New to ducks - lake questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by boothlake, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. boothlake

    boothlake Hatching

    Apr 3, 2016
    We moved to a private lake community a few months ago and we live right on the lake. I bought 6 ducklings a few days ago. We have 4 pekins, 1 mallard, and 1 khaki cambpell (think that's what it is.) We've got them set up with everything they need in a huge dog kennel (heat lamp, clean food/water, paint pan for swimming, clean shavings, etc.) I've brought them in during the night to keep them warm.

    My ultimate plan is to slowly acclimate them to the lake. We have a kiddie pool for them when they are bigger, so they won't go straight to the lake. I plan on building a duck house in the next few weeks and when they are bigger, I'll get them to sleep in their house at night.

    If I let them out myself in the morning to go to the lake then put them back up before nighttime, will they be relatively safe??

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Glad you are thinking ahead.

    I must say, my personal feeling is that a lake is not a safe place for domestic ducks. Yes, people do it. I hear so many stories about what happens when the predators find them.

    Also, is the bottom 2 to 3 feet of the dog pen (I am guessing it's chain link) covered with half inch metal hardware cloth? If not, predators can reach through the fence and pull the ducks out bit by bit. And check to make sure the bottom of the pen doesn't have a gap. They'll reach under as well.

    Since it's not the way I manage my flock, I cannot give you suggestions about the lake, but I do wonder how you are going to get them to come in from the lake. I have read stories of duck owners trying in vain to get their ducks in for the night from off the lake.

    Welcome to the duck world! They steal our hearts [​IMG]
  3. boothlake

    boothlake Hatching

    Apr 3, 2016
    They're in a big dog kennel that has a plastic bottom. I hadn't thought about them not coming in at night. I saw some duck houses that had a "doggie door" so they could come in and out, I wonder if that would help. I'm totally new to this so any suggestions would really help. I've only had them a few days but I'm already hooked.
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    If you have them out in the grass in the kennel, you can pull the plastic bottom so they can have fun with bugs in the dirt/grass.
    They are going to outgrow even a huge kennel quickly for 24/7 confinement.

    Are you going to have any time of run with the duck house?
    I'd personally start on that duck house now and if not building a run, set up a temp fencing for them so they have some space to grow.
    I raised 3 ducklings using a great dane sized kennel and it becomes night time or bad weather housing only after 2-3 weeks. Then I build them temp fencing in the yard (first batch was on the deck - ones after that were in the yard so everybody could see each other, but not get to each other) so they had more space.

    I would keep them out of the lake for a while. Get them used to their house and used to going into their house every night. Ducks are very habitual. If you get them used to doing something, they tend to keep doing it. Once they are used to going into their house at night, then start letting them on the lake, but only a little at a time - figure out what it takes to get them back off the lake - you don't want to be kayaking out to them every night to round them up [​IMG] Once you are confident they come off the lake when you want/need them to, then let them hang out there for longer.
    But lake doesn't provide cover from aerial predators and they could decide to hang out in somebody else's yard and the neighbors may not enjoy that so much. They could also decide they don't much care to sleep in their house at night and then they are "sitting ducks" for anything that is hungry for a reasonably easy meal.

    Mine will walk through fire for peas. If i have peas, they will often do whatever I ask. Peas are cheap, so I just walk them to their house every night with peas.
    When we aren't here at dusk, 96% of the time, they go into their house on their own. The other 4% they are on their pond and I lure them out with peas pretty easily.

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