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Wild Ducks How to Rear and Shoot Them   By:

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Transcriber's Note

The punctuation and spelling from the original text have been faithfully preserved. Only obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

WILD DUCKS

[Illustration: W.L. Colls. Ph. Sc.

" The Fleet at Flight time. "]

WILD DUCKS

HOW TO REAR AND SHOOT THEM

BY

CAPTAIN W. COAPE OATES

WITH 4 PHOTOGRAVURE PLATES FROM DRAWINGS BY G.E. LODGE, AND 12 ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGRAPHS

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON NEW YORK AND BOMBAY 1905

All rights reserved

TO

MY WIFE

PREFACE

The main object of this book is to assist those who are anxious to rear wild ducks on economical lines. The Author is not without hope that the pages which it contains may even be of some use to old hands at the game.

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. SELECTION OF STOCK AND THEIR HOME 13

II. LAYING AND SITTING 25

III. HATCHING AND REARING 41

IV. SHOOTING 61

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PHOTOGRAVURE PLATES

From Drawings by G.E. LODGE

THE FLEET AT FLIGHT TIME Frontispiece

ON GUARD To face p. 25

A TIDY MOTHER 33

QUITE TALL ENOUGH 61

FROM PHOTOGRAPHS

COMING IN TO FEED 16

THE CAGE 20

THE REARING PADDOCK 41

A SMALL RUN 46

WARE WIRE! 48

WIRED IN ON THE WATER 51

AN INEFFECTIVE CRIPPLE STOPPER 64

BEFORE THE EVENING MEAL 67

A RIGHT AND LEFT 69

AT THE END OF THE DAY 70

COMING ON A SIDE WIND 73

LADIES IN WAITING 74

SELECTION OF STOCK AND THEIR HOME

WILD DUCKS

CHAPTER I

SELECTION OF STOCK AND THEIR HOME

The first point to be decided by the would be owner of wild fowl is the locality where he intends to turn down his stock.

Wild fowl can undoubtedly be reared far from any large piece of water, but I am strongly of opinion that birds do better on a good sized stretch of water with a stream running into it and out of it. Given these advantages, the running water must be constantly bringing a fresh supply of food, especially after a fall of rain sufficiently heavy to cause a rise of water; further, if the stream which runs out of our lake empties itself into a large river, the latter will, when it floods or rises rapidly, cause our stream to back up and bring in a further supply of food from the main river.

Some morning the ducks are absent from their accustomed haunts, and if we walk up to the spot where the stream enters the lake, ten to one we shall find our birds there thoroughly enjoying some duck weed or other food swept down by a rise in the water.

This supply of fresh food is a gratifying source of economy to the grain bill at the end of the year, and it is most fascinating to watch the birds "standing on their heads" in their endeavours to reach this change of diet.

Another great advantage, too, is that a far higher percentage of fertile eggs will be obtained if the ducks have a large piece of water at their disposal.

Given these advantages, it is, however, most necessary for the birds to have some shelter near the lake, both as a protection against the weather and to serve as suitable nesting places.

Nothing, for instance, could be better than a stackyard or paddock in the vicinity of the water, and if the paddock is bounded by a flood bank or tall hedge, giving shelter from the prevailing wind, so much the better.

Ducks love to nest in stacks, and I have known a pinioned bird work her way up the side of a stack and make her nest fifteen feet from the ground... Continue reading book >>




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