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Ducks Won't Come Out in AM

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Greetings!

My fiancee and I have 3 female and 1 male young adult ducks. Every night we usher them into an extra-extra large dog kennel and cover them. The kennel is right underneath our bedroom window so we can hear if anything is going on. They sleep through the night and wake us at 7 AM like clock-work. Each morning one of us goes out, uncovers them, and opens the door. We always feed them in the morning and they used to come out and watch us toss the food in the yard then run like crazy to it. The problem is, as of late, they WILL NOT come out of the kennel. Today they spent 2 hours still in there, even after having shown them that the door was open. I have tried tapping on the back of the kennel, lifting up the back of the kennel very slightly, knocking on the back, and everything in between. I have tried putting some of their pellets right in front of the open door to coax them out- to no avail. I actually had to put a little of their food inside the kennel to keep them from "screaming" at us and upsetting the neighbors (we live in a suburban neighborhood). 

 

Is there anyone that can help us figure out what is going on with our babies? Thank you all so very much!!!

 

The duck setup: 

The kennel is the plastic kind with the ventilation holes on the upper halves and a wire door. One long side is up against our house (not flush so there is air-flow), the back has no ventilation holes, which leaves the other long side and the door uncovered. We cover the door with a tarp so they can sleep (our ridiculous neighbor leaves their two porch lights on all night). On rainy nights they are completely covered. Also, they do have a kiddie pool that we clean out about twice a week that they swim in and drink from.

post #2 of 6
It actually sounds like your ducks are trying to tell you something... either they are too cramped in that kennel or there is a predator stalking them at night... they really need a secure duck house and/or secure pen for them... if something really wants a duck dinner, and believe me that is a predators fave, that plastic will not keep it out... even if you hear it, by the time you can get out to them it will more than likely be too late... and at the least, they will suffer unnecessary trauma...

And I do hope they have a dedicated water and food dish for fresh water and access to food throughout the day? Especially when young, they need to be able to eat properly when they are hungry... and pool water, although sipped quite frequently by many a duck, isn't adequate alone...

I think @Amiga might have some links to info that could help... smile.png
Edited by RavynFallen - 5/23/16 at 12:11am
Frawg Muse
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
There's no signal of distress whatsoever at night. They're right under our window, it's actually higher than the bottom of our window by a couple of inches. We can hear hear any noise they make.
I have been wondering if it was the size of their sleeping quarters but it seems like they would want to get out of there asap if they felt like it was too cramped. All the same, we're going to be looking into building them a larger coop.
Thank you for your help!
post #4 of 6
Welcome, and that sounds like a good idea...

But just to clarify, if there is something watching them but not getting too close yet, ducks first survival instincts are to stay still and silent, before flight or sounding alarm...
Frawg Muse
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Frawg Muse
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by beccakaye View Post

There's no signal of distress whatsoever at night. They're right under our window, it's actually higher than the bottom of our window by a couple of inches. We can hear hear any noise they make.
I have been wondering if it was the size of their sleeping quarters but it seems like they would want to get out of there asap if they felt like it was too cramped. All the same, we're going to be looking into building them a larger coop.
Thank you for your help!


When ducks sense danger very near, they get very, very quiet.

 

When there is some space, some way to escape, they will make noise to alert the flock.


Edited by Amiga - 5/23/16 at 5:32am

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post #6 of 6

I suggest you get a copy of Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks.  There is a chapter in there about outdoor setups.

 

Everything wants to eat duck.  Predators have all night to get at them.  All night.  And you may not hear a single thing.

 

Half inch metal hardware cloth is very useful.

 

Think like a predator.  It only takes a one inch gap for a raccoon to reach in and pull a duck out, piece by piece.  This happened to a duck of a friend of mine.

 

And since ducks poop in their water, only refreshing their drinking water twice a week greatly increases the bacterial load, thus straining their immune system.  I have a separate drinking pot for my flock.  That gets changed out at least once every day for the day pen, and every evening for the night pen.

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  

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