The lamentable tale of the ducks

Our neighbour was having problems with Mr Fox getting to his ducks and hens, so he decided to offload some of the ducks, and we agreed to take a mating pair.  They  arrived yesterday afternoon, and we set them down in the hen enclosure, with appropriate trays full of water and a little corn.  They wandered around the hen run, making sweet little cooing quacking noises to each other and we fell in love with them.  We made appropriate provision for them at night, and when dusk fell we tried to cajole them into it.  But they were having none of it, and they ran all around the enclosure and in hindsight we think they got spooked and  flew up about 2 feet and through the poultry net.  That was unforseen, that bid for freedom.

The ducks arrive

Before we could think about how to catch them, they had run, and they are quick, into the undergrowth between us and the farm below.  It’s quite a thicket and we couldn’t see where they had gone.  We went round to the farm and into the thicket that way, but to no avail.  By this time it was 10pm and dark, so we left it overnight, and thought we would have another go at getting them back in the morning.

9.30am this morning, another neighbour came over to help. She went into the undergrowth, saw them and shooed them out onto our land, but they were so quick that they just went back into the undergrowth again and wouldn’t come out.

This afternoon she brought over 2 more ducks in a cage hoping that their quacking would bring the original pair back out, but to no avail. And we couldn’t see them in the undergrowth where they were this morning, so they could have gone anywhere, maybe into the woods.

It is unlikely now that we will see them again.  In the thicket they had some protection from Mr Fox, but if they go into the woods, where there is water, they will be too open to preditors.

What a sad state of affairs.  Our 2 little ducks were only with us for 5 hours!  We will have to have a different arrangement of fencing if we get ducks again in the future, and that will take some sorting out, so I doubt it will be soon.

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