How to train adult ducks to stay near by???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Duckchick2011, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. Duckchick2011

    Duckchick2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey guys!

    I just got couple of brand new ducks. They are all adults so I was hoping to introduce them to the big lake that will be their new home. I want them to know that my home is their home...you know, I don't want them wandering too far(there are other lakes and bayous around). Is there anyway I can encourage them to stay "Near home base" so to speak???

    Does anyone out there have any experience with introducing adult birds to a new home???

    Also, can someone tell me some signs that a young adult duck will start laying soon?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  2. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    You should keep them penned up in their cop/pen if you have one for them. Otherwise, I'd feed them every day by the lake so they get used to you and it, and know that that is where YOU feed them. Good luck!
     
  3. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    How old are they?
     
  4. Duckchick2011

    Duckchick2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I'm going to keep them "cooped" up for about a week but after that I would really rather they live out on the lake. I think I'm just going to shout "dinner time" or something every time I feed them so that when they are on the lake they know that "dinner time" means they are getting fed. It's the best plan I have at the moment. :)

    They are between 3 and 6 months old.
     
  5. DucksAndGardens

    DucksAndGardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suspect as soon as they see the lake they will be gone gone gone.
     
  6. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    3-6? At 5 months mine are able to be sexed. At 6 months they start laying. At least for my Pekins
     
  7. Duckchick2011

    Duckchick2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So the ones that are 6 months should be old enough to lay...but then I guess its the wrong time of year now... Oh well, by spring they will be ready for sure. ;)

    You may be right about them possibly taking off but living in the lake is really the best set up possible. If I can make it work I can have happy healthy lake ducks and save a little on feed. I really want to try at least.


    ...Has anyone ever tried something like this and failed? Or succeeded???

    I need to hear some stories!!!!!!!!!
     
  8. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big is the lake? Can you include part of the lake in their fenced area? That's what I do so they have access to the pond when cooped up. Even on my small pond I sometimes have to wade it to herd them inside for feeding time. You may want to consider a longer break-in period. They won't respond to "dinner time" right away and if something else is attracting them they may decide that dinner time is going to be a little later today. Also, what kind of winged predators do you have? Domestic ducks can't fly and make easy targets on the water for hawks, eagles, owls, etc. Are there gators in your lake? Raccoons, otters and other predators adept at life in the water? If your ducks wander too far you may not get them back and will always wonder what happened to them.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Duckchick2011

    Duckchick2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's about 7 acres, not too big, not too small. I have a little troller motor boat that I could herd them in at night with if I need to. ...So maybe two weeks cooped up time then??? or a month? No gator's normally. We do have large birds of prey but everyone that I bought ducks from raises them free range in the same way I plan too and in uncovered pens so I don't think it's TOO big of a problem in my area. I may have to start trapping racoon to keep the population down. ...I'm definitely going to be competing with predators though. BUT I have kept a small group of ducks in this lake before and they managed for quite awhile, but I didn't take them in at night and did eventually end up losing them. Which is why I wanted to find out if there was a way to encourage them to sleep in the safety of the coop at night but free range during the day. Otherwise they will be cooped up 24/7, I'd like to avoid that if at all possible...I mean I would do it if I had too...but that really isn't the "vision".

    I feel confident I can make this work. I've seen similar things done before, from the people I bought these ducks from as well, and I am aware of the risks involved. I mean, every day life is a risk. My life is at risk every time I step outside, HUMANS die every single day but life would be pretty dull if all we ever did was stay "cooped up" in our houses because of it.(there are people that do that, it doesn't sound very fun.)

    So in the name of living life and not staying "cooped up" I plan to make this work...even if it is a lot of "work". :) So to speak...I really don't mind having a duck rodeo every night since my nights are always free anyway(I don't have much of a life myself [​IMG]). Maybe I'll invent duck wrangling as a new rodeo sport (joking of course [​IMG] )(good natured joking, I'm not being sarcastic :) )

    What I posted this up here for was to figure out how long it would take to teach them and if teaching them was possible so that I wouldn't have to wrangle ducks in every night. I already knew the risks involved.
     
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you know the breed? or the sexes? usually mallard derived by about 4wks you start to hear quacking or this undertone rasp for drakes... You don't need to wait months nor till drake feathers occur and in some breed coloration of the feathers too indicate male vs female.

    I will say in the effort of good practice this is a risk, you risk predators and most definitely not getting them back out. After that, food. food and more food.. did i mention food?? the way to a ducks heart is through their stomach if they learn you are that source they will follow you, trip you and heck knock on the front door(no, not kidding i have some who do) My Pekin will respond to a verbal command.. if i call Pekin they will come.. my scovies and buffs nope.. they'd think i was off the cogs.

    I still feel i would aim for housing that you could lock them in safely for overnight ... many predators swim too you don't want to create a 'sitting duck' but again food will be the most helpful tool for getting ducks where you want them and to come to you.

    As for laying sorry, usually around 6mths that said we are running later in the season, typically i would like to say my flock ceases in Oct and resumes in feb/mar but this summer has been hot & dry and my birds are not laying as much as typical for late summer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015

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