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Author Topic: Urban homesteading (ducks)  (Read 1083 times)
bluegrass
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« on: July 08, 2007, 06:18:08 PM »

Seems to be getting more and more popular. My wife and I are both from rural Vermont (not that there is anything un-rural about Vermont) But after college like most small town kids we where forced to move to the city to work. We have been living in the inner city for 4 years now and am starting to experiment with small scale inner-city homesteading. We thought about moving outside the city limits in a few years to make the semi-sustainable living easier, but with rising gas prices we now know that will never happen. (even with the new hybrid car) Space is an issue with our 1/3 acre yard so we have to optimise the room we have. We put berry bushes along the side walk as a hedge and planted a few peach trees for shade. We have a garden plot and I keep some of my bees at the house and the rest in out yards around the city. We wanted to raise our own eggs, but our neighbor has an issue with chickens because the last owner had some which walked all over his cars, so we decided to try ducks. I have 15 Khaki Campbells on order and they should be here within a week. I am planning on doing a chicken tractor type set up with them to help keep the lawn mowed, suppliment their feed, and keep the ground from getting muddy like it does with a coop. I plan on keeping it a year around set up, and as I havent been able to find a design for ducks, I guess I will base it on a chicken model and alter it as I see fit. Anybody have any suggestions before I get started?
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organicgrl37
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2007, 06:33:58 PM »

I used to work on a farm where we used "chicken tillers" for the ducks. It sounds just like what you are talking about. We ended up fixing it up to have 2 water sources instead of just one, made it a bit taller and moved it 2x a day instead of 1x. I wish you luck. I am also an inner city farmer. Just have herb, flower and veggies here. I really wish I could figure bees into the picture, still trying to figure it out. My neighbor had chickens, but gave up afer some neighborhood gang kids killed them. I want ducks or geese but I am afraid that the same end will happen.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2007, 10:37:36 PM »

A duck tractor, a chicken tractor, and a honey tractor.  All names for moveable enclosures for ducks, chickens and bees.  I call my beehives honey tractors because they are the color of John Deere tractors.

About your ducks.  The day you get them you can get by with a brooder space of about 10 sq feet, double the size every week.  If you don't they'll start stomping all over each other and killing each other.  All you need for a brooder is a hooded flood light about 2 feet off the ground. 

Ducks are messy, but funny. They will drink their combined volume in water every day.  The 1st day (15 ducks) that's only a gallon but by week 8 it's over 8 gallons.

You duck tractor should be 10X15 feet at the minimum and have wheels for moving around the yard.  You can use the wheels off the mover as you won't be needing it again.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
bluegrass
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2007, 05:36:16 AM »

Now the mower wheels is a good idea which I hadn't thought of yet. I was going to buy some large castors and roll it that way and chock them when its parked. My rider broke last time I mowed the lawn and I am sick of fixing it so it is going to the scrap yard, after I get those wheels off grin I started the duck tractor and am happy with it so far. I want to elivate their "nest box" house, which I have been told they will probably not lay in, so that they have full access to all the grass on the floor. I am only going up maybe 10 inches, but I am not sure they will jump up that hight to go in it. Will they use it if I build ramps to walk up or do I need to leave it ground level with an open floor?
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Brian D. Bray
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Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 08:39:26 PM »

Ducks will go up a small incline if there is a ramp.  I've never seen them go higher than about 8 inches and still lay eggs. If I were doing it I would build the bottom of the nest box using the bottom of the frame as the floor joice and that would keep the bottom of the nest area low.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
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