The Pekin ducks have a new house – well it is an old house but it is new to them. Our lovely hen house became too infested with red mite so a year or two we abandoned it and moved the hens to the newly constructed chicken palace.
We think that ducks will deal with red mite better as they swim and we are hopeful that the red mite might have died in the intervening time.
The Pekins really needed to move from their previous coop as although it was OK for sleeping in, they are now laying eggs. They are clutsy, uncoordinated animals who tended to tread on and crush their eggs.
In the new house they have plenty of room, room to make nests and go broody if they want.
However, this all posed a problem. Ducks don’t like to move, they don’t really like being told what to do at all. How would we get them to reliably go to bed in the new house?
I suggested putting hurdles around it so it would be easier to corral them up the slope. We thought about this. We even put off moving the ducks because all the hurdles were being used by the sheep (one of the key life lessons I have learnt is that you can never, never ever have enough hurdles).
I went to Woodbridge and the idea was we would both try and put them to bed when I got home.
I got back after dark. James looked rather satisfied and maybe just a little smug.
Without moving any hurdles James had managed, by just whispering in the ducks’ ears how lovely their new accommodation was, to get them to go up the ramp and sleep in the new house.
Some things are just too mysterious and why James has this skill I don’t know, but round here he is known as Mr Quack Quack, the duck whisperer.
N.B. pictures of them coming out of the hen house the next day …. can you spot the eggs?
At the moment we are getting 4 or 5 pretty clean pekin eggs a day and a single runner duck egg every few days
N.B. We still need to hurdle off some of the duck area to reseed the grass, fix a leak in the roof of the house and I want to paint the outside as well.