I couldn’t keep them all locked in their barns with 100 degree heat so I only gave them a relatively small outdoor area and, other than stretching bird netting over an acre of woods, I tried every trick and crazy suggestion in the book over the several days my ducks were being attacked - most of the “tried and true” methods were completely ineffective. The one thing that worked was creating a giant web of 20lb test fishing line about 7 feet above the ground over their enclosures and play areas. I wish I had found this solution the first day! The night after I put a section of web up I came home feeling very anxious… it worked!! Over the next few days I spent hours stringing webs of fishing line over the back acre of my property so the ducks could safely free-range. This has been tremendously effective.
On a happy note, over the last few days little Splash has found his place with the Harlequin. They’ve finally accepted him as one of their own and a few times this weekend I saw him “leading the pack” as they waddled across the barnyard, which made me smile for him. All the ducks are enjoying their freedom and with the high heat index I put out several small pools for them to splash in and they seem to be having a rompin’ good time.
The chickens, baby chicks, and baby ducks were unaffected by the hawk. Apparently, this raptor had her mind set on grown duck for dinner so – thankfully – I had no losses in that area. In fact, the baby ducks are growing by leaps and bounds! They’re mostly feathered out and the girls have found their quackers. No little budgie sounds from their play pen anymore…they’re a pretty noisy bunch these days – LOL!
They have 2 litter pan pools and a bigger 36-inch tub to splash around in. They just love the water so much I can’t imagine depriving them of a proper pond! There are two little Khaki Campbell ducklings in this bunch and they had me cracking up this weekend. I sit out there and have a beer with them most evenings after my chores are done and all 13 of them were trying to cram themselves into the 2 litter pans then they would all run over to the bigger tub and jump in there for a while, then back to the pans. They’re just making this huge mess, chasing each other back and forth, flapping their wings and quack-quack-quacking… basically having a ball. I noticed these baby Campbell’s just seemed so extra excited about their little game and one of the girls was dipping her head into the water, splashing it all over, then loudly stamping her feet in the puddle she was making. It was just so funny! She would make this excited little qUAck, then DipSplash, DribbleDribble, then do this little dance… SplatSpatSplat! Made me think of a kid in his little gumboots… too cute!
It was miserably hot this weekend and in the middle of the day the geese would hog up a whole litter pan just sitting in it to cool off. I was jealous that I didn’t have a tub of water to sit in myself! And up until this weekend the Harlequin only thought of me as the crazy lady who stuffed them into a big dog kennel and drove them across town in a hot car. When I was in their line of sight they boogied it on out of the area. But over the last few days we’ve become very good friends. They heard me filling one of the kiddie pools this weekend and ran right over to see what that wonderful noise was. They stood off at a “safe” distance panting in the heat and watching me fill the pool with cold water and while I chatted away they inched closer and closer. I turned the hose sprayer to mist and aimed it at them and they were just in heaven! They came right up to within about a foot of me and the boys aimed their big chests into the spray while the girls tried to catch the bigger drops with their beaks. Now any time I turn on the hose they run over and want to be showered! I guess I’m no longer the crazy lady because now they tend to congregate wherever I’m hanging out in the yard. They probably don't want to miss an opportunity to get a cool dousing!
This last is completely unrelated to ducks: if you enjoy reading about my farm please check out this gals blog. She and I have a lot in common and her posts usually make me laugh which was a much needed antidote for last week!