Need Help planning a duck safe habitat!!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by UrbanBlueShamrock, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. UrbanBlueShamrock

    UrbanBlueShamrock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Berkeley Springs
    Hello all! This is a question I'm posing for my mom. I just received my first Ancona ducklings. Being as they are so incredibly cute my mom was interested in taking a pair of ours. We have our nice secure well researched duck habitat however she has a completely different situation and I was hoping for some ideas on housing issues and if it would even be feasible. She lives on a 40 acre farm in the middle of the mountains she has a decently large pond in her horse field. Obviously would be great for a set of ducks the problem is predators. How do you keep ducks safe on a pond? She cant fence the whole pond in b/c the horses use it. So how would you provide a safe place for the ducks? I know she doesnt want a lot of upkeep with them ie letting them in and out every am/pm. The only main predator I'd be worried about are dogs. She has quite a few that are use to running/hunting in the surrounding woods. All suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!
    Thanks so much!
     
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she doesn't want to put them away every night, something is going to get them sooner or later. Likely sooner.

    My neighbors have muscovies. They let them fend for themselves and the ducks do a good job at it, but they find they lose one every now and then.
    I found this coyote laying outside my garage the day Blue died (it had nothing to do with it, but was why I ran into the yard to check on the ducks and then found Blue). He was injured and hot and just looking for shade to rest in and then went to the neighbors. She's in her late 70's early 80's and we'd called her to see if her SIL was home yet and had a gun we could borrow to remove said coyote. Well, she was out back yelling over to us and it went to her yard (well, the horse pasture) and she was afraid for the ducks.
    Their pond was drying up (is dry now) and the ducks are used to just heading to the middle of the pond for protection.
    Can't do that when the pond water is only ankle deep...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. UrbanBlueShamrock

    UrbanBlueShamrock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Berkeley Springs
    EEk!!! Thanks for the reality check. Is there anyway around having to put them up at night? Could safe space be provided? Like a duck house with a fence around it with a small entrance?? would they even use that?
     
  4. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your Mum will need to shut them away unless they are permanently in a secure enclosure. The enclosure will need cleaning out regularly though. If you want to keep ducks healthy, safe and clean then they are pretty high maintenance. Would it be better if you mother 'owned' two of your ducks but they lived at your place till she has her duck enclosure set up?
     
  5. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Durham, Connecticut
    If she can make an island out in the middle of the pond with a duck house it will help against land predators, but owls will get them at night and hawks will take them during the day if they have no shelter to hide in.
     
  6. UrbanBlueShamrock

    UrbanBlueShamrock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Berkeley Springs
    The island is an excellent idea!!! Thanks Durham! She was planning to build a house for them it was fencing the pond which was the problem since its a communal watering hole.
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    There is a farm not to far from me and they have pekin & Rouen and they have a little 'house' in the middle of the pond.. i know they don't lock 'em up at night because we drive by often at all hours and see them... that other pic is scary [​IMG]
     
  8. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:The safest thing that I have seen for ducks (other than a big total cage) was a floating island with a 'village' of small shelters that the ducks used for nests on it. I think it was made of pallets just roped together with 2 liter soda bottles underneath for better floatation. with two ropes that could center the island in the pond or to pull it to a bank for cleaning, repairs,grathering eggs etc. The owner claimed that a dog or coon swiming out would give himself away by rocking the boat and the ducks could out swim them. Air attacks could be avoided by shelter in the little boxes. The owned claimed that he had only lost ducks to turtles so he kept a couple float lines baited for them. of course if you live where the pond will freeze over its not a great answer
    BTW I used to have a video called Mallard beats Eagle. Every time the eagle would attack from the air. the mallard would dive and surface elsewhere. This went on until the eagle got its feathers water soaked and struggled to get out of the water and the mallard than flew away.
     
  9. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    An island is a good idea but the ducks will take a while to learn that safety is on the water. They may sleep on the banks at first where they will be vulnerable. Your Mum should just be aware that unless it is fenced with predator-proof fencing then there is going to be a risk to the ducks.
     

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