Island for protection?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Eggnonymous, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Carroll County, GA
    Hi all! We built a pond last summer and I am really wanting to put some duckies out there to enjoy it. It's about a 1/2 acre triangular shape and 20 feet deep on the wide end. It's also about 100 yards or more from the house. I travel and I know my DH won't want to round them up at night so I thought if they could roost on an island they'd be safe(r). I am considering 8-10 Welsh Harlequins. Does this sound like a good idea? Anyone else use this strategy? How did you train your young ducks to roost there? I have read the posts here and some other sites on island construction and think I would put a shelter of some sort on it to foil owls/hawks. Thoughts or suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  2. WVman

    WVman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2011
    Salt rock/Hamlin, WV
    First ducks don't really roost they just sleep on the ground and well they don't really sleep. Your ducks will only rest on the island if they feel like it. My ducks are just free range and they rest out in the water at night so nothing can get them. The best thing you can hope for is the ducks like your island to nest at that way nothing steals the eggs unless you want them then that could be a hassle. Hope this help.
     
  3. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Carroll County, GA
    Thanks wvman, that does help. It seems that there aren't many here who let their ducks "roam". Do you have predator problems? We have everything from fox to coyotes to hawks and owls. There is a mallard pair that have taken up on our pond and seem to be surviving okay, but I know domesticated ducks may not fair so well. What kind do you have?
     
  4. WVman

    WVman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2011
    Salt rock/Hamlin, WV
    I also have mallards. I have predators here also but my ducks seem to do ok I have had ducks my whole life, now I have lost a few over the years but that's just nature I don't lose any very often. I say your ducks will be just fine.
     
  5. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    I have runners that free range during the day in our fenced back yard and they sneak to the front (that will soon stop when I fix their escape route). At night, they come up on the deck and snooze outside their house until I go out and put them in (they put themselves to bed if we aren't here when it gets dark). We have random things around, including the neighbor vet's dogs that aren't confined to their yard.

    My other neighbors have muscovies that they let fend for themselves. They've lost one here or there. We see crushed egg bits in our front yard from whatever is snagging their eggs and snacking on them.

    Mine have always been put to bed at night and they just know the routine. If you train them (just repeat the procedure each night), they will likely just do it on their own and your husband can just close the door behind them when you are away from home.
     
  6. hippiehen

    hippiehen wastefully exuberant

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Utopia, Texas
    I let my ducks roam free during the day in the pasture - I've lost one to an eagle so far, but I have crows that nest across the field that help keep the predatory birds away plus I have a guard dog.

    Like TLWR said, I trained my ducks since they were babies to go in the pen every night so now I just walk out at dusk and shut the gate. An island might work, but raccoons are great swimmers so.... I don't know about that. Also if you have fire ants, they love taking up residence on islands!
     
  7. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Carroll County, GA
    Whoa, fire ants on a man-made island - YIKES - I guess no place is safe from those little sh#&$ except IN the water!! Those of you that free range your ducks, at what age can hand raised ducklings be introduce to independence and when you did were yours with adult ducks so they had "role models"?
     
  8. pringle

    pringle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Pepperell,MA
    I you are going to get totally free-range ducks then I suggest you get muscovys.I got a pair last summer and they escaped from there pen and went to live in our wetlands.I thought they were dead but in early fall I saw both of them swimming around and looking very healthy,I think they fed on the frogs there and a bunch of the water plants and stuff.There was a small grass island in the middle of the wetlands were they slept.But when late fall came by and it got way colder and all the insects and frogs and stuff went into hibernation the female died (I think) but the male came back and is still here.I don't have much experience with mallards but they seem like a good self-reliant breed also.
     

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