Granddad Rob's new design of floating duck house, originally made for Yolanda.
This is an octagonal duck float, the duck house incorporates eight individual nesting bays.
It features Granddad Rob's own interlocking timber roof tiles with a dressed lead weathering cap. The float is a segmented octagon, with a diameter of 1500mm. The whole duck float and house is constructed from pressure treated redwood.
Granddad Rob says:
"The natural instinct of this Yolanda will be to clean out her duck house weekly. Sterilise it to operating theatre spec. Change the nesting litter, deep clean and straighten the cushions, re-charge the air freshener and top up the paper towel dispenser!!
What Yolanda has to try and do is resist the urge and leave the duck house alone. We are trying to encourage wild creatures to use what to them is perceived as an alien nest site. A wild creature that spends the most part of its god given day with its face in ditch mud and pooing out of the other end, without stopping one in favour of the other! They like squalor they want a duck house thatâ€™s been â€˜ducked upâ€™.
You are OK washing the duck house once a year (late summer) and digging out the detritus. Using just water, please do not be using strong scented detergents or worse still oil based timber treatments with a pungent odour. Apart from making the duck house stink (from a ducks perspective) there is also a chance the detergent or treatment could leach into the water, which could prove fatal to the pond life. The timbers used are pressure treated so will endure the rigours of being continually ducked.
I have had it told me (but never done it) that to get birds to use a new nest box its got to smell of reeds and mud, the advice was to put a damp turf in the duck house green side down!
If feasible, my advice would be to tether from two points ideally from opposite banks. This has the effect of keeping the duck house roughly where you want it. Marine rope 8/10 mm dia is preferred but in this instance, it has the drawback of being highly visible and buoyant. A tip... tie some old chain (or such like) at various stages along the rope so the tether is dragged under the surface, lessening the impact of a bright orange or blue tether snaking its way out across the lily pads. On larger ponds, an anchor weight is best used.
Yolandaâ€™s duck house is the duck worldâ€™s equivalent of a tit box. The trick is to float it, tether it, and walk away. Nature can be the only arbitrator as to what will move in and when."
OPTIONAL - Pair of Mud Anchors (Each 20kg cast concrete weight with 2 Metre galvanised chain & Shackle) @ £79
Although the timber we build with is pressure treaded or marine grade and will last many years, we still think it prudent occasionally to apply a re-treatment. I have personal used this treatment on my own housing, and can highly recommend it:
STOPS WATER DEGRADATION -
Forms a water shedding coating stopping water ingression and potential wood rot.
CAN BE APPLIED TO WET WOOD -
No waiting for that elusive day when you have time and the wood is dry.
MICRO POROUS -
Allows the wood to ‘breath’.
Has a milky colour when applied but dries clear, so OK to applied liberally without showing too many brush or run marks.
SUITABLE FOR ANIMAL HOUSING -
And says as much on the label!