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First time free-ranging!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Vyctoria, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Vyctoria

    Vyctoria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Finger Lakes, NY
    For the past year my 6 ducks have been in a 20x20 run that I've turned into the deep litter method because they had destroyed all of the grass in most spots and it turned into a mud pit thanks to their kiddie pool. This summer we plan to expand their coop and build onto the run by about 1/4, all of which will be an inground pool with a bio-filter if all goes well. I don't want to fence off too much of my parents' property, so I wanted to start free-ranging finally. It's terrifying for me because I have a husky who would quickly kill them if he got loose, and we live around a lot of woods with coyotes, racoons, ect. Despite this, we also have 3 1/2 acres of lawn with a good sized pond in the back. So I know I probably should have been doing it a long time ago, but I'm a wee bit over-protective when it comes to my duckies. [​IMG]

    Long story short, they had their first successful outing today for a good 2 hours. I sat with them and then did some lawn work and they stuck right around where I wanted them to. I think they had fun. Except that they're scared of the pond, but we'll work on that more in the future.

    The whole flock:
    [​IMG]

    Demetri, my only drake:
    [​IMG]

    Demetri and Bianca:
    [​IMG]

    Myrtle:
    [​IMG]

    Wendy and Agnes:
    [​IMG]

    Agnes:
    [​IMG]

    Rynn:
    [​IMG]

    In about two weeks the Cayugas and Swedish will officially be a year old. And I have 3 new ducklings coming from Metzer on May 15th. A Pekin, Khaki, and Black Swedish(all girls). If you couldn't tell, I'm kind of a collector of breeds. I wanted to see what all of them were like in terms of personalities. And it makes them easier to tell apart. So far I'm a huge fan of the Cayugas and the Swedish.

    And please ignore the bald patch on my Cayuga hen's face. She got sick a while back and itched her face bare. It's still coming back in, but it might look yellow because I put nu-stock on her. And if anyone knows more about duck body condition and weight, I'd love to hear your thoughts while we're at it. I feel like a terrible judge and I'm always paranoid that I'm feeding too little or too much.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    1 person likes this.
  3. Vyctoria

    Vyctoria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2016
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Thank you, I'll definitely be checking out that thread! Looks like there's a lot of awesome info there. :D
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Your Ducks look fantastic...:D
    Keep doing what your doing......:)

    I love all Ducks too...:lol:


    Cheers!
     
  5. LeannS

    LeannS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2015
    Wapato, Washington USA
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Vyctoria

    Vyctoria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2016
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Oh, I absolutely do not intend to leave them out unless I am supervising! My intention is to teach them to stick around while I am doing lawn chores and in close sight of them, but I could never stomach the thought of leaving them alone. We have way too many predators around here. I typically just sit in the lawn with them and they circle me. Right now the pool isn't causing too much of an issue since I've started doing the deep litter method, but eventually I'll be putting an inground 220 gallon pool with smooth river stone over lawnscaping fabric around it to prevent mud. But until then, they've just been very "cooped up" so to speak.

    Most times we have our brittany running loose(not when the ducks are out of course) and she chases everything away like crazy. I really haven't seen much around since she's been out more, which has been helpful considering I have an open top to their run(they are completely closed into the coop at night). I don't think I'll ever trust her with them loose because she's a bird dog and it's just ingrained into her to chase them and I won't take the chance. But it's made me really consider the thought of investing in a flock guardian someday. Maybe if I ever have a lot more ducks and add some chickens to the mix like I've been planning.

    Thank you though for the comments. I am taking everything you said into consideration. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017

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