Free range for call ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by gryeyes, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I let my flock o' chickens and Cayuga pair range freely. My 4 call ducklings are about 12 weeks old now, maybe 13, and they are outside in a penned area. They haven't tried to fly, nor do they seem to want to swim in their dishpan pool. (I think my midget ducks are mutants or something!)

    Anyway, I was wondering if it would be safe to take down the temporary fencing where I've penned them, so they can get out and about. The funny thing is, I wanted them to be segregated but visible to the flock during their integration period, and several chickens have flown into the duck pen to eat the duck's food and just hang out. Ducklings and chickens are totally comfortable together. I might as well take the fence down, if that were the only consideration.

    I just wonder if the little duckies will come back to the duck house they sleep UNDER. Yah, they don't go inside it...

    Any comments, suggestions, recommendations?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I was sort of hoping SOMEBODy would have some words of wisdom for me. < whine >
     
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I really can't help you......I keep mine penned.
     
  4. tonini3059

    tonini3059 [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Luv

    Nov 6, 2008
    Southwestern PA
    If they return to the coop, even if it is under it, you should not have to worry about them flying away. When I used to free range mine I knew I could let them out when they went into the coop on their own at night. So I would just open up the fence the next day, they would spend it out in the world doing duck things and return at night. They may actually figure out to go into the coop since the other ducks would be going in. As far as chickens and the call ducks go I would not worry about it, I never had any problems, except a confused blue copper maran who shows a little too much affection towards the ducks, if you know what I mean. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  5. Jesse L

    Jesse L New Egg

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    Dec 27, 2010
    I let mine free roam all the time. Some nights they would come back to the barn, some nights they would sleep outside. They always stuck around though.

    The hens even hatched chicks, and at two days old they were out free roaming and swimming!
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair &amp; Feathers

    Quote:Now THAT'S what's odd! These little call ducks were terrified of swimming when they were still in the brooder, and they do NOT try to swim in their dishpan pool, at all. Just drink out of it. (With their bills full of feed, so the water gets murky right away. Same as their big cousins the Cayuga pair, who do LOVE to swim.)

    But thank you all so much for your reassurance. This weekend I am gonna take down the temporary fence so they can go exploring in the back yard.
     
  7. AliciaM

    AliciaM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Yelm Washington
    I had to clip wings since a couple of mine were flying over the fence.. and then I had to pen them up from free ranging since they would find any tiny hole in the perimeter fence and take off into the under brush....

    Wings clipped/ underbrush= me not ok with that.. LOL.. I didnt want to take the chance of the neiborhood vermin eating my ducks for lunch...

    Im working on a large pen with netting for them to be out in for the summer... soon I hope.. soon..
     
  8. 1duckychick

    1duckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    I had a sweet little call and a mallard that free ranged with my non-flyers. The problem wasn't there flying off, neither of them would fly too far away from the group, it was predators. Hawks got each of them because they were the smallest of the group - first the call then a month later the mallard [​IMG]. If predators aren't an issue you should be ok. I would just suggest you stay ut there with them the first few times and just let them out for an hour or so at a time until you feel comfortable.
     

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