Preparing the duck house for ducklings

As a fun birthday activity yesterday, I spent the afternoon cleaning out the duck house and setting it up for ducklings, plus building a ramp for their swimming pool. Read on for more on that.

Firstly, a shot from the duck house camera of before cleaning it out:

Duck house before cleaning out

Here’s the duck house with open doors, while I was cleaning it out (and a cameo of Bert on the island):

Duck house with open doors

Empty duck house; I also removed the inner floor, a second floor layer that I made on the theory that it’d make it easier to clean out, by pulling it out like a drawer. But I never did that, since that’d freak out the ducklings, and stuff would fall down the back anyway, and it was easy enough to clean out without that:

Empty duck house

Me sitting in the duck house, adding hooks to arrange wires:

David in the duck house

I repaired and re-added the feeder tube, a new Brinsea EcoGlow brooder, a new heat lamp, duckling feeder, and shelf liner for grippy flooring (for the first couple of weeks):

Outfitted duck house

The Brinsea EcoGlow is a heating plate on adjustable-height legs that ducklings can go under like a mother duck, giving them intimate warmth. I put it in one of the nesting boxes, to further that impression:

Brinsea EcoGlow

I also added a new ceramic heat lamp; unlike previous ones I’ve used, this doesn’t emit any light, and should last much longer, while using less power:

Heat lamp

I added the temporary barriers to close the vents above the maintenance door, to help retain more warmth:

Closed vents

Next, I went to the workshop and made a ramp to make it easier for the ducklings to get into the paint tray I use as a swimming pool. Here are some routed sides for the ramp:

Ramp sides

And some rough routing of traction grooves:

Ramp traction

The completed ramp, next to the tray:

Ramp

Underside of the ramp; it hooks onto the handle of the tray:

Underside of ramp

Ramp:

Ramp

The ramp and tray in the duck house. I will remove it before adding the ducklings, as they won’t be ready to use it until about the third week, and only for brief supervised swims initially, but good to have it ready now:

Ramp in duck house

The duck house is now almost ready for the new ducklings, arriving in just over a week. The last steps are to fill the food and water dispensers, remove the tray and ramp, and turn the heat back on (I tested them for a few hours today):

Duck house

I also changed the LED light strip to red, as seen in this cam shot; red is a more soothing color for ducklings (and chicks):

Red light in duck house

Stay tuned for lots of pictures of ducklings in just over a week!

2 thoughts on “Preparing the duck house for ducklings

  1. Pingback: David Sinclair
  2. What a great way to spend a birthday!

    I can’t wait for the new ducklings. Bert will enjoy being the old man of the pond.

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