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Thread: Mallard Floating nest box

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    Member mja9346's Avatar
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    Default Mallard Floating nest box

    A friend of mine bought some mallards for a pond at his home. In the past, they would nest on the banks of the pond in brush but almost always predators have destroyed the nest. He wants to build some type of floating nest box that could be anchored in the middle of the pond. Does anyone have any ideas of a good layout for one?

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    Senior Member TroyFeeken's Avatar
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    They'll still be taken care of by predators if they're on the water. You'd be better off building something that has a post, a cone to keep the predators out and then a wire mesh tube horizontally that is packed with straw and grasses. Check out your Delta Waterfowl chapter, as they'll either possibly have some or can get you design schematics. Or check the delta website.

    Here you go http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/henhouses/index.php
    Last edited by TroyFeeken; 12-15-2011 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Added link
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    Member mja9346's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyFeeken View Post
    They'll still be taken care of by predators if they're on the water. You'd be better off building something that has a post, a cone to keep the predators out and then a wire mesh tube horizontally that is packed with straw and grasses. Check out your Delta Waterfowl chapter, as they'll either possibly have some or can get you design schematics. Or check the delta website.

    Here you go http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/henhouses/index.php
    Thats what i first suggested but the ducks wings are clipped so they cannot fly. I know predators would still be able to get to it but there would not be nearly as much danger as a nest on land. He has a 3 acre pond and wants to put it in the center.

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    floation foam and plywood. 30" wide and 72" long. separate compartments for multiple hens to use the boxes. think floating dog house. we put a sign on the top that said "duck inn."

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    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    The floating duck inn sounds good.

    I don't know how much you want to spend but read of someone who built a floating "island" to use on their pond for dog training. It could be moved around to give the pond a different look.
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    Senior Member PhilBernardi's Avatar
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    A floating den don't mean some critter can't get to it.

    Ever see a raccoon swim? They can and will climb up on a platform if it's doable.

    I wonder if the ducks can get off the ground to some max height, like 5 feet or something. If so, then I'd put some guard around the floating den so coons or others can't climb up and in.

    And if they can fly to some height like 5 feet or so, then a tripod-based hen house might be better.

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    One of the biggest predators for eggs is snakes. I don't think you can make a floating nest box snake proof. You might do better to collect the eggs and use an incubator to hatch them or catch the ducks and put them in a building or an enclosure that will keep the predators out. The ducklings won’t be wild but the clipped wing ducks you currently have are not wild either.

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    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    a pen or a nesting box works two ways, it may give the ducks some haven, but also makes them VERY easy targets for predators because they cant get away...your choices then become putting the ducks in a predator proof pen...or remove the predators, permanently
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    Senior Member PhilBernardi's Avatar
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    Swimming predators like coons etc are why we try to make sure a hen house over the water (on a tripod or pole) is off the water high enough so those damn things can't grab ahold and pull themselves up.

    Ducklings can jump down a long ways. Better to be too high over the water than too low.

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    Senior Member KNorman's Avatar
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    Clipped wings will grow back after a moult (or two). I'd go ahead and build the elevated box.

    Now, if the birds are pinioned, that's a different story, but who is going to go through the trouble of pinioning a yard duck?

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