Will and his dad built the duck house over the span of two weekends, and then Will and I (okay, mostly Will), painted it. Today, we wrapped up the final details so we (again, mostly Will) moved the 9 ducks we had rooming with the chickens to their new home.
I can’t say that the ducks enjoyed the move itself (they scratched up Will’s arms and pooped all over him), but he managed to get them all transferred without any poultry injuries, so mission accomplished. A Google search told us we could teach (read: lure) the ducks to go into their house by cutting up some tomato and putting it on the ramp and in the back corner of the house. So far this hasn’t worked, but it’s only been a day so we’ll reassess tomorrow. I have a feeling the quacks are going to prefer sleeping under this house, too.
Once the ducks figure out that they need to go into their house a night, where we can close them up safely away from any hungry fox, we’ll remove the fencing that’s currently blocking them from the pond. My thinking is that they need to know where home is, before we give them the freedom to potentially wander off forever. Of course, this might be as successful as the tomato trick, and I’ll spend my time foraging for duck eggs among the tall grasses and slowly but surely fostering one fat, happy fox.
I keep telling myself other people raise ducks all the time, it can’t be all that hard. And those, friends, will be words I may be eating instead of pan-seared duck breast.