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Making Do

October 30th, 2012

When we arrived in Maine last Saturday, I wanted to put the ducklings outside but I needed a fence to keep them contained. At first I was going to use my compost bin, but the holes were too big. Then I remember we had some shelves in the garage that we haven’t put up yet.

With a little bit of wire it became a duck tractor. The ducks are loving spending the days outside basking in the sun and the rain. We put a little heat lamp out there for them to warm up under if they get chilly. Every day we move the fence to a new spot so they can eat the dandelions, violets and other greens they enjoy.

At night we’ve been putting them in the office in a container. Thankfully, it looks like they’ll be getting their feathers soon so they can stay outside. I also think I’m finally starting to see the gender of a few of them by their size. There’s one dominant male for sure and two small females. A few of the others could go either way, I’ll be watching.

Mr Chiots will be building them a little house soon, probably about the time they’ll be able to stay outside all day/night.
I also get so much satisfaction when I can make do with something I already have instead of having to buy something!

Have you made do with something recently and saved yourself some money?

12 Comments to “Making Do”
  1. Tonya - Plain and Joyful Living on October 30, 2012 at 7:11 am

    We “make do” all of the time – recently we used an old room divider (wooden with slats) as a fence around our woodstove to protect our one year old and then the rest of it as a drying rack for our wooden products.
    Thanks for all of your sharing. Your ducks are adorable. We are planning to buy some in the spring and I look forward to learning about your experiences with them.

    Reply to Tonya – Plain and Joyful Living's comment

  2. kristin @ going country on October 30, 2012 at 7:42 am

    That’s pretty much all we do–re-using pallet wood, old bits of chicken wire, salvaged metal roofing . . . It’s called junk farming. It’s cheap and environmentally responsible, but does make things look kind of like, well, junk.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • Susy on October 30, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Hey, it’s called “character” or so we say around here!

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Issa Waters on October 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      I love the make-do aesthetic. The other day I picked up a chicken coop someone else had made out of old wooden dresser parts. It’s so strange and cobbled together, but I think it’s beautiful!

      Reply to Issa Waters's comment

  3. cherise on October 30, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Those ducklings are so cute! I’ve missed a few posts – do you have a pond for them?

    We recently made do in two ways. After deciding to keep our chickens inside for the winter rather than in a chicken tractor, we cleaned out (my husband purged some stuff too! Wooo Hooo!) one stall of our two stall barn. (no horses for a few year now but lots of stuff) We made that into a chicken coop over the last couple weeks. While we had to use some new supplies to complete it my favorite part is their nesting boxes. We old wooden Cola crates that used to hold the family’s shoes in our old kitchen. They’ve just been sitting around since we renovated in April. Too cool to get rid of but no obvious use. We used three of them and made it so I can pull them out to clean them once in a while. I love that we kept the integrity of the antique crates while giving them a purpose. We were also able to use 3 old windows to increase the light in the coop and make a door for the hallway. I love repurposing!

    Reply to cherise's comment

    • Susy on October 30, 2012 at 8:54 am

      No pond, these guys are a type of duck that don’t need much water. My friend we got them from just created a puddle in her yard. We’re going to buy a good sized stock tank though and bury it as a pond/water feature.

      Your coop sounds lovely, can’t wait to see photos!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Maybelline on October 30, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I always try to live well below my means using basic staples each day. I have trained myself so well that it is difficult for me to shop. I currently have gift cards gathering dust.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  5. Peggy on October 30, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Oh your ducklings are adorable! We just took the frame off a huge mirror I got from a neighbor’s yard sale for $3 and added cork form some old message boards (plus a partial roll from a long ago project) and hung it up as a backing board for our dart board. The guys love to play but we’ve had too many darts sink into the surrounding wall. So hopefully we will have a few less holes…. At the same time we took an old vanity and turned it into my work desk.

    Isn’t it so satisfying to reuse something! Old wool sweaters into mittens and boot liners (need to cut out some more here soon), coffee grounds to dye with and then add to the compost, old feed sacks into towels and curtains, and the list goes on. :)

    Reply to Peggy's comment

  6. alison@thisbloominglife on October 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    We’ve just built a ‘characterful’ fence to keep the rabbits out of the vegetable garden. Brimming with pride is a lovely feeling! My muscovies are sitting on eggs at the moment, we will wait and see – they can be such forgetful mothers!

    Reply to alison@thisbloominglife's comment

  7. Andrea Duke on October 31, 2012 at 4:38 am

    I did the same thing in the Spring with shelving for our chickens. I’ve also used it for our rabbit.

    My most recent contraption is my cider press, which is a wooden box with a hydraulic jack attached to it. I got the idea from Kevin Kossowan and it worked well to make several gallons of cider :)

    Hope your faring well in the storm!

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

  8. Joshua on November 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    If your ducks are anything like ours, save yourself the trouble of building them a house. As soon as they were big enough to escape from it, they never went back. They roam the yard all night, hunkering down to sleep in various places, but unlike the chickens, they have absolutely no interest in a regular roosting spot.

    Reply to Joshua's comment

  9. reg on January 10, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    I like to be involved in political campaigns for the signs. those waterproofed cardboard and the plastic 4×8 signs are to die for . they last forever and work great for many insulting projects. get involved in more ways than one.

    Reply to reg's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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