Bantam duck question: can they be free range?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by suenotto, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. suenotto

    suenotto Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Limeport
    I currently have a flock of 11 ducks: several runners, 2 swedish, 1 harlequin and 2 call mixes. The call mixes fly very well but stay with the rest of the flock even if they go up and take a flight around once in a while. I would like to get some mini appleyards and australian spotted from Holderreads next year. It looks like many or most people with bantam ducks keep them caged all the time, or am I wrong about this? Other than concerns about hawks or other predators, is there any reason they can't be left out with the rest of my flock? Is is necessary for the wings to be clipped? I'm not planning to clip their wings. Is there any real danger of them just taking off? Like I said, my 2 call mixes fly very well and sometimes take off to survey the area but they have always come back. Its exhilarating to watch them take flight!

    thanks for your input!
     
  2. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    My 7 calls are free range and do not have their wings clipped. They do fly and it is fun to watch but they never go far. They don't even go to the ponds on either side of my property and that is only a few hundred feet. My ducks are PQ and not as tiny as the SQ birds except for my tiny snowy hen.
     
  3. suenotto

    suenotto Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Limeport
    Thanks but what is PQ and SQ?
     
  4. MamaChic21

    MamaChic21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Jackson, NJ
    what about ducks that can't fly ? Are they vunerable to predators ? Last Spring, a fox digged itself in the coop and got 22 chicks of mine in 1 night and left the ducks alone. I let them free-range with supervision during the summer. I have all kinds of predators in here. So could the free-range if they don't fly ?
     
  5. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    I'm completely new to ducks - but I do have 2 Black East Indies bantam ducks. I got the 1st one at 3 mo old, and after keeping her penned for a week, let her out. She took a couple of flies but always came back. I got her an adult buddy at the fair, and I'm not sure she can even fly. She prefers to stay in her pen - if I chase her out, she becomes very uncomfortable and wants to go back in. Not sure about her history. So, I let my little explorer out when I'm at home and she loves running around and eating dirt or whatever it is she eats. Her flights are always cute, but rare - normally only when one of my Golden Campine chickens chases her.
     
  6. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    Quote:Sorry, PQ = Pet quality and SQ = Show quality

    The really nice show quality birds that I have seen at shows are smaller and seem more fragile than the the birds that I have.
     
  7. chikky

    chikky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2009
    Glenmont, Ohio
    I let my calls out to free range when I'm home to keep an eye on them. In the past, I clipped their wings for one molt, just so they got acclimated. Seems though, that if there are others around, they stick with the group. Now they fly - mostly from the pen to the grass and to their pool. They watch the sky closely and take cover when there are sky predators (I don't trust that though and that's the only thing that bothers me when they're out).

    I also leave my dogs out to babysit and keep other animals away - neighbor cats and dogs, etc. Not sure I'd feel comfortable leaving them out without being here.
     

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