• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • thomas rubino
  • Bill Crim
  • Kim Goodwin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Amit Enventres
  • Mike Jay
  • Dan Boone

Herding Ducks - Any advice?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 23
Location: Peacham, VT
3
duck forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I currently keep 28 khaki campbell ducks in a mobile duckhouse. (It's basically a Suscovich-style chicken tractor.) I move the house daily and have to herd them back in at night for predator protection. Each time is a pain the neck. Does anyone have advice how to better herd ducks? (Without a dog)

Here's a video that shows my current approach.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1799
Location: Toronto, Ontario
120
bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rabbit trees urban wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No dog, eh? Then I suppose you must do the dog's work, to paraphrase a wise man.

I mean, maybe a remote-controlled car? A drone, perhaps?

Why no dog?

-CK
 
Posts: 944
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
31
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't feed them until bed time. They will learn that home is where dinner happens.
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
Posts: 1799
Location: Toronto, Ontario
120
bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rabbit trees urban wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was looking at your fencing in the video. I think the answer might be there, and in your order of operations.

Would it make sense to put the ducks in the tractor in the enclosed space of the grazed paddock, but near as possible to the end nearest the next paddock, then shift the surrounding fence to enclose the new paddock and the tractor, still on a small piece of the grazed paddock?

Even if you were to herd the ducks from the tractor to the newly fenced fresh paddock in the manner you did in the video (assuming non-contiguous paddocks), it would mean moving the ducks directly into containment (or never having them leave containment), whereas in the video, any escapees of the move into the tractor were free to run around the tractor, or anywhere else.

-CK
 
Posts: 21
Location: Minnesota
1
chicken cooking pig
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another idea after watching your video would be have a hog panel or two (or anything similar) positioned in a V to act as a funnel as you approach the door of the mobile coop. The breakdown seemed to be getting them all in at once. By the time the crafty ones realize they are 'trapped'  HOPEFULLY it will be to late and you can bustle them inside.


I don't have experience herding ducks, but I do herd my Narragansett turkeys frequently.


Question and maybe you answered it in video, but I was watching with no sound as I am at the library - have you had them sleep outside of the pen with the net being the only protection and still had predator problems? Obviously would still give them a shelter of some sort but have you tried that method at all?
 
Morgan Gold
Posts: 23
Location: Peacham, VT
3
duck forest garden trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
After taking in all of the advice, I think I stumbled on a solution. I’m using chicken wire attached to a couple of electric fence poles. The chicken wire is about 4 feet long and I made two “panels”. I use them as a chute to herd them in. Thanks for the advice, everybody!
 
pollinator
Posts: 964
Location: Los Angeles, CA
146
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had an elderly friend who used to feed the mallards that come to live on his pond down below his house at the base of the hill.  He'd go down there in the evening with a bucket of feed and scatter it on the ground for them to eat.  Over the years, the population rapidly grew—he had hundreds of these wild ducks, and they quickly learned to associate him with a free dinner.

After a while they not only waited for him to bring them dinner, but if he was late, they would make their way up toward the house and stand there on the front lawn, quacking away.  Wild ducks -- not domesticated birds.

My hunch is that if you took a pail of treats out to your ducks in the evening, they'd follow you right into the pen.  Black soldier fly larva?  They'd follow you to the moon and back for those.
 
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Chris Kott wrote:I was looking at your fencing in the video. I think the answer might be there, and in your order of operations.

Would it make sense to put the ducks in the tractor in the enclosed space of the grazed paddock, but near as possible to the end nearest the next paddock, then shift the surrounding fence to enclose the new paddock and the tractor, still on a small piece of the grazed paddock?

Even if you were to herd the ducks from the tractor to the newly fenced fresh paddock in the manner you did in the video (assuming non-contiguous paddocks), it would mean moving the ducks directly into containment (or never having them leave containment), whereas in the video, any escapees of the move into the tractor were free to run around the tractor, or anywhere else.

-CK





yes, have the tractor on one end of the paddock. build a new paddock and open the end to it, then shorten the old paddock. At some point move the tractor to the other end, keep adding paddocks.

We move our pigs this way constantly. I just treat a paddock end like a giant gate and open it. Then when they move to the new pasture to get the goodies I shorten up the old paddock.

But I also train my animals to a call when I feed them. So I rarely have to herd them I just have to call them.
 
WARNING! Do not activate jet boots indoors or you will see a tiny ad:
Rocket Oven plan download
https://permies.com/t/rocket-oven-plans
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!