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Yuka Takahara

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since Jun 26, 2017
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Recent posts by Yuka Takahara

wow thank you so much for both of your quick replies. Both great advice. I appreciate that!
I was looking at laying: heavy duty bird netting down over the pool and the ivy. We thought about doing solar sheets over the pool but it gets too hot here that it would just create algae in the pool.
I never thought of the clear monofilament but that would work also.

Your parimeter fencing/gate sounds amazing. But I raccoons are great climbers. We have 10' block wall but they still enter thru the neighbors side.

The motion sprinkler (Yard Enforcer) has been somewhat helping with the raccoons. They still come everyday but at least they aren't sitting around for an hour munching on ducks food or whatever is on the ground. It has kept the neighborhood cats away although they do watch from a distance. I just set it at night time to keep the raccoons away from the area we put out food for the ducks. Its pretty strong so might work by keeping it pointing to the pool next year. We shall see.  Even before the ducks arrived, we often see raccoon paw prints around the perimeter of our pool.

This year we tried:
Alligator float and swan float (recommended by local pool guys) - complete fail.
Dad running out to the pool and tossing my dogs stick near the duck - they flew away but female still nested - complete fail.
Bringing my dog out to scare the mom before nesting - she was scared but not enough to go elsewhere to nest. - complete fail.

Since they are protected by the law and can't disturb a nest, I think the best way is to make sure she doesn't nest. Putting a net over the ivy might be good... unless she decides to nest somewhere else or nest at a neighbors ivy and walk the ducklings to our pool once hatched... so we would need to net the pool too. (sorry thinking as I type!)

Taking care of 9 ducks is such hard work! If I'm not up by 6am the babies are knocking on the bedroom sliding glass with their beak.

Do you remember when your ducks flew away?  How many weeks?

5 years ago
TLDR: Does anyone have any experience with wild mallard family taking over your yard/pool?

There are so many sites but not enough info so I thought I would try posting here for help. On May 19th 8 ducklings were born inside our ivy. We didn't know until May 20th they were all swimming in our pool. There aren't any ponds or lakes within 5 miles of us. Just residential area. We kept the side gate open but they were happy being in the pool.

We didn't want to catch them and relocate them because 1. they are super fast and 2. I didn't want to risk mom stressed and abandoning them.

Cleaning after them has been a nightmare but not much we can do. The 8 are almost the same size as mom now but still haven't gotten their flight wings yet. They practice everyday running across the water, diving down, etc. They eat as much as they can in our yard but unfortunately our yard is very trim and artificial grass.

We originally didn't want to feed them because I heard mixed opinions about them never wanting to leave but spoke to experts and they reassured me wild birds always leave as it is in their instinct. Upon their suggestion, Ive been giving them Mazuri Waterfowl starter food, romaine lettuce and watermelon everyday. They are a little over 5 weeks old and growing.

They sleep on a alligator float (which was meant as a deterrent but clearly doesn't work) which is secured with a string so it floats in the middle of the pool because we have raccoons and cats coming by everyday. When the raccoons come out at night the ducks all get off the float and quietly float in the pool until they leave.

The mom is a very good mom and watches over them day and night and teaching them what they need to know. For the first 2 weeks 1-2 Drakes would be swimming in the pool but ducklings and mom kept swimming away from them. Mom flies away in the morning and evening, sometimes 1 - 30minutes. I have no idea where she goes but very curious. Maybe looking for a place to take her babies once they fly? Or maybe just exercising. While mom is gone the babies stay on the alligator float until she returns.

Even if food is out, they only comes to eat if mom says ok. They are very disciplined ducklings.

Maintaining the pool has been a nightmare but managing okay.

I have seen online that they fly at 6 weeks - 11 weeks. We hope its the former!

It has been over 100 degrees so they are in the pool most of the day. They always stay near the water because they know they can always dive in to feel safe. I did build a few roof covers to keep them slightly cooler so they have been using it.

We have done as much as we can to keep them safe but next year we plan to try "Duck Off" liquid in the pool and Yard Enforcer motion sprinkler in the Ivy. As amazing as it has been watching these beautiful birds everyday, no more for us please!
5 years ago