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need photos of cool duck houses for book

 
Toby Hemenway
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For a book on urban permaculture to be published by Chelsea Green next spring, I am looking for good quality photos of attractive, or innovative, or permaculturally cool looking duck houses. I'm also hoping to find a photo of a duck pond that feeds a swale or other fertility system.

For the final photo I'll need high resolution (3Mb or better) photos, but if you want to send me a sample, low rez will do.

I don't have funding from the publisher for this, so I can't pay anything, but I'll mention you and your business if you have one. The people who got mentioned in gaia's garden did okay from it, and I hope this book will help my permie friends too.

Please send samples to urbanpc (at)
patternliteracy.com

Thanks!

Toby Hemenway
 
M.R.J. Smith
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Location: North Idaho at 975m elevation on steep western slope, 60cm annual precipitation, zone 4
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Hey Toby loved your last book and don't have any pics but I've got a question... If this is a book on urban permaculture, how do you expect people to have space for a duck pond/Swales/etc? Maybe my understanding of urban is different but anyways might help someone else find a pic for ya.
 
Toby Hemenway
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I've seen lots of small yards in cities--like my neighbors in inner Portland--who had ducks. Small duck house, kiddie pool or bathtub for a pond, swale nearby. Or friends in Minneapolis who had whole flock. These days, lots of yards in cities are bigger than those in tightly packed suburban developments.

Plus, to me, "urban" included anyone living in a town where pavement is the dominant landform, and that includes small town (US census definition of a city is >25,000)
 
M.R.J. Smith
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Location: North Idaho at 975m elevation on steep western slope, 60cm annual precipitation, zone 4
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Wow that's great! Where I live the ONLY animals you can have is 4 chickens. Ok I was thinking urban like container gardens and compost barrels/composting humanure etc. in downtown. Good luck getting pictures I'd give some of mine but we're not there yet
 
Richard How
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Location: Andalusia, Spain
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There's a running joke here in the UK about politicians spending tax payers money on duck houses.
 
Kim Schmidt
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I don't know if our duck house alone has a permaculture look, but it's in the middle of an area where the ducks forage all day. We are still in the painting process, so may be able to send a pic in a week or 2.

 
Adrienne Wimbush
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I have a duck pen with a banana circle below it - I empty the kiddies pool pond into the ditch that takes it down to the bananas. I'm planning a full refit in the next few months and will make the duck house permanent (with claystraw walls) and intend to upgrade their pool to a recycled spa bath that can be drained with a tap. Much easier on the back! I will have to make a ramp for the ducks as I want the fall to be able to water the other trees in the orchard where they live. We are on 1365sm (just under 1/3 acre) in South East Qld, Australia.
 
Patrick Freeburger
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Toby, not sure if these are useful, but I will share. These photos were taken from sepp holzer's place in Austria. From the tour, his son discussed how the water piped in from a higher pond was used to keep the ice from freezing which protected the ducks from predators such as foxes. The windows were South facing to gather heat. I think the houses floated and there was a removable bridge to gather the eggs. Sorry, that is about all I remember. I may have 1 or 2mb photos on a hard drive. Please message me if you want them. I don't know if you need permission from me or Sepp. Good Luck - I have enjoyed your work. Regards, Patrick
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Charli Wilson
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No pictures to share but I'm very interested in your book!
 
Nicole Alderman
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We're new duck keepers, and this is the duck house we built this August for our 10 ducks. We're not urban, though, as we have 5 acres, but the structure could easily be placed on an urban lot. I think it turned out rather nice looking, which is due to my father doing most of the building and wanting it done right . It's 8x8, with cedar siding and hardware cloth for ventilation/protection. We're doing the deep litter method. Next to it is a retrofitted duck pond. It had been a wood-fired "hot tub" built by the previous owner. It has a drain at the bottom so we hook up a hose to water our garden with the "liquid gold." I can get better pictures if you're interested.
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John Polk
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Nice looking setup Nicole.

I have seen too many people build duck pens 3-4 feet tall.
They claim that is all the duck needs.
Problem is that you cannot get in to do any maintenance/observation.
(If you cannot get in there, you may not spot a minor problem before it becomes a major problem.)

That hot tub pond is a great idea.
I see free hot tubs on Craigs List almost every week.
Those look like happy campers quackers in the hot tub.
 
Nicole Alderman
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John Polk wrote:Nice looking setup Nicole.

Thank you!

John Polk wrote:I have seen too many people build duck pens 3-4 feet tall.
They claim that is all the duck needs.
Problem is that you cannot get in to do any maintenance/observation.
(If you cannot get in there, you may not spot a minor problem before it becomes a major problem.)

That hot tub pond is a great idea.
I see free hot tubs on Craigs List almost every week.
Those look like happy campers quackers in the hot tub.


Yes, that was the reason I really wanted it walking height. If I was only planning on 3 or 4 ducks, a short little house with a removable roof wouldn't have been bad. But, we wanted 10+ ducks, so a short duck house seemed infeasible. How would I keep the litter maintained? How would I get the eggs? Walking height seemed so much better! Figuring out how to make it's flooring predator proof and not prone to rotting was also quite the puzzle. We thankfully had a concrete pad to work with, so we put the four corners on concrete pillars and then used hardware cloth attached to the outside and folded under and into the pen to prevent predators from getting in, as well as to keep the bedding from rotting the siding. I'm hoping it works out! I was kind of amazed at how few good duck house designs there were to be found on the internet, especially compared to the amount that there are for chickens. It took a lot of planning, scratching out ideas, designing and re-designing with my father to figure out how to build this thing well. We wanted it to last a long time, be healthy and safe for the ducks, and easy for us to use. I had no idea how complicated that would be!
 
Toby Hemenway
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Nicole, that's a great looking duck house, and I like that the pond feeds plants. If you can get me a photo of the exterior that is more of a close up (not so much wooded background), I can almost certainly get it into the book (which is due Friday, but I can get a little leeway on photos). Any detail shots of the pond watering system would be great. Ducks in any photos are welcome, since they are charismatic cute little critters. If you can manage that, send photos to me at urbanpc (at) patternliteracy dot com.

Thanks! And thanks to all others for their help and interest.
 
John Polk
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Should be easy enough to crop the existing IMG.
I did this with Microsoft's Snipping Tool(directly from her post):
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Toby Hemenway
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Cropping and then enlarging the result reduces the pixel count, effectively lowering the resolution, and that makes the photo unsuitable for publication unless it was terrifically high-rez to begin with. In this case, it's best to let the publisher do cropping and other manipulations.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Toby Hemenway wrote:Nicole, that's a great looking duck house, and I like that the pond feeds plants. If you can get me a photo of the exterior that is more of a close up (not so much wooded background), I can almost certainly get it into the book (which is due Friday, but I can get a little leeway on photos). Any detail shots of the pond watering system would be great. Ducks in any photos are welcome, since they are charismatic cute little critters. If you can manage that, send photos to me at urbanpc (at) patternliteracy dot com.

Thanks! And thanks to all others for their help and interest.


I should be able to get nice pictures tomorrow or Friday . It's been pouring all day, so hopefully it'll clear up enough to make for some nice pictures. I'll also use my husband's camera to get higher resolution pictures. I'll try to get pictures of the watering set-up, but the piping from the duck tub to the spigot is under ground and comes out next to our house. We then hook up the hose to the spigot and--since the garden is down hill--we're able to water from the hose. Sadly, our garden is a long distance from the duck enclosure, since our septic system is between the ducks and the garden. It's rather unglamorous, but I can see what I can do!
 
Kim Schmidt
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Toby,

I should have some pics for you tomorrow. I know that's a day later than you had hoped for but we'll see what we can get together.

Our duck house isn't unique looking at a glance, but the more I think about it the more I think it might be appropriate for your points. We chose Muscovys particularly because of their foraging ability and ability to take short flights (predator avoidance). We put the duckhouse uphill from a small floodplain area. That area isn't suitable for much without a big investment, but the Muscovys find something to eat no matter what is growing.

I'll post and/or email you some things tomorrow hopefully
 
Nicole Alderman
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Gah! Camera troubles! My husband's camera is stuck on manual focus, so I went out with my--ten year old--cheep digital camera. The lighting was perfect and the ducks cooperative, and I got great pictures of the house. Except, when I came inside to look at the pictures, I realized they're only 1.3 mb. Grrr! I should be able to get the fancy camera back in working order on Saturday evening and get higher quality pictures on Sunday, or I can go back out and try fiddling with the manual focus later today and hope I get lucky. Did you want pictures of the inside, too, or just the outside and the waterworks? Also, which angle do you prefer for the picture? I'll email you these pictures, too.
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Straight on angle
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Sideways angle
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Slightly from the side angle
 
Nicole Alderman
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Kim Schmidt wrote:Toby,

I should have some pics for you tomorrow. I know that's a day later than you had hoped for but we'll see what we can get together.

Our duck house isn't unique looking at a glance, but the more I think about it the more I think it might be appropriate for your points. We chose Muscovys particularly because of their foraging ability and ability to take short flights (predator avoidance). We put the duckhouse uphill from a small floodplain area. That area isn't suitable for much without a big investment, but the Muscovys find something to eat no matter what is growing.

I'll post and/or email you some things tomorrow hopefully


We chose anconas for much the same reasons, though they can't fly higher than 3-4 feet. They make great little foragers and lay lots of eggs (supposedly... they're only 4 months old and haven't started laying yet). We were really torn between them and the muscovies, and we still might end up adding some muscovies to our flock. Our duck run is also in an area that we can't use for much else: our septic system's sand bed. They make great use of the grass/weeds and love hiding in our salmon berry bramble--I'm glad something can make use of that bramble so I don't have to try to clear it out! I'd love to see your ducks and their home--there are not enough pictures of ducks out there!
 
Toby Hemenway
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Thanks to all for your help. My deadline for photos has passed, and I've sent the manuscript and photos into the publisher. Very grateful to all of you!
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