What can entertain my ducks?

BelValleyDaisy

Songster
Oct 10, 2015
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20
116
UK
Hi
My 2 ducks look really bored. They stay in the aviary with 5 chickens during the day, made of chicken wire so they get sunlight and all and they have plenty of food and water but what can cheer them up a bit? I won't leave them in the garden because of the cat/fox risk and they don't have a tub of water because when they do my rouhen plucks the white runners feathers. They have a tub of water outside the aviary and we let them out 3 times a day for an hour. They love all the leaves and mud in the vegetable patch at the moment but I can't bring that in the aviary and soon they won't be allowed in when food is growing. What can I put in the aviary to keep them amused? They are friendly towards us but get easily scared by noise and new colours or things that move, they're little wimps, been babied too much I think. Please be aware that they live with 3 bantam hens and 2 large farm hens. During the day their fun is to sneak up into the large hens bedroom or their own and dig round in the straw making a right mess and often disturbing laying causing them to be screeched at or pecked. Any ideas? Thank you
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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Oct 3, 2009
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Hi
My 2 ducks look really bored. They stay in the aviary with 5 chickens during the day, made of chicken wire so they get sunlight and all and they have plenty of food and water but what can cheer them up a bit? I won't leave them in the garden because of the cat/fox risk and they don't have a tub of water because when they do my rouhen plucks the white runners feathers. They have a tub of water outside the aviary and we let them out 3 times a day for an hour. They love all the leaves and mud in the vegetable patch at the moment but I can't bring that in the aviary and soon they won't be allowed in when food is growing. What can I put in the aviary to keep them amused? They are friendly towards us but get easily scared by noise and new colours or things that move, they're little wimps, been babied too much I think. Please be aware that they live with 3 bantam hens and 2 large farm hens. During the day their fun is to sneak up into the large hens bedroom or their own and dig round in the straw making a right mess and often disturbing laying causing them to be screeched at or pecked. Any ideas? Thank you
Cabbage tether ball is a favorite here. hang up a cabbage head once the chickens begin to peck at it and show the ducks it won't bite all will love it and it takes mine a good day to go through a head. Hang securely so nothing can come off and be eaten by anyone. other than the cabbage. I use a heavy piece of wire stick it through the cabbage twist to secure and hang I have also used one of those big suet feeders and put heads of romaine lettuce inside they have a good time with those too.
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Install a TV set and let them watch cartoons.
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But on a more serious note, how do you know they are bored ??? Many birds and other animals just like to chill and not do much. My cats like to sleep 20 of the 24 hours every day. In the 4 active hours, they are eating.

WISHING YOU BEST
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BTW. the dog at the bottom of your avatar picture I think is MINE....
 

BelValleyDaisy

Songster
Oct 10, 2015
109
20
116
UK
Hi thankyou all for your help, I will definitely try the cabbage one. As for the rubber duck, I've given them a ping pong ball though they seem to ignore it. I know they are bored because whenever I leave they just stand there quacking like don't go and when I look out the window they are pacing the door.

Your dog is very cute!! What's his/her name. In my avatar the rottie at back is Cherry and the 2 Lhasa apsos are Teddy and Flo. They're my grans. They do look very much like ur pooch! Lol
 

cayugaducklady

Chirping
Jul 20, 2015
495
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New England USA
I added a few things in to their winter routine.

I started quartering the cabbages because they were getting almost frozen.

I toss out some black oil sunflower seeds for scratch. Sometimes I include black soldier larvae out as well .

I'm putting kale leaves in their play water.

I added compost worms on the days i fluff the litter I can definitely tell that they're hunting for the worms.
 

AA Maple

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2015
154
81
136
No substitute for water I think. Mine are housed by a little stream and apart from a little sifting around in mud on the bank they seem to just swim and splash all day.
 

Amykins

Crowing
6 Years
May 11, 2013
4,771
474
276
No substitute for water I think. Mine are housed by a little stream and apart from a little sifting around in mud on the bank they seem to just swim and splash all day.

^ THIS. Ducks love water, case closed! You mentioned the rouen plucks the other's feathers? Do you think this is stress, or are they just engaging in mating behavior? Ducks often mate in water so if they don't get much chance to then they may just go to town the few times they're able. Mine are indoor duckies, but they still get regular tub time, and I keep lots of toys for them. They like crinkly things, shiny things and for some reason, shoes. Also, what's their setup like? I usually don't condone keeping ducks and chickens together because of their different needs. Plus ducks can be very mischievous, as you've clearly learned with their substrate rooting behavior, hehe!

Regarding tub stuff, another great enrichment activity is to let them chase minnows or feeder goldfish in a tub of water. They LOVE it!
 

BelValleyDaisy

Songster
Oct 10, 2015
109
20
116
UK
They are very fruity, both go flat in water and when she isn't mounted she rips the runners feathers telling her to get on. I would do the goldfish but we r veggie, they would probably freak anyway
 

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