and puddle - it would be good for those on a wetlands or countryside studies course to have a go  :D



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