Adult ducks not interested in pond

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ashtree, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. ashtree

    ashtree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2014
    oklahoma hills
    Hi, my duck story is kinda long. Essentially, while still living in the city, my husband brought home a baby blue swedish duck. We were able to rehome it with a friend when it became to loud for city life. We have since moved to the country and have 2 ponds on our property. We were able to get the original blue swedish (female) + 2 female anconas. All 3 ducks lived together and had a kiddie pool to swim around in before coming here. It has now been 10 days since we got these girls and they have never once went swimming in the pond. For the first 9 days they were hanging out on the bank not doing much, but now they've completely abandoned the pond area and are mostly hanging out around our porch, gossiping about everything. What can I do to get them interested in the pond? We are adopting a female goose soon, will she maybe teach them to swim around? My husbands theory is maybe they aren't used to their feet not touching the ground when they swim. Another idea we have is to get them a boy (maybe an ancona because we are really loving those) and hopefully he would get them interested in the pond.

    There is electric fencing around the pond area but we haven't turned it on because I have 5 boys that I'm pretty fond of and its just kinda one less thing to worry about. Also, maybe part of the problem is the ducks sleep in the silkie coop at night in a dog crate. Not the best system but we won't be able to clear the barn out until we get a dumpster here which is said to happen in just over a week. So, maybe when they're sleeping in pond area they'll accept it more? I really dont think the ducks are coming up because they miss the chickens as they're mostly in attack mode when they see chickens!

    Any advice would be sooo appreciated! These ducks are a mystery to me.
  2. littlefrog

    littlefrog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2013
    Lansing, MI
    My ducks won't touch my own pond, but I can't get them out of the neighbor's.

    Is there a clear line of sight to the pond? Mowed grass, sand or gravel 'beach', etc? If the grass is high around the pond, mine won't touch it.

    You could always pick them up and toss them into the pond... That is how my father taught us to swim. ;)
  3. ashtree

    ashtree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2014
    oklahoma hills
    Thank you for the response. The area around the pond could definitely be mowed! I will try that later today. We actually tried throwing the girls in this morning but they just got back out. 1 seems genuinely interested in staying at the pond but doesn't want to stay alone and the other girls are quick to get out. Yesterday we tried having my sons wade out with them but the ducks simply followed the boys out! They're super friendly and social, which is nice, but I'm ready for them to spend some amount of time in the pond area. We may get a drake after the barn is done. Think that will help?
    Again, thanks for your response! Any feedback helps. I'll mow as soon as my youngest takes a nap :)
  4. MommaHenn

    MommaHenn Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 25, 2014
    My ducks do not like my pond because they have no shallow rock or beach to stand on. "Bathing" in the pond is a daily necessity for a duck to keep its oil glands working to ensure its "waterproof" status. They are most comfortable "wading" in the pond while bathing. Try to create a very shallow sand bar or wading area and then re-introducing them to the pond by placing them onto the sand bar/shallow area. If they do not allow you to handle them, then you could try with treats ( they love meal worms). Keep us posted!
  5. Mrs.H

    Mrs.H Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    I am of no help but laughing bc you said they hang out gossiping about everything. Yes! That's exactly what my 2 Pekins do, gossip gossip gossip! And then tell me the gossip! Love it, I never had a word for it, and gossip fits to a T!!!! I do hope your ducks eventually use the pond tho, good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  6. khonderd

    khonderd Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 26, 2014
    I had some pond-hating ducks myself. The would refuse to go in. The problem is, the greatest advantage of the pond is protection from predators and sure enough a neighbor's dog wandered over and killed them all. The next batch I got were afraid of the water as well until one day when a couple wild ducks landed on the pond and stayed for a few days. Over those few days our ducks discovered that apparently the pond wasn't this big scary pit, but it was a fun place of safety. Since then I've always had at least a couple ducks that were able to teach the new ones about the benefits of the pond.

    So, my suggestion to you is to either get a duck that is used to ponds and can teach them (the goose might work for this) or the goose might chase them off the pond if she is territorial. Another option would be for the boys to swim with them for a few days but stay in the water for a while and play in the water like a duck would. Splash the water around. Dive under. Just be ducky. :)

    Best of luck with your ducks. Most of my ducks are out on the pond but I got a pair of Mandarins recently. The first time I tried mandarins they wandered off into the woods never to be seen again. This time I built an under-deck pen (the easiest large pen you can make) and since I can't just look out the window and see them like the ones on the pond I set up a web cam on them. Now not only can I watch them while I am at home, but I can watch them playing while I'm at work. :)
  7. Cluck Wild Farm

    Cluck Wild Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    Our ducks hated our pond at first, too. I took them down to the pond a few times and they'd haul ducky butt right back to the coop. Eventually a week or two later they made their way down to check out the pond on their own terms and then NEVER LEFT lol. They come up to the coop a couple of times a day to eat but for the last six months the pond has been their home. Not sure if I helped, but I hope everything works out!
  8. ashtree

    ashtree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2014
    oklahoma hills
    So I kinda gave up for the time being on getting the girls to the pond. For now I have a small pool set up by the house, my theory is when the barn is clear and they are sleeping in the area they may be more open to the idea, or at least more used to the area. I really do like having them visit the house during the day, but they soil EVERY water bowl they can find, so yea, ideally they will start using the pond. We get a good laugh filling up this ridiculously small pool for them and watching them all fight for space. If only they had a pond!

    Im getting the goose 1 week from today, so hopefully she will teach them a thing or two about ponds. I know she has been raised with ducks so should be duck friendly. And if that option doesn't work I may be getting a few more ducks soon. The only ancona breeder in my area just has kiddie pools tho! So, that may not be too helpful. I could incubate some duck eggs, but thats a LONG process. So, for now my plan is to not stress the ducks, be glad I have all these boys to help me out filling water bowls, and clean out the barn and hope the goose idea works!

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions! [​IMG]

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