Like a duck to water?

People ask how soon you can let a duckling onto water? Of course — wildfowl will swim as soon as they’re fluffed-up. For the most aquatic tribes, swimming water from the start is a must. Here a Common Scoter shares with a Bufflehead; a lone Lake Duck takes readily to a roasting pan and Spotted Whistling Ducks thrive in a Zwetsloot rearing tank. Serious breeders tend to build their own dedicated facilities, but if you are caught out before works are finished you may have to use what you have to hand. It is important to eliminate all areas where birds can get trapped, and provide ramps or stones for getting in and out. If you end up having to buy bits and pieces to complete the project, you may find the total cost would have been less if you had a purpose-made brooder tank. Ah, hindsight — a wonderful thing!

Lake duckling at home straight away