Approximately one year ago, three little day (or two) old mallards were orphaned at a condo I manage. After attempts at finding a wildlife rehab for them, they simply stayed with me. They have grown up with our chickens, free ranging in our yard. We have never stopped them from going anywhere and until recently, have never shown any interest. Yesterday, they kept flying up and over the fence. The mama in me opened the gate, shoo'd them back in and they would just turn around and do it again. So, I left them for a bit to see what they would do. After about 15 minutes, they had ventured a good bit of distance through the trees and into the woods. I waddled them back to the yard, as it was nearly dark. They have lived here since they were hatched but we did not "bond". I was careful not to get close to them, other than being their caregiver. Of course, they are happy here and know their "home", but I feel as though they are feeling the need to venture off. My question. Do I release them? Or do I get a hold of them and clip their wings so they cannot? I don't feel right about just letting them fly up and over the fence, leaving them to just walk into the woods (we don't have areas of water right nearby). They will surely meet an untimely death, as we have foxes, hawks, etc. If I take them to a body of water (we are near the Chesapeake Bay and have lots of little marinas off small rivers), will they be okay? They know how to forage, they know how to fly and they swim freely here in their pool. I don't want to hinder them, but I don't want to hurt them, either. Could use some advice. Thanks so much.