Ducks using a fresh water dam

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12 years 4 months ago #22160 by Ducking Around
How would ducks go using a dam thats fresh water and full of eels. we use the water for sheep and the garden and i dont know how big the eels are.[?] :D

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12 years 4 months ago #319620 by Kiwi303
adult ducks, no problem, a 40 yr old eel the size of your arm would eat ducklings, but adult ducks are more in danger from the hawks.

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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12 years 4 months ago #319625 by Isla
Replied by Isla on topic Ducks using a fresh water dam
Sometimes eels will grab the legs from adult ducks and presumably in some cases can pull them under and consume them. Watching eels dismantle dead possums when they fall in the river, I think they'd have little trouble with a duck, if they were hungry. I guess it depends how many ducks you have and whether you value them as a population, or as individuals.

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12 years 3 months ago #319628 by Hawkspur

Isla;305141 wrote: Sometimes eels will grab the legs from adult ducks and presumably in some cases can pull them under and consume them. Watching eels dismantle dead possums when they fall in the river, I think they'd have little trouble with a duck, if they were hungry. I guess it depends how many ducks you have and whether you value them as a population, or as individuals.

I have seen an eel attack a duck from underwater ( it was at a wildlife park, and they had a more than 1.5m plastic window into the stream.) The eel zoomed up and grabbed a leg, but possibly wasn't expecting a large duck to be attached to it, for the eel didn't get a good hold and the duck struggled and flew away. I doubt the duck had a healthy leg after that though.

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12 years 3 months ago #319634 by Isla
Replied by Isla on topic Ducks using a fresh water dam
A couple of one-footed ducks have lived here at various times, presumably the victims of eels. They were Mallards and eventually disappeared again.

I startled some Paradise ducklings one spring night and they all threw themselves into the stream and dived under the water to hide. They were quite big ducklings by then, just before they started to grow obvious feathers. Eight went in and only seven came back up. There were some big eels in that bit of the stream.

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12 years 3 months ago #319660 by arnie.m

Kiwi303;305136 wrote: adult ducks, no problem, a 40 yr old eel the size of your arm would eat ducklings, but adult ducks are more in danger from the hawks.

Never had a problem with Hawks if the ducks are on the water (adults or babies) but not sure which is worse attack from above or below :( :(

arnie
88 Valley
Nelson

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12 years 3 months ago #319684 by LongRidge
There is a moderately high risk that the ducks will pollute the water and surrounding pasture with Salmonella, which if the sheep eat it can make them very sick or worse.

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12 years 3 months ago #319731 by Ducking Around
Good point longridge, back to plan A then. Dig a new one. *sigh* thinking of all that hard work.

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12 years 3 months ago #319735 by LongRidge
Remember that if you are using a 20T digger, to not dig it too deep. A deep pond makes it really hard for a human to get the animals that fall into the pond with ryegrass staggers out again ..... especially if the pond has leeches in it, which the one on one of our grazing blocks had. I hate unfenced ponds ...or even fenced ones .... on LSBs. With that pond, the next owners tractor rolled over when he was trying to clean it.

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12 years 3 months ago #319798 by Hawkspur

LongRidge;305206 wrote: There is a moderately high risk that the ducks will pollute the water and surrounding pasture with Salmonella, which if the sheep eat it can make them very sick or worse.

If you can plant a good sized margin with reeds and other water plants, then the water quality should be kept at a good level unless you have a large number of ducks for the size of the dam. The planting also provides a good habitat for the ducks and other water life.

The system for "natural swimming pools" uses this concept, and has been shown to keep water faecal coliform counts at lower than those in chlorinated pools.

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12 years 3 months ago #319810 by LongRidge
A problem with a good sized margin planting of flaxes, toitoi etc is that it makes a good place for water and other rats to nest, which will eat the ducklings and eggs. With plantings in the water you might be safe from these.

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12 years 3 months ago #319829 by Hawkspur
Sorry- I meant in-water margin plants - reeds etc. Thanks LR.

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12 years 3 months ago #319967 by Ducking Around
If it was tidal do you think that would be ok. we back on to a river with an open drain through our property and i could dig the pond off that as long as its fenced off.

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