Make sure the ducklings can get out of box too. Staple hardware cloth or something similar to inside below hole. Scuffing the wood with a claw hammer does the same thing. The boxes don't necessarily need to be close to water either. Shrubby
now till spring is good.
obviously you need a well designed plan, i'm sure you have already. a good preditor guard can be made with cheap plastic childrens saucer sleds.
also if you want to put them on state land you need to contact the head ranger or dnr officer for that land. and as a loast reminder , these boxes have to be maintained. cleaned out every year and bedding replaced.
if it doesn't get used right away don;t worry, sometimes it takes a year or two before a duck finds and likes it.
As others have stated now is almost perfect. Use an ice auger to bore through the ice near shore, then just pound your post in and done. Much easier that doing it from a boat. Just a little tip, use a 10' galvanized steel fence post instead of a wooden post and you don't have to bother with predator guards, Home Depo usually carries them in stock.
I have had much better luck with Hardwood mulch for bedding. I found many Ducklings that could not breach the back half of thier shell. It seems as if perhaps the wicking action of Ceder bedding dried out any moisture that was in the back half of the shell and they could not rid themslves of it. I switched to Hardwood mulch and have not had the issue since.
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