New to Ducks and Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Iamgrateful, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Iamgrateful

    Iamgrateful Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband just bought two Pekin ducklings that he plans to have live out at our pond (approx. 50 x 150'). Right next to the pond is an old sheet metal barn tat we thought would be good housing for them. I don't want predators to get them and was thinking about adding some tall fencing from the back of the barn that runs into the pond (so that a predator would have to swim into the pond to get into their yard, but the ducks could still run around free). The barn would also need some securing at the bottom because an animal could quite easily dig under as the floor is dirt.

    My question is - is this a good idea, or is it likely that predators will get them anyways? With the pond and the barn right next to it (within 30 feet or so of the pond) - what would be a good setup where we could utilize the barn that is already there? Any advice is appreciated as I want to keep them safe but be able to enjoy the pond!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    You might be able to make it work.

    Some factoids that might help are that some predators, like weasels, can fit through a one inch diameter opening.

    I use half inch hardware cloth over all openings. I also use electric fence for the night shelter.

    Predators are drawn to water features, like ponds, so expect quite a bit of predator traffic there.

    How far is this shed from the house? The farther from the house, the harder it will be to hear or see trouble.

    We have a long list of predators in the area. I looked into how each one operates, and made adjustments based on all that. Local wildlife experts can be a big help, and Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks has a section on predators.

    It is heartbreaking to lose them, so be careful.
     
  3. Nsampsel

    Nsampsel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, your pekins are going to get way too fat & heavy to fly, so bear that in mind in putting up your fence. Also, if everything freezes in winter, predators are going to be able to walk right across the ice & into the duck "house." I'm new to ducks, but I would think it may be better to try to train them to come in at night & let them out during the day with a couple of dogbox sized boxes around the pond for quick cover when needed. A couple of adult pekins will likely be able to defend the opening to a quick hiding spot easier than trying to run to the pond & swim all the way back to safety.
     
  4. Iamgrateful

    Iamgrateful Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow thanks for all your advice! Hmmmm....the barn is far from the house - we wouldn't be able to hear anything. It is probably around 200 feet or so away possibly more.

    During the day would they be fairly safe to free roam out at the pond? Perhaps we can lock them up each night. It IS heart breaking to lose them so I want to make sure they are as safe as possible but get to enjoy the large pond we have at the same time.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Other things to think about also, snapping turtles, they will eat young ducklings and attack adults biting off feet and mutalating them and otters will do the same. ponds are wonderful just remember there are dangers there also. also heard large mouth bass can and will eat ducklings. alot to think about and plan for.
    .
     
  6. Iamgrateful

    Iamgrateful Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So perhaps they can free-range around the pond during the day and live in the barn if it is secured well and they are brought in at night and locked up? Also give them a few hiding places around the pond?

    What if we installed electric fence all the way around our property? Would that help at all to keep predators out or would they just dig under the fence?
     
  7. Nsampsel

    Nsampsel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As far as electric fence goes, personally I wouldn't. Unless you go with a really tight weave to the fence, which is going to cost a fortune to fence in a large area, there are so many things that can slip thru anyway that it's not really going to do your ducks much good. A small fox, a small dog, a weasel...they can all slide right thru a fence pretty easy. A large cat or bobcat can jump over a fence or slip thru.

    My advice would still be the boxes scattered for quick cover & put them in at night. Also, bear in mind Miss Lydia's warnings about turtles & large fish in your pond. If you know they are there then they could be a danger as well. Not sure if it would help with that particular danger or not, but maybe put a small, low-floating raft in the middle of your pond & anchor it there so the ducks can climb up on it if there is danger in the pond, or even just as a place to rest if they or any ducklings they have get tired. I would even consider putting a duckbox on it for shelter as well.
     
  8. Missy60

    Missy60 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not to hijack the post but how are you all getting your ducks to come home for the night. I have one duck and she has a mind of her own. She knows her name and looks at me but basically does what she wants.
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    You feed them only at their house. NO where else. when mine were in training I would herd them into the fence where their house is. i don't have to do that anymore they go in willingly. Ducks love water so if you have a pond or stream or river close that they go into then thats a whole different set of problems as far as getting them to come home.
     
  10. Missy60

    Missy60 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah she was so good about going in her house until she started going in the creek.
     

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