Free Range Ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Junkybird, May 4, 2009.

  1. Junkybird

    Junkybird Out Of The Brooder

    May 3, 2009
    Dacusville, SC
    Several questions: Two mallards, about 4 weeks old, in the coop with the chicks in a dog crate. Pen is almost finished for all of them. Now I'm starting to wonder if I want to keep them in the pen at all and not just let them free range. Will they mess up the garden?

    There is an old dog house in the pen, I figured they would probably use that for their house. We don't have a dog, but the neighbors do--Boykin Spaniel. If we let them free range will they stay around or fly away? We don't have a pond, but I would be willing to provide a kiddie pool once a week or so for "fun times."

    Also, they are Mallards, don't the what sexes yet, they are just feathering out now. From reading other posts, are mallards considered nice or mean? They are being pretty protective of their "crate house" now from the chicks--pecking pretty good, getting feathers from the chicks. That's why they are still in the crate [​IMG] A week ago, they were scared of the Dominickers. But NOW they are bigger than them! LOL!
  2. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    you might want to provide them a kiddie pool all he time. I know my two mallard youngsters (about the same age as yours) are ALWAYS in the water, wether it's in a spring in the grass, or in thier "duck muck" area or in their kiddie pool. They are pretty distructive [​IMG] today they made their OWN pond under my one coturnix pen [​IMG]
  3. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Will they mess up the garden?

    Well, they will eat anything tender and tasty. Then they will stick their bills in the soft earth around the things they don't want to eat and accidentally destroy those plants while looking for worms [​IMG]
  4. SportTees

    SportTees Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've started free ranging my 4 24/7 without any problems. My dogs are scared of my drake so they don't go near the ducks part of the yard. They stay pretty much in the same general area all the time. They go in there house when they get scared. I would worry if you have stray dogs or if you don't know how the neighbors dog will react to them.
  5. headred

    headred Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2009
    Mine are now out in my yard all day long and I pen them at night. They do get in my garden but so far they aren't disturbing my plants, just the dirt. I plan on putting up a small fence around my garden, however, so I won't worry that at some point they will eat it all!
  6. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2007
    My 5 Pekins are a month old and they free range in the yard (not fenced in), we started them out in the chicken yard but the Hens kept eating their food on them so we moved them to the yard, they have their kiddie pool with a fake log and and a ramp in it, they have an old roasting pan that I constantly put fresh water into, a dog travel crate that they sleep in at night and of course they love playing in the mud puddles all along our back porch. They've wandered out into the horse pasture a few times and I just go herd them back to the yard. Our chickens have always ranged in the pasture with the horses but I'm worried that the ducks aren't fast enough yet. Luckily we've never had anything stomped by the horses.

    In another month we'll herd the ducks to the big pond, I'm going to start using a duck call when I take food and treats out to them so that once they start going to the big pond I can call them home for meals and special treats.


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