There comes a time in any young duck’s life to move to the farm. Not the farm heaven style, but rather the big farm with wide open spaces and room to waddle and stretch for ten big birds.
On Friday we moved the coop and the ten ducks to Vidamour Farm. With lots of hard work and plenty of sweat on such a hot summer day, the coop was placed at its new resting spot inside the open greenhouse. Moving to Vidamour Farm was no easy task!
Rach organised for us to borrow a ute from Trav at her work. With a combined effort from myself, Darren (Rach’s Dad) and Rob (my Dad) we were able to strap the coop up on the ute’s tray and I grabbed each duck individually to put them back in the coop and transport them all to Vidamour Farm. In hindsight, a film of our efforts would have been quite entertaining but we needed all hands on deck at the time!
Paul and Per have been working on a green manure for their garlic at one end of the greenhouse at Vidamour Farm, and the plan was to increase the soil fertility further by adding the ducks. It was a particularly difficult position to access though – we needed to open a new gate at the farm and reverse the ute as close as we could. At least the open greenhouse provided some protection from Wedge Tailed Eagles, who are known to take chickens and ducks.
After some logistical issues trying to get the birds in to the garlic section of the greenhouse, we managed to carry the incredibly heavy coop across and place it at the end of the greenhouse. We’d already moved the birds across and set up the poultry netting to lighten the load of the coop. Any extra weight may have killed us!
As you can see from the image below, the ducks were introduced to masses of greenery, which they found delicious! After they were moved in and had become more relaxed, the ducks loved nibbling at the greens and quacking with excitement. With plenty of greens to eat, the rate of pellet consumption has dropped off and is already saving us some money too.
At first I was nervous that the birds might be too noisy for Mabel and Eric, but they assured me that not only do they sleep like a log, but they’ll let me know if there are any issues.
Problems moving to Vidamour Farm
One of the main issues when moving to Vidamour Farm, was the weight and size of the coop. It still feels quite small for a duck coop (but adheres to Organic Standards) and yet the size and weight was too much for two people. Requiring three people to lift the coop comfortably was a bit of a pain and would be restrictive when trying to move the coop in the future. I need to keep this in mind for future coop designs – especially if I plan on moving them by myself.
Another issue was the electric fencing. Initially I thought that there was no way that the electric poultry netting was 50m long – until it was unravelled at Vidamour Farm. It’s huge, but the netting seems to droop down. This means that the long vegetation in the green manure tends to short the electric pulse. One of the positives with the fencing was that when it was turned on (albeit with the shorting happening) the ducks were still discouraged from trying to get through it. A light zap to several of the ducks seems to have done the trick and they’re not interested in trying to escape and eat some of Rach’s delicious tomatoes!
With the ducks situated so close to Eric and Mabel’s house, there haven’t been any predator problems during the day so far, but I’ll be working on fixing the electric fence issues in the near future.
I’m really glad that the move happened, and the ducks are reasonably content at Vidamour Farm. I’m getting more sleep (and no longer need to get up at 4am), and they seem happier with more room to flap and quack.