duck routines now that time has changed

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cayugaducklady, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chirping

    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    This is my first fall/winter with ducks. I'm curious how everyone shifts their routine now that the time has changed. It is dark when I get home from work now so my girls are losing their main forage time.

    Time changed Sunday. I started putting them out for forage and splashing time right at the crack of dawn. The first two days they rolled with the time change. Today they were adjusted much better.

    I'm at a loss for what to do at night, though. They were happy clams eating night crawlers last night but after about 5 minutes they became nervous

    Typical schedule:

    4:30-5:00am get up at some during that range
    5:00-5:30am start coffee wake up/fast chores/dog cuddle time/ etc.
    5:30-6:00am finish coffee/start cooking /packing work lunches & breakfasts/chores, feed/water dogs
    5:30-6:00am- as soon as I see daylight I walk ducks out from pen to foraging area. empty clean and refill water pans, check food pan for wet feed/ refill, check for eggs (wishful thinking since they're not laying yet) fluff bedding, walk the outer edges of pens & look for intrusions/damage etc. refill feeders etc.
    6:XX-7 walk/hike with dogs, let dogs patrol duck pen & duck area (my dogs are working terriers & rodents are KOS), put dogs back inside
    6:XX-7am walk ducks back to their pen, spend a few minutes hand feeding/ talking to ducks, double check that i turned the water off, fix hose to drain,
    7am finish getting ready for work,leave for work.

    5:00-5:30pm get home from work. practically dark.
    Check food pan clean/refill as needed, check water pans, empty/clean refill as needed, check for eggs, check bedding inside dogloo, etc.

    This is where I'm not sure what to do with the ducks. It's actually easier to see them in the dark than I thought.

    Friday Saturday and Sunday they can spend practically all day out side of the pen in a foraging pen or free foraging in the yard.

    Our yard is not fenced and probably wont be any time soon due to terrain and cost. There's no way we're leave them outside unsupervised while we're gone.

    I thought about picking up some omlet fencing to make "paddocks" that they can use with direct supervision while im doing their ducky chores. I know they're not predator safe and would never leave them alone in them.

    Ducks and dogs cannot be together, ever. Which is too bad because i'd love to take the ducks foraging in the woods while I'm with the dogs.

    On the wish list for next season is a duck tractor complete with movable pond. I have enough yard space to dump the pond frequently and not cause wet spots in the yard.

    So, how do you all handle the time change? How does your duck schedule shift to accommodate the shorter daylight hours?
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015

  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Mine pretty much have their own time schedule and I flow with it. Before time change and just in the last month mine were getting let out as soon as daylight, then of an evening they were all ready to start going in around 4 pm [very surprised about this] but I think the chickens started the ball rolling, anyway Sunday let them out at day light and Sunday afternoon the chickens started going in at 3:15 yep you saw that right so the ducks started making their way in too. I have everyone up and locked in by 5:15, I am retired so I am not having to get home at dark thank goodness
    Predators start moving around at dusk so the sooner you can get your ducks inside and secure the better. Leaving them out after dark is asking for one or more to be on someones menu. I have Plastic Poultry fencing inside my wire fencing to put my geese in when they aren't behaving during the day so some type of fencing like that would work while your
    home it's easy to take down and move too. I used the fiberglass fence post that have the sharp point on the end to push into the ground. At Lowes the Plastic poultry fencing is less than 20.00 for 50' and the posts were less than 3.00 a piece.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  3. HannahDuckLover

    HannahDuckLover Songster

    Jul 10, 2015
  4. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chirping

    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    That's an idea. Thanks! Anyone use something like is in serious winter snow?
  5. TheDan

    TheDan In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2015
    My ducks were starting to wake me up earlier so the time change was welcome lol... It is problem with it being nearly dark when I get home now. Not anything I can do about that except use it as an archive excuse to work from home more.

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