Avian flu - keeping ducks entertained ideas needed

Charlie Chalk

In the Brooder
Sep 14, 2020
Here in the UK, we've had an outbreak of highly virulent avian flu... As such all domestic birds must be 'housed'. We've basically covered our run in a polytunnel to do this. They have a decent amount of space, and a little pond, and seem to largely be taking the new situation in their stride(waddle). There are lots of ideas around keeping chickens entertained with hanging veg etc, but I wondered what other people do to make sure their ducks are entertained, happy, and stimulated?
Ah a person like me. My daughter laughs that I worry that our ducks, chickens and peacocks might get bored. I know there might be a basis for the expression "bird brained" as not too smart but still. The peacocks and chickens like the hanging food but not so much the Muscovy ducks. I would try some simple things like each day moving where their food and water is. Not sure what your weather is like, but when it is warm I leave things like melons in large pieces that takes them longer to eat. You could try every couple of days adding piles of branches, big balls, cardboard boxes and alternating these things. I also like to use evergreen branches or some hay to hide their treat like mealworms in. Good luck and hopefully everyone stays safe and healthy.
I’ve been putting piles of straw in their polytunnel with treats hidden in it. They seemed to be settling in to their new restricted run, but tonight in the storm our polytunnel has disappeared! We’ll have to go and ask round the neighbours in the morning, find out whose garden it has ended up in. How are other people managing? Our duck house is quite big and we only have 3 ducks, but I can’t keep them in it all winter.
I wondered how others are finding general compliance on this?

We've restricted our 14 hens to a tiny covered area. They seem lethargic, and egg productivity is down, but maybe it would be at this time of year.

Wandering about my Somerset village I see that no-one else, including the farmers, seems to have bothered at all: all have their chickens ranging within their (uncovered) electric fence perimeters as usual.

Any other thoughts or experiences?

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