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BGD

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  1. Excellent, Whitewestie, never heard of the bran before so thank you for the tip, willc ertainly try this out! I'm lucky enough to work at home so the ducks have an expectation of not spending too much time in their pen.
  2. Thanks Cheeky Chooky, I wondered if there was a difference between 'pea shingle' and 'pea gravel' i.e. Wickes do a giant bag of the former for around £35 (plus delivery) and the latter seems to be (where I can find it) more expensive. I did look at the larger, more rounded 20mm gravel that Wickes do today, same price, but I wondered ducks feet would deal with it. I'm assuming that as you mention shingle, it would be fine to use this. We have 5, one drake and Khaki Campbells of one sort or another.
  3. Hi Leanne Thanks for the reply. Yes, they used to have the run of our whole garden, but with two small children, they effectively took it over and destroyed the grass leaving a sea of poo in their wake over last winter, so I recently reclaimed it and moved them to the bottom 1/4 of the garden. I made an error with my earlier post on the size of their area, it's effectively double that. They seem happy enough there, going in and behind the cage to explore and getting up on top of the plastic feed box and mooching about. When really bored they come into the main garden too - it is only 2 foot trellis with gaps that prevents them as I wanted to leave an escape exit in case of a fox attack (had one last year). That's why I also don't clip their wings. They have learnt to restrain themselves most of the time. I will buy some of that powder, thanks, was looking at it this morning. I think after a couple of hours reading posts on the www (in the UK and elsewhere) that I am leaning towards pea gravel in one half of their outside area, especially around their pool and a grass protector such as this http://www.boddingtons-ltd.com/cgi-bin/ca000002.pl in the other half. Grass grows through and allows some (hopefully) drainage. If that doesn't work than I might extend the pen to part of this garden, roof it and straw it too. If the children were not so attached, I would ideally like to go back to three, but that doesn't seem feasible. Any other tips, welcome.
  4. I am trying to find the best solution for keeping down the smells and therefore the flies in the duck area. We have a pen for our 5 ducks (12 foot by 4 foot) which is filled with straw and regularly cleaned. But we also allow them out into another area of the garden, fenced off, which is about 20 feet long and six feet wide. Over time, unsurprisingly, the grass has disappeared and now it is just hard earth, a pond and their poo. This attracts flies and smells. I have purchased a Red Top fly catcher and try, not very successfully, to hose down the earth but the smells persist and I can see our neighbours getting increasingly agitated as the duck area abuts the end of their back garden. I'm trying to research some solutions and wonder whether anyone has tried anything that actually works? Otherwise my options if I can't source something is keeping them in the pen consistently or whittling down their numbers to cut down on poo production! Any suggestions appreciated. Currently considering rubber mats, rubber chippings, some sort of gravel that is not going to hurt their feet, covering part of the area and laying with straw/hay/bark chippings, reducing their space to roam etc etc
  5. Went to the vets today. Duck a bit sprightlier. Had a Dexetril injection and some oral Baytril to give. Seems fine but trying to get a duck to open wide! Anyway, salt water and give it some time plus look at better garden defences and in hindsight it's probably a good thing - much less horrifying than it might have been if we weren't in and all 5 of them had been savaged, so good to try to make it a little more secure.
  6. Thank you Leanne It's quite a fair sized hole and it was unable to walk, so I'm not too sure if any other damage. It will take some time to heal over, so perhaps it needs a stitch. I'll gauge the situation tomorrow morning think. Will give it a wipe with some salt water a little later, when it's less nervous. Will also look into herban so we have some in case of need now or in the future. Thanks again Ben Re: P.S. - Yes, I certainly will keep a keener eye out. I have read before on some other forum about the repellent qualities of male wee...so might consider taking a plastic cup out (too much information I know, sorry!)
  7. Hi This evening a rather large fox came into our garden for the first time, scaring the heck out of most of the ducks and (as far as I can see now) leaving a large puncture wound in one. Thankfully I managed to land a kick and it disappeared over the back fence. The poorly duck is presently in the house in a box with straw, water and ..peas (treat). The emergency vet advised to keep it warm and if possible leave the wound open. This is about the size of a penny piece and an inch under a wing on the side/tummy area. Is there any advice? I assume I'll need to attend the local vet for antibiotics tomorrow morning. The duck is quiet, obviously shocked (in shock perhaps) but is eating and drinking. Thanks.

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