Guest article from Toni from My Teddy
For a while now I have been casting around for a pond solution for my three (3) Peking ducks (two girls and a boy). I’ve had them since they were ducklings, they are just lovely pets, if a bit messy and since I got them they have grown so quickly that they required a bigger pond area.
Four (4) Reasons Why I Keep Ducks
Apart from being cute and lovely, there are practical reasons why I keep ducks;
1. Ducks are really compatible with citrus, which is where I pen them, around all of my citrus trees.
2. The eggs are amazing and very rich, huge, and great for baking.
3. They are great for keeping bugs at bay without the ‘rape and pillage’ approach that chooks take.
4. They are great pets and very amusing to watch.
Why Ducks Love Water
Ducks love to have water around, we all know that, but it’s actually necessary for them to have water at all times as it aids in their digestion, they need to muddle their food with water to make a digestible ducky stew.
We’ve been making do with a small plastic kiddie pond, which doesn’t give them a lot of fun. Ducks are never happier than when they are swimming, and it’s where they get their ducky loving on, if you know what I mean.
Luckily I have a dump recycle shop (check with your local council too see if your council provides this service) very near to me and I decided on my duck oasis project after checking out their wares.
A Duck Pond Checklist
I was looking for an affordable solution to my ducky problem, but there were a few necessary requirements on my checklist;
1. The pond solution needed to be something that they could swim in without their feet touching the bottom, so they could do their natural paddling behavior.
2. Needed to be easily drained and cleaned. Ducks can get messy.
3. A method for them getting in and out safely. Ducks are strangely awkward out of the water.
4. Something that was a ‘no-dig’ option, so could sit above ground unsupported.
A Duck Pond Solution is Found
I managed to find an old spa bath for $25! This duck pond solution met all my requirements from the checklist, including the shallow area for them to groom, as well as a method for them getting in and out safely. Best of all the spa still had the plughole intact, an element important for my cleaning routine.
Four (4) Steps for Creating A Duck Pond Oasis
Setting the new duck pond into position was very easy, due to the simple ‘above ground’ design. Here is what we did;
1. We dug a hole under where the water will empty out. About a foot deep and a foot square. I placed it near my vegie garden so the water doesn’t go to waste. Then we filled that hole with rocks and stones to help with drainage.
2. An old air conditioning vent worked as a ramp for them to get in and out safely.
3. A couple of pots filled with ferns that I stole from the neighbours worked as a screen for the ugly pipes.
4. A quick clean and fill and we were ready to go.
It took about 2 hours for my quackers to find the courage to enjoy their new bath. It was lovely to watch them diving and splashing, and romancing.
Toni Nightingale is the director at My Teddy, Mum to 4 kids, 10 chooks and 3 ducks and has a “hobby” block on the Sunshine Coast.Tips For Toddler Edible Gardens How to Grow Potted Lemon Trees