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How to rehome ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wallawu, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. wallawu

    wallawu Chirping

    May 9, 2016
    Afternoon, everybody! Some of you have responded to my threads about ending up with 5 males out of a straight run of 6 ducklings. Now they're getting to the point where they're getting aggressive (~4.5 months), and it's time to give 3 of them a new home. My future mother-in-law and her husband have 6.5 acres with a pond about 35 minutes from us. That'll be quite a change from around 1/4 acre backyard with a kiddie pool. We'll be giving them the 2 mallards since they can fly. We'll take 1 Welsh Harlequin to the swap at the end of this month. He's very pretty. We have 4 female ducklings coming in from Metzer this week! (Cayuga & Welsh Harlequin)

    Several concerns:

    1. There's a fence at the edge of their pond. The ducks are used to staying in a fenced area. If they see the water, I'm sure they may fly over the fence (it's downhill so they'll clear it easily), but won't be able to find a way to fly back over (not much land on the other side/ducks aren't very smart), especially with this being a new home that they don't consider home yet. Should I just buy them another kiddie pool and hope they ignore the pond for a bit?

    2. I'd like to get them to accept this place as home as quickly as possible. Any tips or tricks to do this would be great.

    3. They've recently been giving us trouble getting them in the house at night. That started when it rained here for 10 days straight and they wanted to stay out and play in it. Since then, it's been a real fiasco. I'm afraid it will be an even bigger chore to get them to go up at night with 6.5 acres to roam, and that's on top of the pond. They'll have plenty of places to be in cover (under decks, an unused horse stall, etc.), but shouldn't they be closed in at night?

    4. They have around 18 chickens, free range during the day. At the moment, several young roosters, but they plan to thin them out soon. The chickens stay near the house and the pond is probably 120 yards away from that. Even though the 1 or 2 roosters they keep will be 18-20 pounds, I've heard ducks can really hold their ground, playing the confidence game. One of them is pretty aggressive, so I believe it.

    The mallards are the best equipped for the location, and they have several dogs that are in a pen on the property, never had chickens killed on the property by an outside threat. This transfer is probably going to cost me a couple hundred bucks since I'll be buying/building another shelter for them, and some shavings, food/containers, and water containers to keep them going awhile (after all, they're doing us a favor), so I want to make sure I do this giving them the best odds of survival.

    As always, I really appreciate any responses with your experiences or ideas.

  2. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Songster

    Apr 19, 2016
    I hope this is helpful! That's very caring of you to invest so much in your ducks. I hope it all works out!
    1 person likes this.
  3. wallawu

    wallawu Chirping

    May 9, 2016
    By the looks of it, I'd say the fence is 4 feet. I'm not really wanting to clip their wings because they come in handy when they want to get away from something. They've never flown out of the backyard, but if they get excited/spooked they'll flutter over to the other end of it. They may have another gate out there they can open. The only one I know if is chained shut because it's in the corner of the property, hard to see at night.

    Trying to lure the 6 of them with peas has been hit or miss, but the mallards seem to be more willing to follow than the WH's. I'll give this a shot once we figure out the housing situation.

    I'm hoping the ducks and roosters can come to a mutual understanding.

    I filled up their pool this morning and had to take it away after a few minutes because they were taking turns trying to mount the lady. They've just started this, and for now it's only in water. I'm glad we've already made plans for them to go. The two males we're keeping are the least aggressive. Her Black Swedish counterpart does a pretty good job of protecting her, and the WH we're keeping seems to have no interest in those types of activities. Hopefully the removal of these extra fellows can take away some stress and get her laying some eggs!

    Thanks for your advice! If anyone else can add in some tricks and tips, it would be appreciated!
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Just making some guesses, but when ducks are rehomed, I have been told it's best to keep them confined for a couple of weeks so that they learn that this is where they live.

    Now, I would say not confined to a coop, but to some kind of pen that they cannot fly out of.

    Dealing with the pond - hmmmm. I reckon if they can fly, that they could clear a fence around the pond from either side.

    The chickens need to be kept safe from drakes mating with them. The chickens themselves may take care of that, but it's something to be aware of. Drakes can injure or kill a hen mating with her. At the same time, many people run mixed flocks at least during the daytime.

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