Your ducks are definitely smarter than mine! They do have to hop up to their coop, but they are flyers, so it's not bad for them. The ones who have trouble are the Pekings. They are heavy bodied and short legged. :^)
Colddddddddddddd. - Page 3
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
The problem I had with stock tanks was I couldn't find one less than 2' high. My ducks couldn't seem to grasp that they had to go up to get to the water. I built a ramp and even steps out of bricks and paving stones, but they wouldn't use them. The only way they would swim was if they could see the water and easily get in and out. Sinking the tank to near ground level is the only way they would have used it. Hopefully you can find a shorter one or maybe your ducks are smarter than mine.
I have a tall stock tank and I use a large dog ( think golden retriever size dog) car ramp for them to access it.
When i first got the tank I picked all my ducks up and put them in the water. Once I knew they knew the water is there ( flying up there themselves) I added the dog ramp. I started by putting them on the top of the ramp so they could access the water. Then a few days later I'd put them at about halfway and encourage them to walk up it. Then a few days later I put them on the bottom and gently prodded them to walk up. Took about 3-5 days to get everyone confident of the ramp + pool.
Now it's their favorite feature to sun on or quack boss me around.
Edited by cayugaducklady - 1/18/16 at 9:30am
I tried a dog ramp at first, (easier than stacking heavy paving bricks) and I tried to pick them up and show them where the water was, and placing them on it (ramp) and tried coaxing them forward. They were terrified, jumping off at the earliest opportunity while being cheered on by the others (running around the outside of the tank quacking loudly, flapping their wings). Like I said, my ducks aren't very bright :^). I finally gave up and did the kiddie plastic pool thing. They, not knowing any better, thought it quite wonderful; also not willing to see my side of it, they wouldn't even try the tank. I decided 6 Pekings weren't worth all the time I lay awake at night trying to devise some new entrance (and exit). Laughing at myself now, but last summer I was in earnest.
Thank you all for the ideas and help.
You can lead a duck to water, but you can't make him get in.