Alls well on Goldenpond!

goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))March 16, 2010

We finally rid ourselves of three male ducks. When my husband got to see for himself how horrible the drakes treated their women and each other he agreed to give 3 away. We kept Ichabod a well mannered black runner duck who hangs out with Jinxie our 3 year old female Cayuga and looks out for Isis too.They spend the day sweetly swimming up and down the creek together. We also kept Hawkeye the one I called the PIMP. We kept him because if a female strays too far away he will go get her. Without the rest of his gang he seems to have calmed down knowing he has the rest of the girls to himself.

Here is Ichabod leading Jinxie(the oldest) and Isis. Isis was partially blinded by eye pecking drakes! He looks out for the underduck!

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We have only "feral" ducks here--mallards, gadwalls, and the occasional bufflehead. I'd like domestic ducks just to have ducks year 'round, but our pond is too far from the house for me to protect them.
Thanks for posting the pictures of your ducks. They and your creek are lovely!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 7:35AM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

Tanya, aka Katharine Hepburn

That's good to hear. Ichabod needs a baton, leading the parade. Runner ducks are funny looking.



    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 11:40AM
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Tame ducks are more danger savvy than any chicken! If you build a floating Island in the middle of the pond the ducks will sleep on or near it at night. Have a light weight raised roof made or 2" x 2" framework with sticks attached to it about 18" to 2' above the surface of the 'island' floor. This will give them protection against owls/hawks and such. The roof doesn't have to be waterproof, just a barrier against aerial 'assaults'.

Add some wood (2"x4") that stick out 2-3 from the Âisland just under the water level for the duck to climb onto and roost or stand on. These will make it easier for them to get onto the ÂislandÂ.

Use thick Styrofoam for buoyancy. Have a 3-4" ridge round the outer edge so you can put some soil on it to grow natural grasses on it. This will encourage them to nest safely on it.

Be sure to use an adequate weight to anchor it to so it wonÂt drift in high winds. Allow an additional foot or two on the chain (anchor) to let it adjust to the rise and fall of the water levels.

It may seem like a lot of effort but will be worth the enjoyment youÂll receive in return.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 9:23AM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Virgil,I have chased away coons swimming towards my ducks on the pond and had a bobcat jump right into it to nab one!
So far with this batch all is well and haven't lost any in a year. They cleared brush along the side street they used and added sidewalks and i think that has kept them at bay so far, but bobcats don't seem to fear man or woman anymore.
I DO love your island idea though!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:47AM
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We had a problem with coons but they couldn't catch the ducks on the water because when the coon was close they would either scoot along the top or dive and swim away under water. Ducks have very good night vision and are light sleepers. It was very rare for us to loose one to a predator. The bob cats are probably your biggest problem--we never had problems with them. Wonder how bob burgers would taste??

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 3:31PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Oooh just got a thought of the cat lovers starting hate posts. That happened on another forum when someone asked how to keep neighbor cats out of the garden. But Bobcats are NOT endangered in fact I am told there are more NOW than in Colonial times because they have almost none of the large predators left. The coons didnt catch any of my ducks but this was in broad daylight. I scared them away,the bobcats are NOT afraid.
I have had a few hawks dive bomb them but would you believe the crows chase them away?We even saw two crows take down a hawk on and have him on his back after he dive bombed my ducks!
BUT I lock my duckies up tighter than a drum come dusk!
Now the rats have figured out how to get in the pen so we will be trapping them and .........No rat burgers but you get the idea!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 1:22PM
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My almost 60 years have taught me how nature works; eat or be eaten! No living thing (plants included) can live without the demise of other living organisms.

By the way, in the Far East they love rat roasted on bamboo sticks. ItÂs like roasting a hot dog on a stick less all the added fat. Meat is meat.

Growing up with two irresponsible drunken Âparents we (myself and 6 brothers/sisters) learned to forge for food and muskrat and raccoon were among my favorites. We learned to grow/raise/preserve most of what we ate and did it efficiently.

So as far as rat burgersÂIÂd try it and if it was good would consider it another food source.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 4:09PM
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