Will they fly away?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CountyGirl12, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. CountyGirl12

    CountyGirl12 Out Of The Brooder

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    My Pekin ducklings will be around 1 month old this Sunday. They are are ready starting to quack a lot and we getting their feathers. :D :jumpy But when they turn around 2 months old and get all their feathers, I was trying about asking my parents if we can keep them in our back yard. (They will run loose though, they won't be in a pen) My question is, if I can do that, will they go away and not return?? My uncle said ducks that are raised by humans can't fly long distances, but they can fly some. I didn't want the ducks to fly away if I put them in out backyard. Also, when I let them loose, will they be able to find their own food, or will we have to continue feeding them duck feed? Thanks :)
     
  2. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pekins can't fly :) I let my ducks free range in my fenced in back yard and pen them at night. I do worry about predators during the day but they have lots of cover and I'm okay with what I see as a small risk. The highest my Pekins ever got off the ground was when they jumped and that was about 5 inches if the got a running start. Most domestic ducks can't fly and if they do you can always clip their wings.
     
  3. CountyGirl12

    CountyGirl12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ooo ok, well that's good lol! Our yard doesn't have any fence or anything, but we live in the county so there isn't a lot of cars apor big dogs that get loose, but I guess they still have a chance of getting attacked. Also, what about in the winter? We don't have anything we could put them in and we aren't going to be able to buy or build anything. Would they die?
     
  4. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you should rethink your plan. They need a house that is secure at night. Ducks are very easy targets and being in the country means that you have quiet a few predators that will eat them. They will be gone very quickly if you don't lock them up at night, they cannot fend for themselves. You do need to keep feeding them as they are domestic and not wild. Wild ducks know how to fend for themselves and find their own food, hand raised domestic ducks do not. You have been providing them food this whole time so you have to keep doing it. You have to weigh the risks and do what you are comfortable with as to free ranging. When we move out of town I will still free range my birds but I will also have a fence around the property, more like cattle pannles or horse fencing, not a solid wood fence. If we don't go that route I will more than likely use chain link and make them a nice yard. We are a free years from that point. Maybe some who free ranges their ducks on actual land can chime in on how they do it.
     
  5. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    I suppose I am closer to free range but not all the way there. The property is about 1-1/2 acres but is wedged between a bunch of 20 acre farms. The ducks are fenced in about a 1/8 acre that is all theirs, but at least 10% of that is covered with pet gazebos, back shed, edges of the kiddie pools, fence line, their house, tree cover, bushes etc so they can keep a low profile when the hawks / eagles are around and no matter where they are, they are no more than about 12' from one of those forms of cover. (I am hoping to get them another 1/8 acre that will be dominated by a pond but that will still be some time away - that will be completely covered - fishing line or net since it will be more open). They are locked up in their house (a modified 8x6 plastic storage shed with lots of ventilation holes drilled in it) from sunset to sunrise. Experience has proven doing otherwise gets them eaten (RIP Ebony & Belle).
     
  6. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would recommend letting them free range during the day and haveing a coop or pen for night that way they dont make a mess in the coop during the day and also get some great greens and bugs that will be good for them
     
  7. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Also in the winter, they need shelter available all day. Pekins don't really need heat, but they need to be able to get out of the wind and snow. Their house can be their shelter and in the day so can some hay strewn in places the wind can't get them (like up against the house or garage) preferably in areas where the sun can hit. My ducks have a heat lamp in their house that comes on at -20F and turns off at -10F. When it was on, they would occasionally use it (mostly the runners and Tevye). There were only about 3 days the whole winter where the ducks stayed in their house during the day and those days were windy, overcast AND cold.

    Pekins aren't great foragers, so they will still need food available. They will probably eat much less of it though but if they are free ranging, they need a source of grit so they can "chew" whatever they forage with their gizzards.

    My yard is covered with grasshoppers in the summer. You can't find 1 in the 1/8 acre the ducks patrol (at least not for long).[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  8. Darnbunnies

    Darnbunnies Chillin' With My Peeps

  9. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He is not generally well liked on this site due to his living conditions and some of he beliefs and treatment of his birds. I have not see his videos but have heard plenty about him.
     
  10. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    he miss treats many of his ducks , and doesnt take advice when he is doing things the wrong way
     

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