A High-Tech Habitat for Ducks

August 22, 2013 | By | Comments (6)

By Laurel Miller, of The Sustainable Kitchen

Just down the street from my former digs in Seattle is Portage Bay Grange. One day, while walking back from the student ghetto known as the U-District, I saw what I first believed to be a mirage: bales of hay, chicken coops, and rabbit hutches (with their attendant occupants) lined up in front of an unassuming little shop I’d never noticed before. It appeared to have sprung up, mushroom-like, overnight.

Seattle is chock-a-block with urban farmers, but this was the first store I’d seen in city limits dedicated to homesteading. Inside, there’s everything from organic animal feed (the “house specialty”) and bee-keeping equipment to Weck canning jars, chicks, and emmer cultivated by a family farm in East Washington.

The happening new thing at PBG, however, is the custom-designed “duckaponics” system. Owner Kevin Scott-Vandenberge wanted a duck habitat that utilized the principles of aquaponics, so employee Brian Genung built him one. Rat-proof, and self-cleaning –watering, and -fertilizing, this ingenious waterfowl fortress is also solar-powered (admittedly, a debatable concept in Seattle).

The enclosed system works by pumping the dirty “pond” water into a tank, where the sediment settles. The water is then pumped upward, where it’s filtered through puffed clay pellets before self-watering the rooftop potager. The water then flows down, back into the pond. Bonus: the sexy waterfall effect results in playful, happy ducks, and good egg production (nesting boxes are installed in the back of the unit).


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  3. Steve

    Per their web site: http://portagebaygrange.vpweb.com/–Duck-a-Ponics-.html
    The muck from the settling tank, the filter boxes, and on the pond bottom can be put in bins or fed to worms to make garden compost!

    July 3, 2015 at 11:06 am
  4. anchor

    I think the admin of this website is really working hard in favor of his site, because here every information is quality based information.

    December 30, 2014 at 3:37 pm
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    what happens to the sediment in the settling tank?

    February 18, 2014 at 11:36 pm
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