Do you ever feel guilty?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Nebraskagirl, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Nebraskagirl

    Nebraskagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes I feel guilty I don't let my two Welsh Harlequins roam freely enough. Last summer I let our Khaki Campbell drake and a buff duck roam freely. The duck got swooped by a hawk. Then just a couple months ago our precious Campbell drake got killed by a hawk only FIVE FEET from the enclosure (which is completely covered, even the top, and three strands of electric wire all the way around the enclosure.) We also have a wooden duck box that locks at night so the ducks are locked inside it, and then I have the enclosure's door locked too (it is Fort Knox!) But I feel so badly that they cannot roam like they used to. I let them out with me supervising during the day (except it has been so cold so its only been for an hour!) and the enclosure is roomy and on the side of the property where the wind isn't so bad so they have room to play and such, I just know how they love to free range and it will be better in the spring and summer months. We have a kiddie pool we put them in during the spring and summer so that will be great. Anyone else do this? I just CANNOT bear another hawk loss due to us not supervising them closely.
     
  2. Valntyn

    Valntyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just feeling a twinge of 'the guilt' about this this morning. Ours have a big set-up, access to indoors and/or outdoors 24/7, and they get fresh greens every day (warm peas in the Winter and tons of grass & garden greens in the Summer... not to mention all the bugs we pull from the garden, hehe). They also get their pool three out of four seasons. They act completely happy, but there's still that, "It's a shame I can't give them this one more thing (free ranging)." I try to balance it out with, "They ARE happy and they are safe" and leave it at that.

    If there were no flying, crawling, shooting or barking predators, I'm sure there would be something else we'd have to worry about. [​IMG]
     
  3. Valntyn

    Valntyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2012
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    I was just feeling a twinge of 'the guilt' about this this morning. Ours have a big set-up, access to indoors and/or outdoors 24/7, and they get fresh greens every day (warm peas in the Winter and tons of grass & garden greens in the Summer... not to mention all the bugs we pull from the garden, hehe). They also get their pool three out of four seasons. They act completely happy, but there's still that, "It's a shame I can't give them this one more thing (free ranging)." I try to balance it out with, "They ARE happy and they are safe" and leave it at that.

    If there were no flying, crawling, shooting or barking predators, I'm sure there would be something else we'd have to worry about. [​IMG]
     
  4. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, man. I hadn't even thought of hawks.
    I let mine free range all day nearly every day. Until I lost them to raccoons. We have those and mountain lions and bears and fox and...
    But hawks. Ugh, now I'm going to worry about them too. Maybe having a dog out with them will help?
     
  5. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I do this with my bantam ducks. They have a nice large pen with plenty of place to run and swim. They might not have access to free range but I assure you they don't seem to mind in the least.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    My ducks are kept pretty close, not a perfect security system but fairly extensive, and they are happy and healthy. Sure, they like our long spring and summer and autumn walks together in the woods and gardens, but it's winter, we are all a little cooped up, I celebrate with them every day somehow, and they are okay.
     
  7. Nebraskagirl

    Nebraskagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to know I am not the only one! They DO have plenty of room to walk around, play and such, but they just LOVE roaming around and putting their bills into everything our area has to offer. Cosbackyard: I didn't mean to alarm you, but at least now you are aware of them. Hawks are all over the place around here (wish I could shoot them sometimes!) and they will go after a duck, trust me.
    Again, thanks for reassuring me everyone!
     
  8. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good information :)
    Now I need to work on getting my ducks to follow us. Taking them on walks would be hilarious.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I used a combination of temporary fence, peas, and a walking stick at first. I never held it as if to threaten, but if I am holding a walking stick the ducks pay closer attention to me. I don't carry a stick most of the time, now. We all know the routine. I just call, wave my arms, and keep myself between them and the direction I do not want them to go.
     
  10. Nebraskagirl

    Nebraskagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah herding ducks is WAY easier than herding cattle (trust me, I help herd 200+ head on horseback and there are only three of us riders....it can be a nightmare!) and they generally do really well.
     

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