How to Build a Backyard Duck Pond

Water features add interest to your landscape and are good places to place viewing benches. Because a duck pond is also functional, the effort it takes to build the pond becomes worthwhile. If you want to raise ducks, you have to provide them some way to wet their fathers and groom themselves or their down will not keep them warm. If you want to attract wild ducks, a pond is the best way to do it.

Locate your duck pond within or near your duck enclosure. Positioning the pond in semi-shade will reduce the algae growth, but do not position it too close to tree roots. Lay out a hose to create the outline of your pond.

Remove the sod where the pond will go, using a sod-removal tool. Save some of the sod for placing around the edges. To use the sod-removal tool, press the blade through the top of the grass and push down on the handle until the blade is horizontal. Shove the blade under the sod, breaking the roots. Lift away the pieces of sod.

Start digging in the centre of the pond. The finished pond will be about 2 feet deep in the centre, but you need to make it about 2 1/2 feet in the centre to start because you will be layering sand, plastic and soil, which will raise the bottom height. The goal is to keep the slope of the sides of the pond to about 30 degrees so that anyone falling in can easily walk out. To accomplish that, you want the depth of the pond to be 1 foot deep at a distance of 3 feet from the edge, and 2 feet deep at a distance of 6 feet from the edge.

Layer 2 to 3 inches of sand across the pond bottom.

Lay your black plastic roof sheeting across the sandy pond bottom as flat as possible. Trim away the sheeting around the edge of the pond. Replace several inches of soil on top of the plastic sheeting. Place pieces of sod over the edge of the pond to hide the plastic edge.

Place one or more logs partially in and partially out of the water.


If it is for domestic ducks, you'll need to enclose the pond. If you have heavily compacted clay soil, you may not need to use the plastic tarp. You can landscape large duck ponds with aquatic plants, but smaller ponds, especially for large numbers of domestic ducks, are better off left bare.


Check the regulations on ponds in your area. In most locations, ponds under 2 feet deep are allowed.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose
  • Sod-removal tool
  • Shovel
  • Measuring tape
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Sand
  • Black plastic roofing tarp
  • Large log
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About the Author

Writing fanzine-based articles since 1985, Kasandra Rose writes and edits articles for political and health blogs and and has an extensive technical writing background. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in biology from Wayne State University.