Hey guys, I've noticed this this might be a controversial subject. It seems the majority of BYC (and google) feel it's cruel to release a domesticated duck into the wild. A small minority, including myself, don't believe it *has* to be. What I'm doing may, or may not, be viewed in that way. When I first got my eggs, the plan was always to release them on my lake. I'd done so as a child, and as it turns out, my neighbors did the same thing with Mallards, not Rouens. After posting about it here, I was informed domestic duck breeds wont do well. What I've decided to do is hybrid. They have a home, open during the day, closed and secure at night. And they'll be fed year around but it wont be their primary food source. Sunset feeding only as they get older. They've been living outside in the greenhouse for less than a week. I've completely eliminated morning food. During the day I take them exploring around plants and bugs I think they'd like. And of course, on the lake, swimming or once on boat. I "left them alone" (secretly semi-watching) for 40 mins on Sunday. They did well. Kinda didn't do much. Started peeping and it broke my heart, but I didn't come. They did return to greenhouse tho Monday, longer periods in spurts, and outside (including greenhouse) vast majority of the day. Tuesday, all day. Again, sometimes a foot away, sometimes farther. Today is the first day they've really gone around exploring on their own. Normally they wont travel much distance without me unless its back towards house. My ultimate plan, is to have ducks that can survive on their own should anything ever happen to me. One difference is greenhouse. I was convinced here that lack of flight makes them vulnerable. To backup the risks, I found out over many years, the Mallards eventually were gone.. -------- I hope no one thinks this is cruel. I have a lot of ducks, and my un-fenced backyard is on a lake. I have no intention of having them locked up while I'm working. Right now I have lots of extra free-time. During tax season, I'm lucky to only work 40hrs on some weeks. They just turned a month old. I'd like to know if anyone has experience in this area and can provide some advise, maybe a timeline of goals, etc. I want to make sure they're on a good pace, and learning a lot of what their parents would teach them. Also, I've noticed they're getting brave around my little dog and will go after him. They're of course afraid of pretty much everything still. Should I teach them to fear and flee from other animals? Or attack them? lol sounds funny but I've seen both happen naturally and they're both effective, I'm just not sure which is best. Again, they will have a safe secure place at night and daily food. I want them safe, but I also want neighborhood ducks that are survivors without humans. Oh, and when is it likely they're safe from birds of prey? Not gonna lie, I cant stop worrying about them for even a minute every time I leave them.