• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Get ducks in pond back in coop

 
Doug Barth
Posts: 26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello everyone! I'm the proud buyer of 12 ducklings who quickly grew up. My intention for them was they would be let out in the morning from their coop then brought back in at dusk or before. I wanted to protect them from all the critters around as well as cutting their wings and having a place where they lay eggs (I know they'll still lay around the pond but that's ok).

The crux of the problem is once I let them out, they use the BIG pond as a defense from me herding them back into the coop. I wanted them to be smart about defending themselves against killing critters but not ME! How do I get them out of the pond without having to kayak every time I want to bring them in?

Many thanks in advance!
 
steve bossie
Posts: 248
Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
feed them just before dark in their coop. call to them just before feeding them. after awhile you can call them to the coop without feeding them everytime but its still good to treat them with something. my mother used to call to them and feed them bread . they would come from all over the property to come get the treat! i love ducks! they are the most entertaining bird to watch! good luck!
 
D Cooper
Posts: 22
1
duck
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Its all about the feeding schedule. Be very consistent to go out each day around the same time and always have feed with you. Try to feed them in the location that you want them to go or be kept at night. My ducks are to the point now that they will wait at the back fence each evening if i'm past the time i would normally come out. If they see me pass by a window or flip on a light I can hear them begin to quack in anticipation of my arrival. Check out my video i just put out with a brief overview of my ducks and duck house setup.
 
Wes Hunter
Posts: 108
Location: Seymour, MO
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Adjusting your feeding schedule is certainly worth a shot, but ducks can be pretty stubborn. Besides, there are probably plenty of goodies in and on the pond for them to nibble, so feed isn't necessarily an enticement. Really, I think you probably just have to keep getting them up until they learn the drill.

Practically, I've had success getting ducks (and geese) off the pond with some well-placed rocks, thrown just behind them to urge them forward (or wherever you want them to go). Two or three in succession usually does the trick. Use biggish rocks for a decent splash. And don't hit the ducks.
 
Doug Barth
Posts: 26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was pleasantly surprised when I found that the ducks would come in for feeding time. Before that, I did try some well timed rock throws. That did nothing other than move them closer to the shore. If I had my wife during that time we could use two racks to herd them ashore. I never have my wife with me for it.

I was pretty happy for the ducks would come ashore basically whenever I went outside. Now, it has changed. The cat I have for outside mouse catching has turned her interests to the ducks. She hasn't paid attention to them before. She may have killed one already. They no longer come ashore. Not even when I go outside to feed them do they try. The ducks tried to come to feed when I went out there but the cat chased them back in the water. It was the first clue to me what was going on. These ducks are smart. They're not coming if there is a predator right there to kill them.

So now it is a choice I don't want; either get rid of the cat or wait for these unclipped winged ducks to fly away and/or get eaten by this feral cat. Any ideas? Train the cat somehow? I can't be around all the time to protect the ducks around an animal I have for other purposes.
 
Sebastian Köln
Posts: 83
Location: Germany · Schleswig-Holstein · Eutin
1
bike toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Doug Barth wrote:So now it is a choice I don't want; either get rid of the cat or wait for these unclipped winged ducks to fly away and/or get eaten by this feral cat. Any ideas? Train the cat somehow? I can't be around all the time to protect the ducks around an animal I have for other purposes.


Train the cat. Make it clear to her that the ducks are not food. Maybe chase her whenever she gets too close to them.

Our cat is about 8 years old and when we got our 4 ducklings last year, it she understood that they belong to us and that she is not allowed to play/chase/eat them.
The ducks and the cat still avoid each other.
Other cats still chase the ducks, but as soon as I notice this, I am chasing it

You could try and put the coop on a ponton or as Mollison suggests, place the coop at the shore, connect it with a canal and put chicken mesh around the canal (creating a water tunnel).
001.png
[Thumbnail for 001.png]
Permaculture Pamphlets page 128
 
Wes Hunter
Posts: 108
Location: Seymour, MO
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Shoot the cat with a BB gun when it shows interest. That's how we finally trained our dog, at least. If you're stealthy enough, the animal will associate the pain with the activity (chasing ducks, e.g.) and not with you. Kind of like a shock collar, but cheaper. And, when you've got a particularly troublesome dog or cat, more fun. Ours routinely killed chickens until we figured this out.

This doesn't solve your direct duck problem, mind you.
 
Miranda Converse
Posts: 239
7
bee chicken goat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Doug Barth wrote:I was pleasantly surprised when I found that the ducks would come in for feeding time. Before that, I did try some well timed rock throws. That did nothing other than move them closer to the shore. If I had my wife during that time we could use two racks to herd them ashore. I never have my wife with me for it.

I was pretty happy for the ducks would come ashore basically whenever I went outside. Now, it has changed. The cat I have for outside mouse catching has turned her interests to the ducks. She hasn't paid attention to them before. She may have killed one already. They no longer come ashore. Not even when I go outside to feed them do they try. The ducks tried to come to feed when I went out there but the cat chased them back in the water. It was the first clue to me what was going on. These ducks are smart. They're not coming if there is a predator right there to kill them.

So now it is a choice I don't want; either get rid of the cat or wait for these unclipped winged ducks to fly away and/or get eaten by this feral cat. Any ideas? Train the cat somehow? I can't be around all the time to protect the ducks around an animal I have for other purposes.


What kind of ducks do you have? Most domestic ducks are pretty terrible flyers so I doubt they will fly away. If they are muscovies, they have the potential to fly away but if there is food available where they are at and a pond, good chance they won't leave. Also, if you clip their wings, they will have a much harder time evading any predators, including your cat.

As far as bringing them in at night to keep them safe, aside from some flying predators which I don't think would bother the ducks, they should be pretty well protected on the pond as long as they are staying in deep enough water. Most (land dwelling) predators aren't going to swim to their prey and if they do, they will make enough noise to alert the ducks. Duck swim much faster than anything that would prey on them.

Then you only have to get them to lay where you want them to lay, or you could find out where they want to lay and just encourage them to keep laying in that spot. Might take some trial and error but once you find a place that's suitable for you and them, it's easy to get them to keep laying there by just leaving one egg behind each day.

Can't help with the cat much, we have never had an outside mouser stick around long enough to train it...
 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 345
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wes Hunter wrote:Shoot the cat with a BB gun when it shows interest.


Or spray with a hose; a friend of mine trained her cat to stay away from chickens this way.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic