Duck Duck Street

Ducks in Lane

These ducks are in a lane leading to the upper south pasture which hasn’t gotten grazed yet this year so it is fairly deep. That soil got hard packed last year because it was a lane that led out to many paddocks. Sidewalks and streets are like that.

The ducks aren’t bound by the fences so they head up the lane and visit paddocks that the pigs aren’t using at this time.

Since it hasn’t gotten used this year the lane has grown back to forages. I can clearly see where it was as the plant types are different than the surrounding pastures, but it’s lush and green again where once it was packed earth.

In addition to the domestic ducks who stir our pig ponds and much in our fields there is also a wild mallard duck hen who hatched a clutch of eggs in our lower pond. She now leads her ducklings out to the fields during the day and we catch glimpses of her time to time.

It is the warm season, the easy season, the time of life.

Outdoors: 78°F/62°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/64°F

Daily Spark: Some Futurists are worried that robots and AIs will wipe out humanity because humans are dangerous and unpredictable. Don’t worry. We keep “dangerous” pets. Take cats for example. Highly unpredictable, armed with razor sharp claws and needle sharp teeth as well as a will to use them for maiming and even killing. Yet, we keep cats as pets. We enjoy them. We also keep dogs. Not your little ankle biter but big dogs that can take your arm off with a single bite. And boars. And even worse, sows who will start chewing you up at your finger tips and continue right up your arms. And bulls that can crush and gore in a flash. Then there are the dreaded horses who kill and maim thousands of people a year. Yet, despite these risks, we keep all of these as pets and as livestock. Just because a species is ‘dangerous’ and ‘unpredictable’ does not mean we’ll wipe it out. We’ll even keep around Humans – although possibly in smaller numbers.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Duck Duck Street

  1. Jami says:

    Hey Walter,
    I’m curious about your fence in the background of your ducks – is this what you use for both pigs and sheep? And does it work for weaned piglets to adult pigs?

    Do you have a post that shows more pictures of your fences?
    I’m still trying to get my electric fence groove fail proof, but there are always one or two escape artist in the crowd it seems.

    • That fencing is in the last section of the south field weaning paddocks which is a training area for young pigs. See South Weaning Paddock where you can see the same area from a different angle. For more photos of fences see this search pattern.

      Regarding escape artists: the first thing is to train the animals to electric fencing. It is a psychological barrier, not a physical barrier, so they need to learn it. That is the purpose of the weaning paddock setup in the above linked article. Basically put a hot wire fence like you’ll have in the field within a physical barrier fence. Then fade out the physical barrier.

      Regarding escape artists who don’t learn: eat them. We used to sometimes get what we called Houdini pigs. They were not willing to observe the rules. Looking at our lineages I saw there was a genetic component to this behavior so I culled away from it. Selective breeding is a powerful tool for both physical characteristics and behaviors. Bacon is the cure.

      • Kelly M Ward says:

        Dang. We have 3 young pigs, 2 gilts and a boar we got in December for our beginning breeding stock. The hot fence we’ve had them in worked for a while but recently they haven’t seemed to care for it too much (we also found some areas where the circuit got grounded, so now the fence needs to re-charge, ug). Thankfully they’ve pretty well stayed within the cow pasture during their walk abouts, but yesterday they decided to see what lay beyond (only got a few feet before we turned them around, but they seem to like to explore…).

        When you say “train” to the e-fence, is there more to it than letting them figure out what the fence does? In our first paddock we have e-fence and game fence outside it, and in our second paddock we have mostly just e-fence which worked until recently. We’re currently re-enforcing the game fence and bordering our second paddock now as well as adding bare e-wire to the bottom row as the polywire is stretching.

        Is there anything else you would suggest?

        • The best way to train to electric fencing is to have a strong physically fenced area and about 6″ inside that put electric fencing of the type you’ll use out in the field. After about two weeks the pigs should be well trained to electric.

          You need to test electric, ideally daily, and walk it ideally weekly or when ever there is a significant drop in voltage. Any shorting offers an opportunity to learn that the fence is not hot.

          Polywire works but high tensile 12g is ideal.

          See more in the articles:
          Pig Proof
          Calibrating Pain

          and here’s a search pattern for more reading.

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