1.09.2011

Backhoe Weekend, Project 1 - Gooselandia

The backhoe came in late, but can't complain too much as we get to use it for the entire weekend (plus part of Monday) for the price of one day's rental. So Spouse and I did something rare: after animal chores, we went back to bed! Ooooh, so nice... sssnzzzzzzz.

Once the backhoe finally arrived, it was time to rub the sleep out of our eyes and get to work. First priority: re-dig the pond for Gooselandia. We were originally going to use a stock tank set in the ground. We had the hole dug, and the tank situated and leveled. The more we thought about it, however, the more it seemed like it would be a royal pain to create the appropriate berms and ways to get in and out of the stock tank: not just for the geese and ducks, but for any small fry they might hatch. Plus with the ducks, the tank was now going to be too small for everyone to swim in peace. Round two: take out the stock tank, then dig out and slope the sides.

The tank was partially full of rainwater, and had a nice thick layer of algae and sludge at the bottom. We'd also a large branch half in/out of the tank before the photo, so the frogs and snakes could get out as needed. No frogs or snakes this time... anyhow, bailed out the water, shoveled out the sludge, then pulled out the tank. After a break and a quick side project of moving a big pile of soil up the hill where our raised veggie beds will be (another post), Spouse started sloping out the sides of the pond area.

The old hole was approximate 10'x10'x2'. The new hole, with sloping sides, measures about 20'x16'x2'.



Pond liner - the good stuff, heavy rubber, fish safe and all that - ain't cheap, but with my Awesome Employee Discount™ at the feed store, we can probably line this hole for about $200. We'll also need to shell out for a heavy duty pond pump and filter, due to all the poo. The ducks out-poo the geese, and the geese are no slouches by any means. Together, they create MEGA-POO, killer of puny pond pumps and filters alike. Our poor 3'x5' side pond! If we don't clean the filters every other day, the water quickly becomes a mess.

So, slowly but surely, progress on the Gooselandia pond proceeds apace. Once lined, pumps installed, and filled with water, we can move the duck and goose shelters to the new pond area. What will be next: trenching so that electric and water lines can be routed to the area. We can currently stretch two connected outdoor extension cords to the area, and ditto for water hoses, but this is not a viable long-term solution. Yay, we get to rent more heavy machinery!!!

3 comments:

  1. Are you able to recapture all that poo to use as soil amendments? Waste not the waste, right?

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  2. Hey -- since I haven't been doing FB or Twitter for some time, I think I lost track of your blog and actually thought you quit blogging.

    Good to hear from you Deb and see that things are progressing well at casa de Farm Natters.

    I'm going to have to do some catch-up reading on your past posts

    Have a great weekend. :)

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  3. Opting for a backhoe rental was surely a nice decision on your part since you wouldn't be using this often anyway.

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