Posted 07-27-2004 at 21:41:51
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The wife bought 3 ducklings at tractor supply. We raised them in the shop building, and in the meantime I built a duck house. It has screened in sides and plywood flaps that can be battened down in cold weather.
I put the duck house on the bank of my 1.5 acre pond and we managed to make the ducks understand that they could eat duckfood in there at night. So they waddled in there almost every night, and we let them out every morning.
One night we went to the State Fair in Dallas and got home at 11PM. We found one of the ducks was gone, apparently carried off by some predator.
The other two ducks continued to waddle into the duck house until one night they decided they didn't want to go in. Next morning, we have only one duck.
This duck fretted and we felt sorry so went to a flea market and bought a grown duck that looked like the one that disappeared. Apparently you can't teach an old duck new tricks, because we could never get him to go in. He lasted 2 weeks staying out at night, and he was gone.
Now we have the one duck, about 16 months old. Except on rare occasions she goes in at night. In fact, she comes to the garage quacking, wanting to go in. She follows the Kawasaki mule we drive out to the pond to put in the food and water.
She is fun to watch and lays an egg almost every night.
The biggest problem is that we can't go anywhere without feeling that its cruel to have trained the duck to go in at night, and then to not show up. The duck would stand there looking for us, and get eaten. So we have to find a duck sitter when we go anywhere. This is kind of a pain.