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How to get ducks to go into coop at night? - Page 2

post #11 of 16

I echo Amiga.  I pull my feeder for a couple of hours in the afternoon then bring it back between 4-5 PM.  They will go right in the enclosure at afternoon feeding, sometimes ahead of me.  Once inside the fence for the remainder of the day it becomes easy to herd them inside the coop at dark though sometimes they will go in on their own.  Since part of my pond is inside the fence they prefer to sit on the water until I encourage them to go "night night" at dusk.  I too have a layer of bedding at least six inches thick and insulate between the 2x4 wall studs with hay bales in the winter.  They seem to like it.

One wonderful wife, one son and daughter-in-law, 2 great grandkids, 1 neato gray tabby cat, and 4 Khaki Campbells
This is the day which the LORD hath made ; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

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One wonderful wife, one son and daughter-in-law, 2 great grandkids, 1 neato gray tabby cat, and 4 Khaki Campbells
This is the day which the LORD hath made ; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Reply
post #12 of 16

I tell my girls time for bed and I walk towards their night pen. 90% of the time they follow me and walk right in.  If they've found a particularly rich forage spot (night crawlers,  chicory or frogs)  they'll follow me for a bit and then run back to their foraging spot.  I'll tell them time for bed and gently herd them by using my arms to direct them until they file into the night pen.  Once they're in the pen each one gets a bit of their favorite treat (BOSS,  shredded kale or cabbage or if its a cold night steamed tater/carrot/parsnip/beets).

 

On a very rare occasion,  they'll decide that they really need to be outside for the rest of the night. Usually it's to finish their all female mating games or mine a particularly rich  patch of night crawlers or tree frogs.  I'll gently pick up one duck and carry her to the pen door.  The others follow and they all file into the pen. Once they're in the pen each one gets a bit of their favorite treat (BOSS, shredded kale or cabbage or if its a cold night steamed tater/carrot/parsnip/beets).

 

I try to  get them started towards bed before it gets too dark on me.  Black ducks  in fading light = very hard to see, especially if they're standing still while hunting.

post #13 of 16

Thanks for the reply

First let me say these six birds will NOT let me or anyone within 10 feet of them before they are off and running

The dog house has no door on it right now I was waiting to be able to get then in using it

Within the pen is a raised chicken coop

several feed and water bowls and a small kiddie pool

The pool gets cleaned daily and I throw in lettuce,romaine,grass whatever I have

These birds have spent the night sleeping in the water

Should I take the pool out???

I have put a food dish in the duck house only to have 1 or2 of them stretch their necks in put they will not go in to eat

They forage all day on the lawn and garden

The dog house has a small window in it for light only

I do not keep food or water inside and it has a layer of 6 inches of clean hay

What am I not doing

It will be cold soon They do hudle to stay warm but soon there will be no pool as it will turn to ice and no hose outside

PLEASE HELP....

post #14 of 16

I have no idea if this would work for ducks but I have used this technique for other animals that seemed skittish of people  or being handled.

 

Put a blanket down on the ground. BRing a book or magazine or music to listen to.  Bring a treat that you have lots of.

Sit on the blanket and ignore the animal(s).  Wait for them to come up to you to investigate. When they come over to investigate, reward them with treats.  Each time you do it, the animals have to come a bit closer or tolerate a bit more handling to get the treat.

 

Repeat indefinitely until they no longer seem skittish.

 

This won't immediately help with the herding but it may help build a closer bond with the ducks which may,in turn lead to easier herding.

 

I talk to my ducks while I'm herding them.  This helps me keep it focused in my mind's eye where i want them to go and hopefully helps them figure out i want them to go to a specific spot.

 

When I first started herding them, I had two hiking poles to serve as arm extensions because i'm short and dumpy :) I didn't need them but they may help you extend the  "barrier"  far enough so they can see the boundaries they need to stay between.

 

I use my arms to form a cone around shape and try to keep the ducks inside the cone. This may mean  micromanaging a single duck that doesn't go where i need her to go.

 

It may be easier to focus on getting just one to go where you want.  When all else fails for me ( because frogs are yummy!) if i can  get one to the right spot the other three come fwap-running to the pen because they don't want to be separated.

 

 

I know it's  anxiety-inducing and frustrating when they need to be in safe place NOW. I have to stay centered, zen like, in the zone... basically focused on getting from point A to point B with no rush.

 

I wish I had more to offer.

 

PS- I sometimes have the opposite problem.  Im standing right next to my girls, inches away,  and they won't move forward.. because they know I'm too soft to threaten them.  I use a soft "tshhhh" noise to let them know i really do mean move it.

post #15 of 16

Please don't misunderstand

They follow my chickens every night back into a 6 foot high gated pen of almost 300 square feet,so they have protection to a degree

The chickens go into their coop and I close the door...but these ducks just freak out and start running and banging off everything in their pen to stay away from me.

They sleep on the ground instead of the dog house that is loaded with fresh hay and a bowl of pellets

I have even found them sleeping in the little pond in the mornings but soon there will be no pond as winter is coming fast

I just want them to have a nice safe warm place to sleep in.

I leave feed out all the time should I 

I have been told only feed at night they free range during the day

Do I put food and water in their dog house or only feed and water outside

Should I keep the pond out of the pen or even get rid of it????

I am so confused??????

post #16 of 16
I see.

My ducks didn't start resting in the dogloo until the summer Equinox happened. Even now with our nights sometimes dipping into the 30s they don't spend all night in the dogloo. As long as I know they're safe I'm ok with them sleeping any where they want inside their locked pen. My girls spend their rest yime in one if four places inside the locked pen: testing under the tall grass/ weeds, resting on the ramp to the pool, resting under the ramp to the pool, or inside the dogloo. They spend the least time in the dogloo-maybe 1 to 2 hours max right now.

Our pen was built almost bear proof due to the predators we could possibly have in our area.

I'm ok with my girls sleeping wherever inside as long as evidence shows that they're safe and not at risk of frostbite.

I don't know the answer regarding the pond. I plan on leaving my pond in the pen and blocking access if the water starts to freeze or does freeze. From what I've read they shouldn't have access to swimming water if it will freeze because they can injure or break legs when it freezes.

When it is cold enough to freeze drinking water: My plan is to feed in the morning and offer bath water and drinking water. Then repeat at night. Until then they'll have free choice food/water.

This is my first winter with ducks. I plan on watching them for signs that they aren't happy/ warm and adjusting my plans/ arrangements with them many times because we are all first timers. ( this will be ducks first winter, too )

The dogloo is plenty big for them to sleep/next/ play duck games but it isn't jig enough for food and water. I don't know if they should have access inside a structure.

I'm not great at winter in general. Where I grew up 1/2 inch of snow was enough yo close school for a week. Seems like every winter I learn something new about winter where I live now. I've tried up plan for what I've experienced in the worst possible winters and tried to stay away from relying on electricity because ours tends to go out and be out for 7-10 days at a time when weather emergencies happen.

Ps I did make a backup plan for if winter goes haywire like last year. They'll stay in the garage which is big enough to offer multiple drinking pans, drinking pans and dog pool. I have tarps and an inside sleeping area all set up and ready to go.

I'm probably not answering your questions well enough.

I think a good starting point would be to use your knowledge of your winters, read about what others are going or experts recommend and compare that to your plans for winter. That should give you the areas that might need a better plan or need more work.
Edited by cayugaducklady - 10/14/15 at 8:49am
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