Complex bizarre question! (right up this places alley!!! :D )

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PortageGirl, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok, so, my complex bizarre question is… I’ve had chickens here off and on over the years, and I’m pretty good with them. I am really thinking though that I’d love to get some ducks… BUT, I have to explain some things.

    Our back yard rolls right down to a river, it’s the Upper Cuyahoga river. Sometimes called the ‘East Branch’ of the Cuyahoga, since it sort of doubles back on itself, and this is the side on the east. We’re up near the headwaters, where it flows SOUTH on the upstream northern part before it joins with some other tributaries and turns NORTH to become bigger part that flows north through Cleveland into Lake Erie. Does any of that make sense?

    Here’s a map,
    (we live somewhere around the last “a” in the Cuyahoga.)

    Anyway, it’s not HUGE, it’s bigger than a creek here, but not a LOT bigger. I couldn’t throw a rock across it now but as kids we used to try and my big brother sometimes succeeded. We grew up swimming in it so current isn’t much, and I’d still swim in it today, but we didn’t and I wouldn’t drink it, no real industry upriver of us, but watersheds these days tend to funnel in all sorts of road runoff and such. … only going through all this so you have an idea about it. It’s a really funny river! Cuyahoga means “Crooked River” in Iroquois, or so we were all taught in grade school.

    So, if I got ducks, and they went down there, (and I’d probably be tempted to let them, or they’d just make a break for it.) would they come home for dinner if their pen and duck house (only an imaginary duck house just now!) was well established as where there was yummy food, good shelter and their hen friends were? I wouldn’t want to try to build a pen big enough for them to be in 24/7 all year, probably could make one of a decent size, but ducks just seem to need ROOM.

    Oh, my next door neighbor downriver (about a quarter mile downriver) used to own ducks, and he said they’d be fine, and he moved here after selling a large farm with LOTS of geese, ducks, chickens and quail and even though I respect him, he’s 90, and has this sort of “AWE, just do it it’ll be fine!” attitude no matter what I say about what I’d like to get. I think he’s hoping I’ll get too many birds and have to give him some… which I may do anyway, cause I think he’d enjoy it… I could walk down there and help him out anytime. I’m friends with his daughter and she likes chickens and such, but has her hands full enough. But if I got ducks and they did go visiting, he’d be tickled.

    A preliminary plan is to get a pair, raise them up right, treat them sweet, and see how it goes… if one pair gets well established, and totally convinced that there’s no place like home, before letting them near the river, then other ducks mostly think the same… I guess I’m worried if they left home, I wouldn’t want them to suffer or anything.

    Opinions? Thoughts? Ideas?
  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    My initial thought is that your domestic ducks couldn't escape on you very easily if you kept their wing feathers trimmed. They wouldn't be able to fly away. Additionally, if you provided them with consistent food and shelter, they wouldn't feel the need to leave.

    BTW, I'm familiar with your area of the state. I used to work at Cedar Point (I was a supervisor there), and we go down to Cleveland Clinic several times a year due to my husband's gastrointestinal disease. Just wanted to say [​IMG]
  3. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ahh,,, hadn't thought about clipping their wings, more worried about them paddling away I guess! [​IMG]

    We DO get occasional wild ducks and Canadian Geese too every year, not a LOT, but occasional visitors. They've never come near the coop, I suppose I should worry about disease too with ducks... but I've heard of wild visitors to even small backyard ponds. Thing is, this is a lot of miles worth of backyard pond! heh.... *sigh* the more I think about it the more I wonder.

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