Mandarin Ducks...


8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
I want to raise some Mandarin ducks. Does anyone know if they are sedentary or will they take off. There is a pond across the street from me. I am wondering if they will leave for good or maybe go back and forth to the pond.
Mandarin ducks are wild ducks, my guess is they would leave for good. I raise mandarins, but would not dream of letting them out of their fully enclosed pen. I know a couple of people who had their mandarins get out of their pens and they never returned.
I have 8 pairs of mandarins and they all run my entire yard with the call ducks and cacklers. I clip one wing so they can't fly off, but since they can't fly they stay right with all my other waterfowl. I can get within a couple feet of them but they won't let me get any closer. I put the nest boxes close to the ground with a ramp and they nest just fine in them. For the most part though I think people keep them locked up in enclosed pens.
My original stock were pinioned but their progeny for a few generations are often not. We try and slip pinion all the ducklings but there's always a hen that manages to nest where we can't find her. They stick around -flying from pond to pond on the property but over the years several have taken to frequenting a large " pond" - really a small lake a few miles away-where wood ducks are seen throughout the summer. This is not something the game warden is happy about and I think some people shoot at them. Most people love them. I doubt they'll ever naturalise in Vermont. The clearing of oaks from these forests has been so complete there's not adequate food for the wood ducks, which is why they are so uncommon save for the same few pairs that show up on South Pond every year. Native ducks come to our ponds and fly off and so too do the few free flying mandarins. We trap most each winter as the ponds freeze by feeding inside the barn and slip pinion flighted birds but there are always a few that take to sleeping in the rafters of the hay barn flying to and from water every day. They hatch so many ducklings yet the owls and hawks get dozens while the water is open. I prefer the white Mandarins only because they stay closer. There may be a dozen + Mandarins free flying at the beginning of the spring and five by winter. Mortalities on the flightless birds is much higher yet they do survive and have ducklings year after year. This is true for every species of domestic duck we keep as well. Muscovies, Shetkands and East Indies each hatch lots of ducklings every year sometimes twice a year but most don't survive unless we catch them and lock them up. As soon as the adults are out those that take advantage of the ponds across the property any distance from central part of the farm- several will be picked off.
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