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Advice Needed: Muscovies Won't Go into Coop at Night

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello All,

 

We have 9 lovely Muscovies (5 months old) that prefer our pond at night over their snug, secure, predator-proof coop.  

 

My question: if I clip their wings are they more likely to go into their coop at night?  Right now we are given the glorious spectacle of watching them sore over our field down to their pond each morning, but I am very willing to sacrifice such aesthetic beauty to reduce the stress of having them out all night at risk to hungry fox, owls, etc.  My only fear in clipping their wings is that they still will not come into the coop at night and then they will be at a severe disadvantage unable to fly away from predators.  They have spent a lot of nights out on our pond but with winter coming I'm concerned the hunting will pick up more.  

 

Any tips?  

 

I've tried not feeding them all day and only feeding at night to get them into the coop but so far have not had much luck getting all of them in at the same time - I nearly always have a few independent stragglers.  

 

Thanks in advance for any help.  

 

PS.  Our 4 Dutch Hookbills (also 5 months old) just started staying out at night as well, so the question applies to them too.

post #2 of 8

-Put a small night light in for a few days.

-Put treats in the coop and lock them in at night.

-How do you post a new thread?

-How long have you had them?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.

 

What is the night light for?

 

Our Mama duck hatched them so we've had them since they were born at the end of May.

 

Any other thoughts from duck owners?

post #4 of 8

We trained ours from when we first moved them into the coop.  I turn the light on and once it starts gettng dark they all slowly migrate into the coop for the night.  Mealworms are a big hit these days but it took a while before they realized how much they all like them.  We also have two geese which seem to learn the system easily and help herd the group where they need to be.  The hardest part is getting them down from the top of the chicken run, but again meal worms are now in high demand!!  And come to that rescue.

 

Troy & Tina

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Mealworms - thanks for the tip!  

 

I didn't realize they would appreciate a light in the coop.  We have a solar light we've been meaning to set up, I guess this is just the incentive we need =)

 

So no one thinks clipping their wings would suppress their wilder instincts and domesticate them more thereby forcing them into the coop at night for safe keeping?

post #6 of 8

I can't speak from experience, but my gut tells me that in our version of the hundred acre wood - too many predators around to not allow them the mobility they were intended to have.  Unless our covies decide they need to fly far far away, then I'd rather leave them the ability to escape and evade on their terms.  We've learned many lessons in the short time we've had our little flock, and many more still to learn and with that no matter how safe I believe they are, something or some critter will prove me wrong.

I wish I could speak more definitively for you, but that's the best this rookie can offer.

 

Troy & Tina

post #7 of 8
Mine used to have a hard time going up, but I kind of made them get over it, I mean they're ducks so they want to stay outside all the time but well.... You know not safe at all, I just made it a night out outline for mine and even when they tried to fly I would step in front of them or rush and grab them, they're tricksters, adorable tricksters at that <3 anyway, they are super easy to train especially on routine, after about a week of routine they got used to it and now go up with me herding them in easily, also if it's a closed space they probably won't like it as much, my 'coop' is a large dog kennel with chicken wire all around the sides, and top of course and bricks as well as under woven chicken wire at the bottom so nothing could dig. And I put on a roof when it's raining and that's it, see mine free range all the time like for a good 10 hours so they're not in there long so it doesn't get that dirty especially bc it's well ventilated from being open and outside so they really don't mind it
I love my muscovies!!! Wood ,Wood ( yes two ducks named Wood), Shell, Flo, Black cap, Trumps, Mute, Egyptian, Indie, Silver, Spur, Salty, Gaddy, NeNe, Widge, Swiss, Mist, Eider, Comb, Leo, Frost, Eos, Fawn, Orchid, Goldy, Tulip, and Pine
Mandarins: Sky and Ember

In memory:
Marble, Lil bit, Europe, Mask, April, Buffy, Marigold, Canvas, Rosey, Mallard, Farm, Crest, Smew, and Celeste
Reply
I love my muscovies!!! Wood ,Wood ( yes two ducks named Wood), Shell, Flo, Black cap, Trumps, Mute, Egyptian, Indie, Silver, Spur, Salty, Gaddy, NeNe, Widge, Swiss, Mist, Eider, Comb, Leo, Frost, Eos, Fawn, Orchid, Goldy, Tulip, and Pine
Mandarins: Sky and Ember

In memory:
Marble, Lil bit, Europe, Mask, April, Buffy, Marigold, Canvas, Rosey, Mallard, Farm, Crest, Smew, and Celeste
Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts.  I think I'm going to clip one of the girls' wings and see what she does.  Our Mama Duck has never been able to fly and she consistently goes into the coop at night so I'm hoping I can re-create the same scenario in our girls.  The boys have been coming in at night, oddly enough.  I think our pond is just too enticing.  Their coop is plenty spacious with a nice, outdoor run attached, but it's still not a pond.  

 

I'll let you know how it goes.

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