Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Miss Ducky, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    Either tonight or tomorrow some relatives are coming up to visit for a few days. This entourage will include two 8-year old cousins and 2 small dogs. We haven't told them that I have ducklings yet as it is a "surprise". My cousins will be absolutely thrilled. Me? Not so much. I love my family, and I even love the dogs, but I am absolutely TERRIFIED for my babies. [​IMG] The door to the room that they are kept in will be closed 24/7 while they are here, but the door doesn't always latch securely. It's not a big deal at all-you just give it a little tug-but my cousins won't remember to. I'm going to make a rule that no one goes in without me, but I'm fairly certain that that the cousins are going to try to sneak in anyways at least once. I don't mind much because I don't think they would try to take them out of the pen (But what if they do?! The duckling will run from them and the cousins would chase them and be all rough.... [​IMG]) mainly I'm worried that the door won't latch and a dog will get in [​IMG] I know I'm overreacting but I'm just so worried about my ducklings!!
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Do you have a neighbor or friend who would keep your ducklings until the relatives are gone?
  3. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    I probably could, but I would rather have them close to me. I don't think mom would go for that idea, she looking forward to seeing how excited the kids get when they see the ducklings. I am too, and I don't mind them holding them and such as long as I or an adult is supervising. Do you think it would be overreacting if I called and asked that she doesn't bring her dogs? I mean, the door will be closed all the time... I'm also kind of worried about the noise level and excitement this crew will bring. It is going to be LOUD, and the ducklings are used to it being very quiet and calm. Oh well... guess they'll have to get used to it sooner or later.

    Mom has being teasing me about being a 'Mother Hen' to these ducklings. I am a bit obsessive and overprotective... But hey-they're my babies!
  4. Captain Cluck

    Captain Cluck Songster

    Jun 19, 2009
    Central Florida
    Before they get to your place, go to the store and buy yourself one of those kid-resistant doorknob covers, a door closer that attaches on the door hinge and a spring loaded hook & eye set. (this is the set where the hook has a spring loaded cover that must be pulled back to un-hook it. Very child resistant. Even some adults resistant) and one or 2 child safety gates.

    Install the door closer in one of the hinge pins. You can do it, easy. Adjust it to close the door tightly.

    Install the spring-loaded hook & eye up high on the door jamb where the kids will have to get a chair to get to it and an adult will have to look up to undo it. fasten the hook. practice undoing it so you are able to open the door quickly.

    Add the child resistant doorknob cover to the doorknob facing out of the room. This won't stop anyone, but it may slow them down.

    (Or knit or make a fabric doorknob cover out of a circle of fabric large enough to completely cover the doorknob all the way to the door. If you make it big enough to cover the shank of the door knob, you can put tape over the fabric that covers the shank so the cover cannot slip off the doorknob "accidentally". Just be careful that the tape doesn't stick to any part of the doorknob or shank. You want it to slip and slide when the kids try to open the door.)

    Once they arrive, sit down with the entire group and have a friendly rules session. Make sure everyone understands and follows the rules:

    We have baby ducks. For their safety, we have these rules.
    1) Only adults are allowed to open the duck room door
    2) No dogs in the duck room
    3) No ducks out of the duck room
    4) Duck room door must be pulled shut every time. You must hear the click of the latch.
    5) Anyone not co-operating with these rules will not be allowed duck time.

    Post the rules on the duck room door.
    Kids who want duck time will co-operate.

    Finally, depending on how well the dogs can jump, put up the child safety gates in the door jamb outside the door anyway to keep them out and slow down the kids. If the dogs can't jump, you may only need one and can step over to go in the duck room. If they can jump, you will need 2 gates - the higher one will need to be taken down and put up whenever someone goes into the room to keep the dogs out.

    Or, put leashes on the dogs and tie them up, or segregate them in another room.

    Yes, this is a lot of work. But it is worth it if you want to protect your ducklings.

    We have kids, cats, dogs ducks and chickens and eggs in the incubator. Those eggs are locked up tighter than Fort Knox because of our grandchildren's 'helpfulness'. At ages 5 and 3 they want to turn eggs, adjust the incubator, give physical therapy to an injured hen, and generally help with anything to do with the animals. Unfortunately, they have very short attention spans and small, cute, less than skillful hands. So they are carefully supervised when they want to see or hold the cuteness.

    Hope the visit goes well and everyone has a good time!

    ETA: If you think you can reach them before they leave, go ahead and ask them to leave their dogs at home. It is your house, after all. Or do you have some dog crates you could put the dogs in when they are not being supervised? To cut down on the mayhem?
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  5. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    ^ Good advice there [​IMG]

    I say do whatever you feel necessary to keep the little ones safe, after all it is better to have a slightly disappointed child than an injured duckling! Keep an eye out for the kids sneaking off then you can ensure that if they do try and see the ducks without supervision you can stop them [​IMG] Also make sure that their parents know the rules so that they can tell them to behave [​IMG]
  6. duck walk

    duck walk Songster

    Jun 13, 2009
    white springs, fl
    Maybe an eye hook ? or some sort of latch at the top of the door out of reach of short people? Did not get to read all posts so if someone else already suggested this....sorry...
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Miss Ducky, I think it is good to be concerned, and a plan will help.

    Is there a way you can place a barricade inside the door, so that when it is left unlatched, and when the dogs push it open while everyone is distracted doing something else, there is something sturdy between them and the ducklings? I don't want to worry you, but I had this situation when I was a teen, and I lost a few ducklings between my little cousins and my own dog (I kept the dog out of the room, but the cousins would leave the door ajar).

    My experience has been that in spite of good intentions, many people just do not have the ability to stay tuned in to the welfare of little animals. They don't mean any harm, but they are like a storm or a fire - they are trouble when it comes to keeping animals safe.

    Your ducks do not need to leave their home - but I hope you will be able to make the perimeter of their space secure. This is where allowing your nightmare scenarios to inform you of what might happen come in handy. What might go wrong? How will you protect against that? Instruction helps, but does little to really protect the ducklings.

    Could you place a hook and eye latch up high on the door so that only an adult can reach it? Can you get ahold of one of those accordion gates (the taller the better) that stretch across the doorway? I used a puppy playpen as a brooder. Can you find something like that to go around the existing brooder area?

    I had a heavy folding panel (three wooden panels, hinged together) that I used in the doorway to the brooder room. It was over six feet tall, and the cats could not push past it. I even had a hard time moving it when I needed to get it out of the doorway!

    Those are my thoughts. Please do not let someone's accusation of obsession or overprotection let you fail to do something you know will protect the ducklings. You won't feel good about it. In fact, once you get a secure setup in place, you will be able to relax and enjoy the visit to the fullest!
  8. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    Thanks guys! This defiantly makes me feel better about being an overprotective mom! I will be showing this thread to my mom and discussing with her what we might do. We can't really do anything permanent, as they are living in my sister's room right now. (She's student teaching out of state for the summer) I will be in the room a lot (I will be sleeping there while the relatives visit) but I can't be there all the time! I am thinking about keeping the ducklings in a medium sized kennel for the stay, as it is secure enough to protect them even if the dogs get in; but here's the problem: If I keep them in the chicken wire pen, I don't think that the kids will try to take them out, as it is tall and I lift it up to take them out, but it won't to much good if the dogs get in. If I keep them in the kennel, they will be protected from the dogs, but the kids might try to take them out, and be rough with them. (If they had sneaked in) So, kennel or pen?
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I like the kennel idea--depending on the particular children, the dogs are most likely the biggest threat. Most children won't be deliberately rough with the babies and tend to be very responsive to POSTED rules. I do love the idea of posting the rules, because then the grown-ups are aware of them too without having to be "told" (grown-ups can be so childish sometimes about being "told" what to do, lol), and it's a reminder that you are serious about the rules.

    Then, is there some way to make the kennel more secure from the children? Maybe an extra latch of some sort? How about a bicycle lock, one with a long cord that clicks together?

    Another possibility is to put them up high when you're not going to be there--on top of a chest of drawers? On a high shelf? It's a pain for you, but the children won't have access. How about a locked closet?

    Good luck. I hope it's fun for everyone, and that the children turn out to be incredibly gentle and thoughtful and easy to get along with. [​IMG]
  10. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Perhaps you can put a baby gate in front of the door.

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