Let em loose...now can't get em back in their pen!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Workinthedream, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Workinthedream

    Workinthedream Out Of The Brooder

    Ok so last weekend we decided our 10 black swedes were old enough to finally go out to the pond and their permanent place of residence. I built them a duck house with a sliding front door, bedded them down for the first night and then came the big day! We let them out (or at least opened the door) and....nothing. They wouldn't come out. I made a big door on the other side of the house for cleanout purposes, so I put my 5 yo in and let him slowly shoo them out of the house. They walked up to the water but they didn't run and jump in like I thought they would. Oh well, I was finishing up the fence around the pond and the 1.5 acres that I set aside for them so I kept a watch on them. That night I just kind of herded them back into the pen. Next day I opened the door and out they came headed straight for the water. Eventually one of them got in and then it became a free for all! They were all going crazy splashing around and diving under the water. Really funny to watch their unbridled joy.

    So night came around and time to put them back in the duck house (because that is where everyone says they have to be or then will get eaten!) and we spent an hour trying to get them out of the water. No luck. Finally left them out (worried the whole night) and went out to check on them in the morning. All were fine and looked at me like "What? Why were you worried?". They have been out for about 2 weeks now. As far as I can tell they have never used the duck house. But now I am worried again....like all of the rest of the country we are scheduled for record lows here tonight (14F) with a high tomorrow of 24F. I have been out when they were swimming around with ice on the edges of the pond (gave me chills just to watch - brrrr) but am worried that they will not use the structure I built for them tonight. There isn't any electricity out there (because I just wasn't expecting these low temperatures in our location - God's sense of humor again!) and they are getting most of their food from the pond as they are not going through a 7 lb feeder every 4 days. Any ideas if I should be worried or what I can do to entice them into the duck house? They are only 10 weeks old so although they look full grown I don't think they have enough experience to know if I was offering them something really tasty to lure them into their house. Any suggestions? Thanks
     
  2. Workinthedream

    Workinthedream Out Of The Brooder

    Here they are on day one!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Get some help, a few people. Get a small boat, canoe, kayak or chest waders so that one or two can go out on the water and get behind them to herd them toward the shore. Use temporary fence to guide them into their little house. You might try a trail of peas or mealworms - they may get the idea - my ducklings loved anything green.

    Make sure they have abundant, dry, decent quality (no mold) bedding. I like using bales of shavings - they stack two-high nice and safely, and are a great barrier against wind.
     
  4. Workinthedream

    Workinthedream Out Of The Brooder

    My wife has a kayak...we may try that before it gets too cold. Thanks for the idea!
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Kim Link at Majestic Waterfowl told me how they do rescues . . . so she gets the credit.
     
  6. bosingleton

    bosingleton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At least yours are in your pond! My rouens decided the neighbors is much better... They were all going to the coop every night until the wild mallards migrated down so they stay with them 24/7. Good luck.
     
  7. Harriet&Lucy

    Harriet&Lucy Out Of The Brooder

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    Somebody could make their fortune by inventing a pond sweeper for this sort of situation.

    Husband and I were amusing ourselves with the possibilities. I favored a motorized net sweeper. He thought maybe a pivoting gate.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    How about a three foot long rubber ducky with a motor, you could attach one end of a net fence to a pole on its back, and radio control its journey across the pond behind the errant ducks?

    Workinthedream, I hope you don't mind a little wistful humor, I know you are concerned about your ducks. Prayers that you all get squared away safely and soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  9. Workinthedream

    Workinthedream Out Of The Brooder

    Okay so we went out to our pond and my wife jumped into her Kayak, the one I bought for her for Christmas in 2012, and we are proud to report that the ducks are all safe in their home. I wish someone had a camera recording the scene when I opened up the clean-up door to escort the ducks in, but unfortunately wasn't quick enough to close the front sliding door. In one door out the other the ducks left, making a run for the open pond. My wife and I were back at it again trying in vain to safely put our 10 ducks away for the night. But, as stated above, and after a little patience all is well. Thanks for the advice and humor. Believe me humor is always appreciated. Now if only the row cover on our onions and garlic had gone as well...must be blowing 25 mph out there...oh well..
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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