New (suprise) Cayuga owner, need resources

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PocketSand, May 19, 2016.

  1. PocketSand

    PocketSand New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    May 18, 2016
    North Idaho
    Completely new to keeping yard birds but I am taking over for someone whos situation changed and they had to give up their 2 Cayugas. Research brought me here and I am comfortable with the basics but am still looking for general and especially breed specific resources.

    Currently they are in a ruubermaid bin inside but it is time for them to move outside. They always avoided the heat lamp but it is definitely a necessity with our cold nights. I have a coop but am modifying it for our cold climate and my personal ease (hints on coop modifications are appreciated also).

    The idea is for them be free in my yard during the day but closed up at night. Specific questions are below and any info helps.

    Duck questions:

    They are extremely skittish. I will be introducing treats (list from this site is awesome) and hoping this helps them realize I am a friend but is there anything else I can do? I hate to see them avoid me when I show up and panic when I get them to clean their bin.

    I am worried about rounding them up when I first free them during the day. Any suggestions?


    Coop questions:

    I read about ramp dangers. My coop is elevated (10 inches or so) in the center section. What angle of ramp is appropriate and should I put rungs on it to help the traction?

    A few watering issues. I had a smaller water bottle but it empties fast so I bought a 3 gallon self watering trough that I can also use when winter comes. So far they empty whatever water is in the jug at some point during the night but I am not sure how. Then I have to clean out their bin because I don't want them standing in soggy straw. Will this stop when I get it moved to the coop? I am really hoping it fixes with more space because of the necessity of water.




    I have a million more questions but these are the only ones I can come up with now. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,873
    328
    238
    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    @RavynFallen
    Welcome! I have am new with ducks as well do hopefully someone with more experience chimes in.
    If you look you should be able to find a thread that is dedicated to the Cayuga Ducks.
    Ducks tend to imprint on a person or creature within the first few days of life. They have now been seperated from who they imprinted on, so that causes stress. Give them time they will get to know you.
    What was recommended to me is to place their water in a pie plate filled with marbles or Rocks. This catches the water they spill and keeps everything from getting wet.
     
  3. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    31,210
    17,483
    676
    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Pics of your coop would help, I'm having a hard time understanding and picturing what you are working with...

    The waterer issue is typical duck... ducks will empty any and all regular chicken waterers, that's just what they do, lol... for younger onss I use milk jugs with holes cut out at back height and just big enough for their heads but not their bodies... make new ones as they outgrow them... this gives them water that is *harder* for them to splash out and deep enough for them to wash out their nares and eyes... they will still get wet though...

    Having water inside the coop once they are older is a personal choice... some do and some don't... the big thing to remember with ducks is if you give them access to food, they absolutely have to have access to water... if you don't leave food in the coop at night and temps aren't too warm, then they can be ok without water for the night...
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,984
    1,959
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Hi!

    Welcome!

    Some water management ideas.


    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/641902/created-a-water-saver-for-my-duck-brooder

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/679433/water-water-everywhere/10

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/858161/feed-water-solution-for-brooder#post_12901321

    http://frankiemakes.blogspot.ca/2012/06/watering-solution-for-ducks.html

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/259876/do-your-ducks-have-water-at-night/10#post_13568197

    post number 8 from this
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/959603/ducklings-getting-stuck-on-their-backs#post_14939819

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/969751/help-baby-ducklings#post_15125952


    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/641902/created-a-water-saver-for-my-duck-brooder

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/679433/water-water-everywhere/10

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/858161/feed-water-solution-for-brooder#post_12901321

    http://frankiemakes.blogspot.ca/2012/06/watering-solution-for-ducks.html

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/259876/do-your-ducks-have-water-at-night/10#post_13568197

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...for-water-for-ducks-and-chicks-in-the-brooder

    --------------------------

    Everything likes to eat duck. Please protect them in the daytime, too.

    If they are three to seven weeks old, there is a phase most ducklings go through when they lose that trusting outlook and become very afraid.

    Approaching them silently, cornering them, looming over them are very stress-producing. Making sounds before you come into sight, approaching them as low as you can get, trying not to corner them make a huge difference. Treats help, too. Be patient - mine were like that and they came around quite nicely.

    I invested in some temporary poultry fence and used that to direct them and guide them at first.
     
  5. PocketSand

    PocketSand New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    May 18, 2016
    North Idaho
    Trying to respond in order, but I suspect this just posts at the bottom. They are named Diana and Apollonia.

    @OrganicFarmWife , thanks. I originally went with the rock in an auto water-er but had to leave for two days and understood the water issue @RavynFallen mentioned with their craws. They were going through the jugs I had cut and put in their bin too quickly so I got the chicken waterer. Doesn't sound like that is a solution but I haven't gotten through the links posted by @Amiga yet. I would like to leave them water in the coop but will eventually regulate their food.

    I did look and find two threads for Cayugas but it was mostly people showing theirs and I am looking for specifics about the breed like optimum diet, height, weight (really too big to fly?) comfortable temps, water needs (to swim and clean aside from nares and eyes).

    Coop pics are below, the gap between ground and center is about 10 inches, there is a center insert behind the coop in the first picture. There will be no ramp in the front, the pic is just an example of the angle. Ramp advice is what I was looking for in the first post, I will probably replace the two the coop came with. The ramps are important since I am closing up the right side to winterize it. For now, it will get a lamp since the nights are cold here still and then later it will get some sort of insulation. There are doors at both sides but I was thinking of sealing the right side.


    As long as they don't leave the yard during the day I feel they are safe. If there is a threat of them clearing the fence (see weight question) then that is an issue but I am comfortable with my yard in the daytime, definitely an urban environment (but fortifying the coop for nights - raccoons et. all.). There are dogs over both fences though so if they go over that is a huge issue.

    I feel like they are coming around, definitely talking to them a ton and they don't panic when I show up. Treats are coming soon.

    Really like the idea of temporary fencing but I still suspect it will be a long roundup for the first few nights they are loose.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Thanks for all the input!

    It may be a few days before I get through the links but I really appreciate them.
     
  6. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,362
    175
    181
    Apr 19, 2016
    If you need ideas for a waterer, I use one of those mineral feeders, like this:
    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...l-feeder-2x175-qt-capacity-black?cm_vc=-10005
    It is at a level where they can reach it but high enough that somehow it prevents alot from being spilled. Outside, they have a concrete mixing pan for a waterer for when they are free ranging, and a 4 qt. feed pan for a waterer for when they are just in their pen.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,984
    1,959
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I find that Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks is a good resource, and I like the much larger, pet-oriented, The Ultimate Pet Duck Guidebook.
     
  8. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

    495
    79
    81
    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    Cayugas can fly but not so well that I thought I need to clip wings.

    My biggest hen who was very large for a Cayuga got about 6 ft off the ground but she really had to expend energy to do it.

    I routinely had issues with them fly-hopping over 4 ft poultry fence. But that stopped when I upgraded to 48 inch.

    My girls live the ramp that goes up to their 70 gallon pond. It doesn't have railings but it does have a no slip surface, it was at about a 45 degree angle before I rearranged things this spring. Now it's at about a 25 degree angle.

    Ducks are herdable and are mine are quite good at it. You can use sticks or flashlights to project a longer sideways reach if you need it. Don't project your shadow onto the area you want them to go. That looks like a predator waiting to eat them to their ducky brains.
     
  9. Quackalackin

    Quackalackin Out Of The Brooder

    63
    4
    33
    May 3, 2016
    Oregon
    I will be getting two Cayugas this weekend as well, except I've only been getting adult ducks. I adopted a flock of 6 a few weeks ago and they were all quite terrified of my presence, but they're coming around to trusting me more. I let them outside in a large yard during the day, sometimes they free range, and they sleep in my barn at night. The first couple days I wheeled them in a dog crate back and fourth from their daytime and nighttime areas, but now I just walk them. They know where we are going as its where they get fed, I just walk behind them and keep them moving. If I shake their food dish they will also follow me. Treats in the middle of the day are helping them appreciate my presence as well. I still can't pick them up or feed them from my hand though. I also always announce my presence by saying "hey ducks" before I startle them. I think it just takes time, patience, and calmness to gain their trust. Hopefully since you have young ones you will be able to get to a nice tameness level! I'm really just hoping for a general calmness in my presence with my flock, I don't really expect them to walk up to me on their own though without food motivations :p

    As for water, outside they are allowed to make a mess of their kiddy pools as it out on a dry area in warm weather for now, but in the barn I have a 5 gallon dog waterer for them that's raised to keep their butts out of it. I've been surrounding this water area with wood shavings that I have to replace every one or two days. I've been thinking about shaping out a 4x4ish foot plastic tub area around the water and doing the rock idea from above using medium size river rocks. I think this will help contain water spillage and allow for better air drying. We'll see! Good luck to you!

    Did you hand build your coop? My ducks are in the barn at night since I've yet to make a secure coop, they just have a dog house for shelter outside right now. How much roughly did it cost?
     
  10. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

    495
    79
    81
    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    We didn't hand make our coop or pen. We had mapped out what we were going to build but found it was cheaper to use a prefab dog kennel for their enclosure. The older ducks best in the 90lb dog dogloo. And I put in a wooden dog shed before winter so they'd have a choice of shelter.

    Last years ducks spent a few months living in the garage while we built their pen. I found that the more water pans I put out for them the less overall water mess they made. I had one multi gallon pan for each duck.

    Black soldier larvae, peas, frozen corn, mealworms, and cooked potatoes all bring my girls running. They also really live cooked carrots and cooked beets and canned dog food.

    The best day my girls ever had was the day I spilled most of 2 lb bag of mealworms
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by