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Is this ok for my Pekins?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by vfem, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Well, they are almost 7 weeks old now. We put them out 3 weeks ago in the 'duck house' with was our old chicken tractor. They are nicely feathered out and the weather has had minimal cold nights for them. Good amount of rain though, but that doesn't seem to bother them.

    3 days ago we pulled the duck tractor out to the pond where they can live right on the bank. First of all, that was a whole lot of insanity... because they wouldn't go in the pond, they barely came out of the house and when we finally gave up because they were too skittish we walked back to the house to leave them there. We turn around and they are both running full force for us crying! Still wouldn't let us within a foot of them, but would follow us in whatever direction we walked.

    By dark we had to go outside where they were laying on the ground by our deck at the backdoor, and walk back to the duck house. Yep, they waddled all the way back there crying for us to slow down so they could catch up!

    Now they are comfortable with the pond, so much so that they've been over in a neighbor's yard on the otherside of the pond for awhile now! I don't think they came back to the duck house last night, nor the night before. We've had to leave the thing completely open just in case.

    Now, they were over next to the house this morning digging in the mud on the bank... but don't know if they went in to realize I fed them and brought them additional water. Is it ok for me to just leave the house open regularly and let them come and go as they please? I really was so attached I wanted to lock them up, but they aren't coming back by dark that I can find them when I'm out putting up the chickens. They seem happy and content, even when they are hiding from the Canada Geese that come land there every evening!
     
  2. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will be dinner for every predator out there !
     
  3. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Mine are never locked up at night. You do run the risk of losing them to predators. I would try to get them to come in. You may need to bribe them with some treats. Eventually they will be used to going in and out.
     
  4. xfilesnumber1fan

    xfilesnumber1fan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 6 six ducks are locked up tight every night! I have been training them that way since they were 4 weeks old when I got them last Spring...Every morning I would open up the cage they came straight out to the water were they stay all day and at night I would open up the cage and walk behind them and they would go inside..I would never leave them out only 2 of them can fly my mallard boys,my 2 mallard girls wings are clipped because they are a little nutty,the other 2 a domestic so they cant fly and are very large and slow!
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I have only had mine for 2 weeks. I keep them in the pen at night and they also have a hutch. Even with complete access during the day to my back yard, they usually stay in the pen. If I didn't lock them up at night, I am sure one of the neighbors cats would get them.
     
  6. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Well in the evening (last night and the night before) we went out with treats and they wouldn't get out of the water, though they come close to the bank. We threw out cabbage for them and they wouldn't go eat it until we walked away. They refused to come out of the water.

    Later last night I went to see if they were in their duck house to lock up, nope, out on a little grassy bank off the pond near the neighbor's yard. Its a 2+ acre pond, and its getting difficult to get their attention. Though during the day they'll come up to eat scratch with the chickens by the back deck. Its just the evenings they run off back to the pond.
     
  7. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Ok I tried to round them up again tonight... no good! [​IMG]

    They have befriended some local rouen ducks that live out there.

    They spent the afternoon with the chickens hanging out in the yard though... I'm afraid not much more I can do. I will keep trying to get them to pay attention to me with treats and stuff, but they are way to happy to be free to care that mommy wants them up for the night. There are plenty of places around the pond, plus being out in the water to keep them safe. There is even a little bank area that is fenced in and only accessible from the water by the ducks only. It may be because the rouens actually belong to that family... I don't know. I'll just keep trying to convince them to go in for more then a little food.
     
  8. ronshoney

    ronshoney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had the same problem with ours and now they just stay out where they are happy. A local farmer said as long as they have open water they can protect themselves. Your only worry there would be air borne predators.
    Mine won't come out of the water till we walk away either. For a while we were able to put their food back a bit from the water and back off till they came out and then a few of us would block their return to the water and slowly herd them where we wanted them to go. Once they got too big for the cage though it was all over. The only time they go in their house is during the day at night they are always on the pond.
     
  9. Webfoot

    Webfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, it works best to train them before they are turned loose for the first time. I call the ducks when I feed them ("Duck, duck, duck", yeah, I'm really original:)) so they learn that sound means food. Once they are responding to the call consistently, I know they're ready to be turned loose and will return to the pen at dinner time. However, we don't have a pond, so my ducks' loyalty has never been really tested!

    Kris
     
  10. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Oh they come by the bank for feeding time... and I see them in and out of the pen during the day.

    I had them raised in the house for the first 4 weeks, then they went in the pen for 2 1/2 weeks without being let out at all. They would always walk over to the food dish when I opened up the pen. But honestly, with a 2 acre pond, I really don't think a duck feels the need to respond to anyone.

    They come out of the water when they see I'm throwing scratch to the chickens and they will join in... but then right back off to the pond.

    I think they'll be fine, if not, I know what to expect from future ducks we may get. I still don't know if I have 2 males, or 2 females, or one of each?!
     

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