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Will ducks come back??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by feather2, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. feather2

    feather2 Songster

    Nov 28, 2008
    north haven, ct
    We have a cottage in the Berkshires on a lake. If I let the ducks out to swim, will they stick around? Can I coax them in with treats? Can they outswim a dog? These are runners. What about boats - are they fast in the water? I mean, no one's going to aim for them or anything (I hope), but can they swim fast? I really want them to be with us - should hatch in about two weeks.

  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Wild ducks have the option of flying away when something on water scares them. Runners more than likely will not be able to outswim anything. Not all ducks dive in the water to swim faster either.

    Some people have had luck getting their ducks to come back to them from a pond, but if it were me, I would not chance it. If they really like it out there, the chances of them coming back lessen. Maybe with lots of feed and treats, but it's still not a definite yes.
  3. NanoByte

    NanoByte In the Brooder

    Jul 11, 2010
    No matter what, ducks will always go back to where there's guaranteed food and water.
    Ducks will outswim dogs too.
  4. goosedragon

    goosedragon Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Hatch in two weeks? I think that means you want to take ducklings on vacation with you? chances are good that ducks that grew up with you would come back to you, ducklings not likely! Ducks can outswim a dog, ducklings who knows? not a good idea IMO.
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    My ducks always come back home from the lake. But they were raised here and know where dinner is. Also, I don't feed them during the day so they know if they want the good food, they have to come up in the evening for dinner and go in their safe pen.

    Ours is a small lake, no boats except an occasional paddle boat, but ducks are pretty cautious anyway and are unlikely to get in the path of a boat, I would think.

    Still, I would not expect them to know what to do if it's a vacation home and they haven't grown up there. If you're taking them on vacation, I recommend you take a portable pen of some sort or build them something at the vacation home to contain them. After a week or so, you could probably let them out and expect them to come back, but it takes them time to recognize their new home. Also, ducks are very territorial (as in, attached to their territory--not aggressive though), nervous creatures and they would probably prefer to stay home from vacation anyway.

    Oh, and you probably already know this, but just in case--baby ducks shouldn't be swimming without supervision anyway, as they can get chilled, or not be able to get out, or drown. They don't have the waterproof coat yet, so they're much more vulnerable than an adult. Mother duck would make sure they came out of the water when they needed to, so you must take the place of mother duck when they hatch. [​IMG]

    Enjoy your babies!
  6. feather2

    feather2 Songster

    Nov 28, 2008
    north haven, ct
    I was really talking about taking them in swimming in Sept or Oct when most people have left, but want them with us in a safe coop for weekends so that they can get used to the area. My main concern was that they would hightail it somewhere and not come back. We have big birds (hawks and Osprey) there, so when are they big enough not to worry about them? There are lots of other ducks and geese on the lake and they don't seem to be bothered by the bigger birds.
  7. JJchiknshak

    JJchiknshak Songster

    Mar 19, 2010
    wellsburg, Wv.
    I would wait quite a while before letting them swim in a large body of water to make sure that they know exactly where home is.
    Just my 2 cents.

  8. feather2

    feather2 Songster

    Nov 28, 2008
    north haven, ct
    Thanks for your help. Always know that I can rely on this forum!!

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