Monday, 23 March 2015

Barriers

After numerous escape attempts over the past year I have finally got around to building a duck-proof enclosure.


The garden is surrounded by large hedges either side which I initially thought would be adequate. During the winter they have got a bit bare and every so often the ducks would find a hole and either sneak into the neighbours garden or into the field on the other side. The neighbour didn't mind at all, she had recently moved in and had not had much chance to start work on her garden so them running around on her lawn was a novelty at first. It was pointless rounding them up, they always make their way back within an hour or so we left them to it, watching to see where they would come back through the hedge and blocking it up with some sticks or chicken wire. this would work for a while then after a couple of weeks they would find/make a new hole and the whole process started again.

With summer approaching and an eighteen month old bursting to get out into the garden we decided to fence the lawn off halfway down, keeping the ducks off the top part of the lawn and the majority of the vegetable patches. As I'm trying to keep the garden as cost neutral as possible this year the sticks required were all collected from fallen trees nearby and some that I had knocking around the garden.


As you can see after a fairly rough winter the lawn has taken a bit of a battering. The outline of a square is where the portable chicken coop was until a couple of weeks ago. This is part of my strip grazing system and with the weather warming up will soon grow back. You can really notice the difference in the taste of the eggs once the chickens have been moved onto a fresh patch of grass.

I started of by making shorter hurdles with long legs that could be hammered into the ground and give me a basic frame.


Once I had enough they were laid out to see which best fitted where and hammered in as deep as possible.


To provide further rigidity I'll weave some younger branches through the existing frame both to support and to block any of the larger holes.

Whilst the ducks are still determined to escape, at the moment the fence seems to be doing it's job. They have plenty of space with a pond, a large patch of grass and the bottom veg patch to root around on. It's more than enough for the three of them also sharing with the chicken coop in the bottom corner (I learnt my lesson last summer that however free range I want my chickens to be chickens and vegetable patches do not mix). The fence looks almost exactly how I had imagined and the ducks will soon get used to it.

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