My ducks are becoming feral?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Scottingitup, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2010
    Crestview, FL
    My house sits on a man made lake so this summer I figured what better than to get some ducks- so I did. Once they were able to go outside I put them there permanently. The lake is 400ish feet from my back deck so I placed a dog house closer to the water and let them be happy. All summer /fall they were perfectly friendly and would make the morning and evening run up the back yard to see me and be fed.

    Then along came Aku... a lonely cyuaga duck on the lake. After a few weeks of my guys n gals being down there he decided to join the flock. No big deal I thought. On comes winter and puberty. I have less time to spend with the ducks with the daylight changes. They have been fully feathered in adult plumage for almost 2 months now. It is now a struggle to get them to come up the hill to eat. Half the time I end up failing and just put food out in a big dish inside the dog house for them. Now they are starting to get adventurous and swim further away on the lake as well.

    Once it comes spring and egg laying time hits - I want access to the eggs and babies. I don't need 40 bajillion ducks out on the lake.


    What do I need to do to get these guys back to being more friendly like they used to be? I would like to avoid penning them as with them on the lake I dont have to worry about water access & filtering it etc.. I did spend more time with them on the weekend, should I start giving them treats?


    1 Cyuaga (male)
    2 Indian runners (1 male & 1 female)
    5 Roeuns (2 females, 3 males)
     
  2. DrinkTheRainbow

    DrinkTheRainbow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 1, 2011
    Altoona, Wisconsin
    Hi, we have a trio of Black Swedes and we have a small bridge and a creek that runs under it so we fenced it up for them and then we eventually left the small fence door open for them and they just grazed there. Can you make like a floating feeding station of corn or something like that and slowly everyday move it closer to their enclosure and keep the floating feed station there so they know that is where home is and where they can get delicious corn. For us when we need to catch chickens we throw rice out and they would come and eat that so I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard (eventually). Hope you get your ducks! [​IMG]
     
  3. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2010
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    Yeah i decided to move their little duck house further up the hill and closer to the house. I am going to do that gradually and prolly build a small pen for them to stay in with some nest boxes as well.
     
  4. ejctm

    ejctm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    VILLAGE IN THE SHIRES
    Ducks go really crazy for peas (thawed out frozen peas). You could set up a daily routine where you go out and drop a few on the ground, working up to holding your hand out with them in. The ducks will go mad for them. You could lead them away from the lake with a bowl of peas, they will be like the rats following the pied piper of Hamlin! If you need to train them to go to a particular place, then try using peas. They are quick to learn and train, especially if you repeat the actions regularly.

    Also, if you put their regular food supply somewhere nearer the house (perhaps moving it a bit closer over a few days) then they will soon get used to coming up the hill every day. You can always put it under a shelter of some sort if you need to keep it out of the rain.

    If you want to collect eggs, then I suggest you get a locking door put on the dog house, so you can lock them in at night (assuming they sleep in there). This way, when you let them out in the morning, chances are they will have laid their eggs in the dog house where you can collect them. They may still make nests anywhere else as well, so you may have to look for any ducks that seem to have "disappeared!" and raid the nests.

    I also note from your tag that you have 5 drakes to 3 ducks, which might bring you problems with mating ratios, but that is another thing!
     
  5. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2010
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    Alright the duck's have gotten worse [​IMG] I have built a pen and I am slowly capturing them and putting them in it. They aren't nearly as skittish in the pen as they were free ranging on the lake. They are however a giant pain to catch.
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Just so you know, mine go semi-feral during cold weather because (I believe) the icy ground is uncomfortable on their wet feet. They'll tend to spend the nights on the lake when possible, but as soon as the weather is mild & the ground unfrozen, they come back up for treats & nights in their pens. So you may have better luck in spring.

    Of course, it never hurts to keep them familiar with you by daily offering treats. I also ONLY feed mine in their pen at night, so they know if they want to eat they have to come up and get locked in. They still choose the lake some nights, but they eventually get hungry enough and come up.

    Good luck! I bet it will all work out. [​IMG]
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Another idea: What if you just start leaving food in their pen all the time, then gradually make it only in the evenings, but don't close the pen on them at first. Then, when they're solidly in the habit of going into the pen for food every evening, you can start closing it. They're strongly creatures of habit, so that should do the trick with minimal stress.
     
  8. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2010
    Crestview, FL
    Yeah I will be doing the food and treat trick as well. Thanks for the advice everyone!
     

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