Ducks in a Creek?

Dec 1, 2020
932
1,657
211
Western Washington
Hello!
I am currently on my way to getting ducks (for the first time). I have landed on either Indian runners or Anconas for my needs. However I know ducks love water but make it VERY messy. So, I do live on a small creek (unfortunately it is not legal to divert a small amount of it in order to turn it into a pond) and I am wondering if I can let my ducks swim in it without loosing them. I am slightly worried that if I give them access to it they will end up floating away and just leaving to live on their own. Does anyone have experience with this? If not, does anybody have any good techniques or ideas for giving the ducks some water to play in? Or should I just use a kiddie-pool sort of thing? Thank you!
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,071
1,331
Iowa
In my experience, if resources are plentiful near the coop, and the ducks aren't being harassed by predators, they tend to stay near home, and may venture far down the creek, but will eventually come back. Other factors such as the rate at which the creek flows, may determine if they will stay near your property, or just "drift" downwards.

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I believe ducks allowed to be in a natural environment are much happier, but do understand by keeping them in a more natural environment you're increasing the likelihood of deaths via predators. Deaths by snapping turtles is almost a given at some point in time.
 
Dec 1, 2020
932
1,657
211
Western Washington
In my experience, if resources are plentiful near the coop, and the ducks aren't being harassed by predators, they tend to stay near home, and may venture far down the creek, but will eventually come back. Other factors such as the rate at which the creek flows, may determine if they will stay near your property, or just "drift" downwards.

View attachment 2436027


I believe ducks allowed to be in a natural environment are much happier, but do understand by keeping them in a more natural environment you're increasing the likelihood of deaths via predators. Deaths by snapping turtles is almost a given at some point in time.
Thank you! I have a lot of eagles in the area and they like to feed on fish in the creek so maybe I won't let them swim in it.
 

Thunderduck9

Songster
Dec 2, 2017
174
387
129
N.E. PA
My monsters jump in the creek every morning and are home at 5pm for super, some times they go about 1/2 mile up the creek to play with the ducks that live there
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
6 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,215
9,375
701
Carnation, Wa
We have a very small stream that flows into and out of a pond on our property. When my ducks were young I taught them to come when called and I took them for walks to the pond. We have many predators, so I stayed with them the entire time. When it was time to go I called them back and they followed me home in an adorable line. If you have a good relationship with your ducks and teach them the recall command you might be able to use the creek more safely. I've never lost a duck to a predator - but I stand outside supervising duck playtime for hours and hours.

I find that the easiest way to offer swimming time is to give them a, "pool," in their predator proof enclosure. I like to have a drain in the bottom and pipe the dirty water away. We drilled a hole in a livestock waterer. Since they poop in and drink their swimming water I drain it everyday.

We have a kiddie pool, too, and use it on our lawn sometimes. I find it hard to empty, and I don't like to use it in the aviary because of how wet it makes everything when emptying. But it is quick to set up and inexpensive.
 

Gkundern

In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2020
60
43
46
I thought I was going to give my ducks supervised creek time, but then they got leeches in their nose. It was a pain to get them out!
 

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