There was only one thing to do. I put the fence back up.....
But this time it kept them OUT of the safe zone. This was even worse. They wouldn't even come out of the hutch when I opened the door in the morning for a week or two. I finally had some success when I stopped using scare tactics and started bribing them with treats. That worked until I broke up a large sunflower head for a special treat one morning... that was just too suspicious....they wouldn't go near it.
steaming hot spent grain from the brewery
They still don't venture out very far, so I haven't taken the fence back down yet.
And then, one day they decided to eat all of the Lemon Sorrel leaves......and I mean, ALL OF THEM!
And the quacking!!!!!!!! THE INCESSANT QUACKING!!!!!!! I'm surprised that the neighbors don't complain. They quack to get out in the morning.....they quack to be locked in and fed in the evening....they quack when we turn the bathroom light on....... they quack when we turn the bedroom light on......they quack when we go into the sunroom to get another log for the fire........they quack when someone drives up the driveway......and they really quack when I take a bath. That's right, when I take a bath. Now, everyone who knows me well, knows I take about a 1 hour bath at least once a week. It's one of my favorite things to do. But now..........everytime I'm in there they start quacking, and I swear......they don't stop until I get out. I get a headache just thinking about it.
During the cold snap I stopped letting them out during the day. I mean, what's the point? So they can walk out of the hutch 4 feet and sit in the snow? So of course the ducks spent the entire time in the pool, splashing about, and succeeded in freezing the door shut. Oh well.......it was going to warm up eventually anyways, right? Hmmmm, after about of week of that I took a bucket of hot water out there and poured it over the door and got it open for them. They were very happy to get out.....
Now, sometimes I wonder why I keep ducks through the winter. Wouldn't it be easier to just butcher them all and start over in the Spring? That way I wouldn't have to stay home feeding my non-egglaying ducks expensive grain all winter. Besides, baby ducks are cute, right? But then, I remember that a duck doesn't lay eggs until they are 6 months old, and experienced ducks are easier to handle than clueless, rookie ducks.
So I guess I'll have to put up with them........but how will I stop from going crazy?!?!?!?!