free range baby ducks


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 25, 2011
can free range baby ducks survive if with thier mother and have access to a large 1 acre pond? i have had no predator problems. I have always raised my ducks indoors for a few weeks then move them to a pen outside until feathered out and then they are free to enjoy the pond. however I have a setting runner hen in my chicken house and am concerned for the newly hatched babies. any suggests/ideas on the best course of action.
It's a risk, i think you'd need to be prepared to lose some in doing that, frankly you never know what predator problems you have till you start to offer up something they desire.

Will there be any protection other than the pond? shelter(floating style etc) there are some predators that swim out. I realize some feel well wild ducks do okay, but one has to remember these are domestic ducks plus we truly have no idea how many loses wild ducks suffer each year.


For myself, i keep young babies and mamas in a penned area slowing introducing them to the existing flock, then they eventually join the flock with mama, but i always lock all my ducks up at night in secure housing. (young, adult etc)
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thanks quackers They have a house on the pond edge and floating dock in the middle of the pond although the darn Canadian goose hogs it. I have always kept my babies (bought and brought home) in the house till the fluff is gone and then move them to a heated detached garage and then moved to a outside chain link run till completely feathered out and then they are released to the pond and free range of the farm. However, one of my runners crossed with my Peking male and has decided to set her eggs in the chicken house. They have a duck hut but she preferred the chicken house. I dont lock the chickens in at night since more of them are roasting in the barn and garage than the house and because of the close proximity of the garage/house/pond/kennals I think everybody alerts each other to any problems. I also have a stud horse who grazes right alongside the pond at night when the mares are sleeping. I guess I will come up with a plan to confine her and the babies. What are your thoughts on raising the babies in the house and releasing her back to the flock? i dont want to stress her but am really worried about the turtles in the pond not so much predators on land.
Turtles are a definite risk, is she a good mother? is there any other alternative, i am a real softy and hate to stress the mamas i guess i feel like if i lower their confidence in hatching here they may choose not to in future.

I have horses too and frankly, unless the predator is some mountain lion they tend to just stick their own business of grazing, i lost two drakes last year to the neighbours dog, and it occurred right near their paddock, but their used to dogs, it would take a lot to get them truly concerned.

I think for the best success, locking her and the brood safely, at the very least at night will give you the best results.
Quackers need your advice, my runner hen is working on a 100 percent hatch rate with 2 eggs remaining. what I did was removed the babies 14 so far to a brooder bin in the house but would like to return them to a outside brooder pen with mom. I have built a secure environment next to where she set in the chicken house. I removed them because she was having a hard time keeping track and setting she had been fine with the first two abductions but got rather nasty this morning and chased me across the yard. my question is do you think putting her back with them in the brooder pen will be ok.

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