I woke up suddenly this morning while it was still dark, about 5am. Decided to check on the ducklings because I thought I heard peeping. It turned out to be birds outside – they are so loud! Here are some questions I have been asked and my answers:
Do you think the Koi might try to eat them?
Our Koi, even the large ones (>60 cm) weren’t particularly interested in the ducklings, strangly. Also, I don’t think they are aggressive enough to eat anything bigger than tiny Koi food pellets at the moment, as the water is still cold and they are not very active. The ducklings are pretty safe in the pond I think, except from predatory birds.
Do these ducks fly? If so, you should put the dog house at a height that dogs cannot get to – in case someone’s dog tries to attack them.
They will be able to fly after they are fully fledged in a few months’ time. Before that, they won’t be able to fly, maybe just jump. Our back yard is fenced all around and dogs can’t get in although there is a cat that sneaks in every morning – I think he would be more of a threat. Adult ducks seldom need to take shelter except in very heavy rain and wind storms (they usually enjoy being in water so rain doesn’t bother them much!). I don’t even know if they will want to use the dog house. H. said if we lost one or more ducks to predators it would only be nature – they have to learn to protect themselves if they are going to go back to the wild.
I spent most of today in the garden doing yardwork and simultaneously playing nursemaid/bodyguard to the ducks – they don’t seem to get tired but I am exhausted! They have multiple daytime naps, but I have to clean up after them and do other chores. It’s like having to bring a bunch of kids to the playground , watch them for an hour, and then bring them home, feed them, put them in bed, do housework, and then repeat the whole cycle many more times until the sun sets!