Squackers and Buttons have grown up. Remember when they were brand new and so small? When they lived in our master bathroom? Well, believe me... I remember.
Two weeks ago we made the move. The ducks had outgrown their brooder (i.e. Rubbermaid storage bin). Squackers had jumped out twice. It was time. These no-longer-little guys needed more space and fresh air.
We gave them one last swim in the bathtub and, as always, they cleaned and preened and primped and splashed.
Then it was time for the great outdoors. My husband and I built a run from two-by-fours and garden mesh right in the center of the mini orchard. It wasn't our ideal location, but it was fairly level and we didn't have time to spare.
We spent a rainy evening building the run and sporadically running for cover under the arbor when a rain cloud passed overhead. Build and run, build and run, until finally it was dark and we could no longer see what we were doing. The run was built, the door was built, but they weren't attached.
The next day (Mother's Day) in the hour between our trip to Longwood Gardens and dinner with my in-laws, we rushed to get the door on and move the ducks to their new home.
We haven't found a house we like for the ducks yet, so we will be working on that throughout the summer in time for cold weather in the fall. Ultimately, the house will get attached to the outside of the run to give the ducks plenty of room to move. In the meantime, we put an old dog house inside the run to give the ducks a little shelter.
Last weekend we leveled a piece of land at the back corner of our orchard under a large tree, then moved the duck run there. It's a better location aesthetically and the ducks now have some shade from the summer heat.
We're still learning as we go and one thing we realized was that the run very quickly becomes a mud pit. To alleviate that problem and help with drainage, we laid several inches of pebbles at the bottom. It seems to have done the trick.
I think Squackers and Buttons are happy in their new outdoor space. Aren't they cute?