Do free ranging ducks come back at night?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ducklover13, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. ducklover13

    ducklover13 New Egg

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    Anybody have success with free ranging ducks on a lake or pond? Do they come back to the coop at night? This is our second attempt at raising ducks. We live on a lake with a backyard (but on a cove, not big water) The first ducks basically lived on the lake when they got a taste of it but I think we made a big mistake throwing food in there trying to lure them out. Eventually they stopped coming in our yard completely. :( Right now these are small and happy with the baby pool and I keep them cooped but I suspect when they get bigger the lake will look very enticing so I won't be able to let them free range in my backyard like the chickens do. Thanks!
     
  2. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What I do- maybe not with free ranging ducks- but with my own... Feed them only in the evening. Then I say "in" when they go in their coop for food. Works great.
     
  3. ducklover13

    ducklover13 New Egg

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    Well, I'm thinking if they associate their coop with food so if I only feed them in there in evenings they could splash and play in the lake during the day? I'm not concerned too much with something getting them in the day...but I want to lock them up at night...
     
  4. Keah

    Keah Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi,

    I have been where you are and it didn't work for me. I have a dam and my ducks knew that if they come home they will get food. (the dam was quite close to their coop) And it worked for a couple of weeks and I was happy because they got to swim and splash in a lovely dam then be safe at night (as we have foxes) But it didn't last long, I got home late one day and it was already night and so they didn't get fed when they were supposed to...so they ended up staying on the dam, they then took that one night for many nights and just ate grass and when they did come back up to the coop (1 week later!!) I just locked them up and shut our gate to the paddock with the dam so they couldn't get down to it and now they are happy in their kiddy pool. So my advice would be, KEEP ROUTINE if you plan on doing it, but it is possible. [​IMG] Hope I have helped.. [​IMG] Good luck
     
  5. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, or you could fence the pond to help detter predators if they accidentally were forgotten or were being stubborn.
    Also, ducks are herdable, if this helps. You can use a flashlight behind them at dusk if that helps to get them off the pond.
     
  6. ducklover13

    ducklover13 New Egg

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    May 3, 2014
    It isn't a pond but a lake. Not closed off. Catching them would take a minimum of two people and not something that could be feasibly done on a daily basis. However, my other two ducks lived on the cove day and night for two years before something got them or they ran off. I'm still not sure which. So I don't think predators are a HUGE issue. :(
     
  7. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Predators can be a huge issue. Think of absolutely EVERYTHING. In my area, ducks are at risk from:

    Weasels, Mink, Marten, Hawks, Eagles, Wolverine, Skunk, Raccoon, Foxes, Coyotes, Wolves, Bears, Neighbours' Dogs, Stray Dogs, Feral Cats, Neighbours' Cats, My Dog (trained to stay away from the ducks- but still.), Rats, Cougars, Lynx (similiar to bob cat),
    and ducklings are at risk from everything above and:
    Squirrels, small toy breed dogs.
     
  8. ducklover13

    ducklover13 New Egg

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    I'm saying my other two Pekins lived quite well on the lake for two years and were never shut up at night because I couldn't catch them. That's a long time if my area is absolutely crawling with predators, so I'm not sure it is. Or they were just very lucky ducks. [​IMG]
     
  9. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On a pond they can escape, mostly, if you don't have snapping turtles.
    Oh- and we have owls. Great Horned Owls, Boreal Owls, etc.
     
  10. AimToMisbehave

    AimToMisbehave Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, most domestic duck breeds live around 9-12 years on average, so 2 years is less than ideal :/ I kinda think having a temptation like an open lake is a big risk for pet ducks, especially since domesticated duck breeds don't have the means to defend themselves that wild ducks do. In your place, I'd try to figure out a nice big run situation for them where they can be safe and secure.
     

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