Our aviaries are constructed out of pressure treated lumber.  The side walls consist of three foot ribbed steel which is buried one foot into the ground.  Above this is five foot, one by two welded wire.  The tops are covered with two inch polyethelene netting.  We use the two inch netting as we do not have problems with sparrows or starlings, but our average snow fall each winter is around 72 inches and we have found the two inch netting lets the snow through much better than the one inch.

 All of our breeding pens have concrete ponds in them.  Each of our breeder pens has three of these ponds in them. These ponds are oval in shape and are roughly 5 foot by 10 foot and average 6 to 8 inches in depth. We have tried deeper ponds but found that with running water and the shallow depths that ponds stay cleaner for a  longer  period of time.  All the ponds have a 4 inch drain that allow for easy cleaning when the ponds need to be scrubbed down. The ponds all have fresh running water in them on a year around basis.  Here in Michigan if you don't have running water in the winter or pond heaters your ponds will freeze. 

 We dry brooder all of our young birds.  We have found this method to work the best for us.  Our brooder house is twelve by sixteen and contains ten three foot by three foot brooders.  They have plastic mesh floors which can be washed daily and all have automatic water systems.  The birds stay in here until they are ready to be moved outside.  They are moved to eight by sixteen holding pens (see picture to the right) where they are kept until they are sold, or moved to a larger avairy to be housed for the winter.

 

 

 

 We started with a twelve foot by twelve foot pen with a plastic kids pool in it. We now have six breeding pens which are fifty foot by fifty foot, along with some smaller pens that range from eight foot by sixteen foot, to twenty foot by twenty foot. Most of our waterfowl are kept in mixed collections in the fifty by fifty pens, with the exception of the Call ducks, Black ducks, and Geese. The geese are  bred in the twenty by twenty pens and the call ducks and black ducks are bred in the smaller eight by sixteen pens.

 

All of our breeder pens have an eight foot by eight foot shed in them which we put fresh straw in every fall and the birds can use for shelter to get out of the weather in the winter if they want to.  Some of our species use these sheds to nest in during the breeding season also.  

Each of our breeder pens has 12 to 15 pairs of breeding ducks.  A variety of species are kept together with attention paid to species that could hybridize with one another.

 

 

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