Saturday, September 03, 2011

Ducks

Twelve days ago, I got up my nerve and rode the 4-wheeler over to discuss the duck situation with the next-door neighbor.  I went to the back door, there was a fence around it.  Not wanting to open the gate without permission, I went to the front door. 

There was a kiddie gate across the top of the steps, and it was closed.  Still hesitant to cross marked boundaries, I circled around to the back again, noticed the garage door, and knocked.  From my position outside the house I could see the guy feeding his dog in the basement.  The lights went on and off.  I knocked again.  I could see his wife in the hall upstairs, and I could hear raised voices.  I knocked again, and again.  I heard the word "DUCKS" shouted, but the rest of their argument was unclear.  I knocked again. 

The basement lights went on and off again.  I could still see the man.  I am sure he looked right at me. I knocked again.  Everything went quiet.  After a few more minutes I decided they weren't going to come to the door.

Just as I turned to leave,  the man opened the door.  After some discussion about how I should have gone to the front door, that they couldn't hear knocking on the garage door,  I explained that I had talked to his wife a month or more ago, and said that the ducks could become a problem, and that my prediction was correct.  The ducks are a problem.  They leave eggs, feathers, and poop in my pond.  The vegetation in the pond is changing due to the "fertilizer" .

His response "but the ducks enjoy it so much!" I explained that I cannot enjoy my pond now for fear of salmonella or dirty water.  He said the fence around his coop was too low, and that is how the ducks get out.  I told him we had appreciated it when he was able to keep the ducks at home for three days when my grandchildren were visiting and we gave them permission to chase the ducks out of our yard.   As soon as the grandchildren left, the ducks returned.  He said he couldn't afford to buy more fencing.  I explained that is was his responsibility to keep his livestock in his yard.  I asked when he would be able to get the fence. (Never mind that the ducks are home all day until he gets home from work, after his daily return the ducks are released to visit our house.)  He responded that he thought in two weeks he would have the money.  I shook his hand.  I noted that I want to keep good relations with my neighbors and I would hate to have to call animal control.

So, of course the ducks have still been here on a daily basis.  Knowing it is a problem, instead of trying to keep the ducks at home, he is pushing the limit.

Two more days.  On Tuesday following Labor Day, if the ducks are still visiting us, I have a plan.  The Macomb county regulations say that you should contain the animal before calling the animal control office.  So I am going to tear up some of my deer fence for the garden and make some low fences between the house and garage (on the ducks' daily path), which should funnel the ducks right into an open-doored dog crate.  There will be fish food and water in the crate, which will hopefully entice the ducks into the strange arrangement.  As soon as they go in, I will "Bang" the door shut behind them, and call animal control. 

Do you think this will work?

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