I am a proud father of 10 year old dog trainer. Like most 10 year olds he is absent minded and loses focus. He has grown up around labs and ducks. Frozen, fresh killed, and live mallards and pigeons have been a part of his world.
My problems began one day at Tractor Supply on chick day. When he asked "Dad can I have some chickens?" I replied sure but why don't we buy ducks instead. Visions of flyers flashed through my head. But when Gray named them Mr. Peepers, Adam, Leo, Bree and Kyle it was obvious these were pets and the "Short Happy Life of Frances Macomber" was not for them.
As it was cold these ducks were raised in a bathtub inside until warmer weather. Then they moved to my pigeon coop where 2 Mallard flyers were residing. These Pekin ducks still are fluffy yellow but are already the size of the mallards. Now my pigeon coop is not the Taj Majal.
As a matter of fact after 7 years of duck, pigeon and pheasant excrement with no paint or any upkeep, it isn't even structurally sound. This was brought home when a dog in my care busted the bottom Saturday. The 4 dogs were happy to bring all 5 baby ducks and my 2 mallards to hand.
Plan B was plastic duck crates. That was fine because I want the 2 younger dogs to learn that they can't get ducks out of the crate. The 2 mallards trained Sunday and earned their feed as shackled ducks for some younger puppies. The one problem was that as the crate was on the ground a younger dog Rhett opened the crate and grabbed a duck. Figuring it was blind luck, I didn't pay it much attention until Monday when the trick was repeated 3 times. Now I got a serious problem.
Started working on the problem yesterday afternoon. 2 duck crates on the ground. One full of fluffy yellows and the other with mallards. Being near them is ok but sniffing, scratching or pawing gets a nick and a no here. My son Gray is with me and the problem pup Rhett is starting to learn the boundaries.
to be continued