i recently finished the fully enclosed section of the duck yard. it's attached to the duck shed on one side, with access to the inside of the shed through the shed's east door, and the other sides and the top are covered in heavy chicken wire. the perimeter has corrugated metal sheet buried about a foot-and-a-half deep and concrete rubble (from the greenhouse floor) buried in the gateways. to keep the yard from getting too muddy and soggy i built a 4"x4" frame and filled it with gravel for the ducks' bathing pool and filled the rest of the yard with about 4" of pine chips. there are two gates, one on the east side that opens to the outside of the enclosure to give me easy access from the barn and the other opens into what will be the fenced pasture/forage yard to the north.
the ducks spent their first night in their new shed last night. today i installed a plywood partition on the north side of the shed so that they would have a place to go to stay a bit warmer and feel more secure since they're used to sleeping in a much smaller enclosure and seem to like having somewhere to get in and under.
i hinged the partition to the wall so that i can flip it up and out of the way for daily cleaning and egg collecting.
i already miss having the ducks in the kitchen garden. being able to hear them and see them through the window in the mornings is something i love and this morning felt a bit strange and lonely not having them there. they're in a much safer and more comfortable situation now and i feel good about that. and i'm happy that they seem like the place i've built for them.