How long should I keep ducks locked up?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LydiaB, May 29, 2012.

  1. LydiaB

    LydiaB In the Brooder

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    May 28, 2012
    I got some ducks yesterday and I am wondering how long they need to be locked up in their new house. I need them to eat (potato)bugs ASAP. I will be clipping their wings so they won't fly away.
     
  2. Apyl

    Apyl Songster

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    How old are they? Do you have a fenced yard? What breed? When are you clipping the wings?
     
  3. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Songster

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    I would give them 5-7 days to get used to their area and you.
    Ducks are easy to herd - especially compared to chickens - but they respond better to someone they are used to (at least my ducks - I am the only one they cooperate with).
    I catch bugs I want them to eat & bring them into the coop as a treat - it seems to motivate them to go hunt for them more.
    They'll make quick work of those potato bugs. I keep my ducks in the garden, so very little herding is required. They took out the Japanese Beetles on my raspberries in a matter of hours last year, and kept at it until they were all gone. My neighbors also had awful trouble with tomato horn worms, but I had none. I am sure the ducks were the difference.
     
  4. LydiaB

    LydiaB In the Brooder

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    May 28, 2012
    I would let the 2 adults and their 4-6 week old ducklings out. I am keeping the younger ducklings and their mom locked up a little longer. I am planning to clip their wings later today. They will not be in a fenced yard. We have 5 acres and the neighbors don't mind if they wander on their property. Our driveway is 1/10 of a mile long, so they won't wander into the road.
     
  5. Apyl

    Apyl Songster

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    If thats the case then I would clip the adults if you dont want them flying and let them out. Herding them back into the coop may be hard at first but they'll get use to it.
     
  6. LydiaB

    LydiaB In the Brooder

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    May 28, 2012
    Thanks! I have to clip their wings because our dog is a little too interested in flying birds. He doesn't mind birds that don't fly, though.
     
  7. LydiaB

    LydiaB In the Brooder

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    May 28, 2012
    I let them out and they vanished. We heard them quacking outside the house after dark last night. They are used to being free, the person I got them from doesn't lock them up at night, so I am sure they will be fine. We have a dog that keeps wild animals out of our yard. Hopefully they will come back sometime.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    LydiaB,

    Congratulations on your new ducks! I hope we see photo's soon.

    What breed of duck are they? Many don't fly anyway, not more than a few feet at a time.

    And I don't mean to upset you, but I just had a very sad, intense couple of days, the result of a raccoon killing a duck flock. My friend had thought things were secure enough. She has dogs, too. Please work at getting them into a more enclosed, manageable area.

    How large an area is your yard? Type of fencing, if any? Local predators? Neighbors' animals?
     
  9. LydiaB

    LydiaB In the Brooder

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    I have some pictures on a different post(help identifying duck breeds). We have a 5 acre yard. The goats have a fence. Our neighbors have some dogs, but they don't come near our property. We are surrounded by land that is being rented by a farmer and it is for sale, but the closest house is about 1/9 of a mile away. We have never had any animals get our chickens and no racoons stole our corn last year. our dog is outside 24/7. If I can find them, I will lock them up at night, however they hide really well. We have some woods near our house as well. I have water out for them, I will be putting a kiddie pool out as soon as I buy one. They also could go down to the marshy area. Our dog is a really good guard dog, so I think they will be fine. They are mutt ducks. I think they have some mallard in them. one of them looks like a WH. They fly really well. You should have seen us trying to catch them to bring home:)The purebred ducks I have are much tamer and I lock them up at night.
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Wow, you have an adventure on your hands!

    I have been told that millet attracts birds very well. Perhaps you could sprinkle a trail from where they spend time, up toward a more secure spot.
     

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