Can they venture out and return home?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tlouiselle, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. tlouiselle

    tlouiselle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    Hi! I am new here, but have been a lurker for a while now :) My husband and I are going to be adding a few hens to our "critter" family. However, I would love to include a pekin duck or two (but am researching everything about them before making my decision). My concern is the maintenance of the daily water change for a kiddie pool (which is what I am leaning towards rather than installing a pond).

    We live on a small lake/large pond that is surrounded by some other houses. The only boat that is ever out there is an occasional canoe. We have flocks of muscovy ducks that go from home to home and visit everyone so the people on this pond are very duck friendly.

    My question is this: If the ducklings are raised with us, over time, will they see our house as their "home" and return if I let them venture out there to play on the pond? Or would this be a bad idea? Someone has told me this is possible, but I would like other opinions. I am worried about them not returning home. Or the muscovys picking on them.

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  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Both your concerns are valid. With ducks, it seems there is no guarantee. Some folks have ducks on ponds and it seems to work out.

    On the other hand, ponds are places where predators go to hunt. There are hawks, eagles, snapping turtles, and others.

    Muscovies are not exactly 100% domesticated, from anything I have read or heard. Pekins cannot fly, cannot run well, and probably don't have the "street smarts" to stay out of trouble in nature.
     
  3. tlouiselle

    tlouiselle Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. You are supporting my gut instinct. Now I just have to think of a creative way to make their swimming pool lower maintenance :)
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    There are many ways people do this. The one that comes to mind first is an old bathtub with a platform built around it. The person has a valve outside the duck pen, and the pipe delivers fertile water to a grove of trees.
     
  5. tlouiselle

    tlouiselle Out Of The Brooder

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    That sounds PERFECT :) For 1-2 ducks, how often would you advise that this should be changed? I work from home and am home all day everyday taking care of my little zoo (3 dogs, 3 cats, 1 parrot). The water change is not an issue for me to do. I am just thinking about when we go out of town for 7 days if I can get creative enough so someone who is checking on them can avoid the "dirty work".
     
  6. Richb353

    Richb353 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome,
    I think you could train a small group of ducks to return home at the end of the day with plenty of time and patience. I feed my ducks twice a day and put them away at night to protect them from predators. After doing this for over a year, my flock both recognize me as the guy that feeds them, but they also recognize their Quack Shack as their safe place. When they see me they will walk up to me for food (often hand fed) or walk to the spot where I routinely feed them. They are less shy when they are more hungry. Should they get spooked, they stampede to their duck house which is quite comical. After I feed them in the evening, I'll wave my arms a little bit, and the flock takes off to their house. This may be more out of routine than me spooking them.

    When my flock were little fuzz butts, they stayed in their 10'x10' house until they were full size. When I did let them out, it was under my supervision. By the time they were full sized, they were familiar with both me and their house. On a side note, there is a couple of sand cranes that have joined the routine as well. They are wild and I have no intention of domesticating them, but they know my feeding routine to include walking to within 6' of me at feeding time.

    Enjoy,
    Rich
     
  7. larcie

    larcie Out Of The Brooder

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    When my mixed flock are let out to free range they always come back at dusk, as soon as the chickens go to roost they follow and bed down on a bale of hay in the coop. I only had to walk them back the first few times I let them out.
     

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