Waterfowl on 20+ acre pond...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Cster71, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Cster71

    Cster71 Just Hatched

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    I'm moving onto a private property with a fully landlocked large pond. I've got chickens(RI's and Americanas)and would like to raise ducks and geese...Game plan for this is welcome. I do understand with them being "free range" keeping them in coops at night will be a chore so any advice on this is welcome. I assume feeding will attract them, but I really don't see them coming back to roost. I've got several woodie boxes and during the winter wild flights of all kinds of ducks/geese use the pond . Will the domestics stay when the others migrate ?
    I'm in SW Arkansas and the only predators are land mammals and the occasional large bird of prey(Eagles/Hawks).
    Just trying the understand the logistics of this.
     
  2. Krazyquilts

    Krazyquilts Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    :welcome

    I was going to recommend a fence around the pond, but then I remembered the 20 acre part - that would be a lil bit expensive to fence in lol.

    What is your reason or wanting ducks and geese? Is it meat? Eggs? Beauty? Just because there's a pond, so why not? Your reason for wanting waterfowl will help in advising you.

    Most domestic duck breeds are too big to fly more than a few feet so you don't have to worry about them migrating with the wild ones. Do NOT get all white ducks because they won't be able to blend in and I would think would just get picked off.

    Ducks don't roost like chickens do. They sleep either on the ground or under things, like a tree or table. Mine sleep in a house that we lock them up in at night, and because we started them in their house as ducklings, they really like it. They even hang out in it on really cold or windy days. I recently added a wicker coffee table in their pen and they love to nap under it because they can watch everything while still feeling safe and secure so now we call it "The Duck Cave."
     
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  3. Cster71

    Cster71 Just Hatched

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    Thanks for experienced advice.
    The property has been a working ranch owned by our family since the late 30's . NRCS put in a flood control watershed dam 30+ years ago and I'm relocating/home building to a small point on it. Over the years, I've put up Wood duck boxes(Very successful!) and will soon add bat boxes .Guess I am thinking about ducks "Just because there's a pond"! I may go with more of a dark Mallard type. I think it's a shame that Loons don't live here...
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Does the pond have grasses areas around it for ducks to hide in? Also snapping turtles under water is always a big concern since they love to dine on ducklings and goslings. Even on adults feet. Congrats on your wood duck success. They are so gorgeous. It is very tempting to put out domestic ducks when having such a large pond to provide but domestics take on a whole new amount of responsibility Domestic can't fly very well so getting away from predators will be difficult if left at the pond plus feeding them you maybe able to train them to come up to their pen and house you provide for them if they learn early where it is. But you'll need to provide food for them since they are domestic and have no idea how to survive on their own like your wild ones. If you put food close to the water then your going to attract other types of animals including preds. Most ducks don't sleep on the water but on the edge and that makes them vulnerable to attack plus I betcha you have mink and weasel and other types of mammals who can swim and would think it nothing to get into water if there was a nice duck dinner out the waiting for them.Not trying to completely change your mind just hoping you'll think this through real good. Sounds like a lovely place too, Just seeing the wild ducks and geese probably brings alot of joy and peacefulness. Oh and another thing is if wild and domestic breed then the whole species is getting messed with and domestics have spread disease to wild also. Lots to think about.

    @Cster71
     
  5. Krazyquilts

    Krazyquilts Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member


    Maybe you consider Muscovy ducks? From what I've heard, they seem to be able to take care of themselves pretty well.
     
  6. Cster71

    Cster71 Just Hatched

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    Miss L; It is a lot to consider..For the future, I'll follow your advice and research this better. Turtles will have been a problem, not to mention putting up with 'Free range' ducks !!
    I'll have my hands full with my other critters so ducks may go to the back burner, for now.
     
  7. jofanx

    jofanx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could build them coop on the pond? This way the only night time predator you'd have to content with are owls if they don't stay inside it?
     
  8. Cster71

    Cster71 Just Hatched

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    I have used a 'one way door' for my coops over the years . This allows the birds to enter into the protected area prior to roosting . Living in the country, they are free range and browse on anything and everything . It also gives them escape cover for those times they feel threatened.
    My Chesapeke's provide security ! To have a retriever breed so protective of their adoptive flock seems to be in their nature...very little training required.
    I plan to have a small dock and have rethought the duck option. Ducks tend to view docks as their outhouse and I've got enough to do without dealing with that !
    Thanks to all for the input.
     

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