raising ducks on a creek

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bibliophile birds, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    i'm planning on getting ducks in the next few months so i'm thinking about where to set them up on the farm. we've got a 2 acre pond but it's FULL of snapping turtles who have an overwhelming tendency to eat the ducklings. they don't bother the wild goslings (we've seen geese actually fight the turtles for their babies and win, so maybe that's why) but every time my father tried to keep ducks as a child they were eaten almost instantly upon reaching the pond.

    we have noticed lately, however, that a couple of wild ducks are raising their ducklings down on the creek until they are big enough that the turtles leave them alone, and then happily moving up to the pond. i was wondering if anyone has tried to raise their domestic ducks on a creek before? i've got a lovely spot on one of the creeks that i can easily set up a large fenced area around, but i don't know if this will work in the long run.

    any ideas or experiences?
     
  2. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    My Muscovy, during the nice months, nearly live in the creek. They aren't penned around it because it "floods" when it rains heavy but they have 24/7 access to it. I imagine if it's a big enough area it would be a great idea. But you should also check and make sure its okay with the Department of Ecology (i think thats the one) in your area. We got some crap from them for letting our cows and other animals have access to our creek. it's their water source though so we couldnt fence it off, plus it floods.

    BUT, on the other hand, if you're in a somewhat secluded area you wil probably be able to get away with just doing it.


    If it were me, i would try to get rid of or relocate those turtles, that really sucks.
     
  3. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    i would LOVE to be able to get rid of the turtles but it's near impossible. no one wants them so, short of trapping and killing them all (which is probably impossible anyway), there is pretty much nothing we can do. we're striving to stay as natural as we can around here, so we have to more or less make our peace with them. other than eating the ducklings, they don't really bother anything (we swim in the lake with no problems) but when you are specifically trying to raise ducks... well, it becomes an issue.

    the fenced area would be at least an acre and it's would be mostly a gentle slope with the creek at the bottom. the creek floods occasionally, but it's not bad. they'd have plenty of space to get away from it. i think my main concern was the strength of the water flow. it's a gentle creek unless it floods, but wouldn't it be a bit of a stressor on the ducks to constantly be swimming against the flow?
     
  4. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    Mine dont seem to mind it at all. their legs are actually REALLY strong. I know when ours floods they usually jump right in and when they get tired they will all move to the edge where they can still stand in the water but without the current.
     
  5. fogbubble

    fogbubble Out Of The Brooder

    77
    1
    41
    Dec 9, 2009
    Western NC
    We live on a small creek in the mountains of NC. Most of the time it's about 3-4 feet wide, but with all the rain since spring it's been a raging torrent at times. The ducks are all adults now so they do fine. There's a few small waterfalls, riffles, and rapids, but also some still pools where they spend most of their time. We did have a few scary moments when they were babies, though. Since they were mail-orders and we controlled when and where they visited the creek, we were able to keep them out on high-flow days. But now you have me thinking: What will we do about naturally-brooded babies with real live duck mothers who lead them into a flood? Does a mother duck have sense enough to keep her babies away from that? Hmmm...

    I'll try to post some photos of our ducks and the creek.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's a different part of our creek, where we don't allow the ducks. These are before-and-after shots of the same spot: During a dry spell, then September 2009.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One more thing: Ducks will widen and erode a creek considerably unless you limit their time on it or reinforce the banks with rocks and logs.

    Shannon
    Harlequin Creek
     
  6. LittleSquidgenHome

    LittleSquidgenHome Chillin' With My Peeps

    129
    2
    111
    Aug 21, 2009
    Michiana
    bibliophile birds- I am going to be no help with the creek business but I WISH I lived closer I would come take care of your turtle problem I was just talking to my father on Christmas about trapping our own pesky turtles, of course we are going to eat them. I do love turtle soup. But that is something you could think about finding a local trapper who would come do it for free, or even possibly have them pay a fee to trap or per turtle even. I hope you can find a way to utilize the creek, but seems a waste to not use that giant pond too. Hope someone else can actually help!
     
  7. trulefty

    trulefty Out Of The Brooder

    86
    0
    39
    Dec 12, 2009
    Magnolia, Ms
    22 rifle works great on turtles.........
     
  8. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I didn't even think about trapping them for eating (we dont really have turtles up here in WA). that would be a good way to thin the bunches if you dont wanna get rid of them all.

    I imagine that later on down the road, after the turtle & duck populations on your property increase, the turtles might get more corageous and try going after the bigger ducks because of lack of food sources.

    i just hope you get something worked out before breeding season, that would be terrible to lose your babies. [​IMG]
     
  9. priss

    priss Chillin' With My Peeps

    722
    5
    131
    Sep 13, 2009
    Isle of Wight
    That creek is in your garden? Ohhhh you are so lucky. Nobody in England has land like that...except for HM Liz!! I love my little Isle of Wight, I really do and the beer is great and the pubs with the open fires and all the little old men locals who talk about bein in the RAF in the 40s is wonderful butttttttt, darn it sometimes I really envy you Americans. There is just so much land agoing in your country. We thought we had an enormous garden cos it's 250 square foot. Lol. That is like NOTHIN compared to what you guys got!! DO NOT TELL MY DUCKS ABOUT IT OR THEY'LL WANT TO EMIGRATE!!
     
  10. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    fogbubble: that is really beautiful. we've got some nice spots on our property like that but they aren't easily accessible. my ducks will have to make do with a nice rolling hillside of open grass with tree growth around the creek. i wish i could take them up to the beautiful places, but that would involve destroying a lot of forest to get to it, which just doesn't sound like a good trade.

    eta: i just reread your post and realized your ducks aren't in the insanely beautiful part either! now i feel better. the creek that i'm thinking of is about the size of the section yours are on, but it's less woody. the bank opposite the field is where the trees are, but they are only a fencerow deep as the horse field is on the other side. the field side is mostly open with an occasional tree or shrub.

    i think i'm gonna go for it, since others seem to have good experiences. thanks everyone!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by