A couple questions about ducks...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SunAngel, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. SunAngel

    SunAngel Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    I have 8 ducks that up til now I have been chasing into their house at night and locking them up. I am noticing a lot of people who just leave theirs outside. Mine have a 10x20 run attached to their coop w/ a small pond. Bantam run blocks one end, chicken run is along one long side, double wire on the other end & side and a piece of plastic lattice on the ends (over the wire) to help with wind block...if all that makes any sense. No signs of predators as of yet.

    I am wondering if I should just leave the door to their coop open and give them the option to stay out or go in at night? They never go inside on their own til they know I am coming to chase them in. Will they make noise all night if they hear noises? Will their noises outside possibly attract predators?

    Also, several people said they don't put food and water inside their duck houses when they lock them up. Is this really ok for the ducks? Will they be fine all night without either one, even in Winter? I have kept both in their house til now, but they always have the hay wet from their waterer. I was debating on taking both out, but I don't want the ducks to go hungry or thirsty all night. Will they eat enough during the day to keep them warm at night?

    Thanks for any help [​IMG]

  2. conny63malies

    conny63malies Crowing

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    my ducks dont quack. i have a doghouse they can use at night , but they just sleep under the over hang under the garage or house. i think i just make them a little cover thats open on the front. sometimes on very few occasions i also have seen the girls sitting under the backporch stairs.
  3. SunAngel

    SunAngel Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    Thanks for answering!

    Still not sure what I want to do about them. Part of their run has a section of old pool deck they can use for shelter and they can go into their 4x8 house/coop if they want to.

    I am just worried they might alert predators, get spooked at night and make noise or stay outside and get too cold.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  4. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Ducks are very winter hardy, they don't need the warmth of a coop like chickens do. If you leave their coop door open, they probably will go in it if they get cold or need to get out of the wind. I'm noticing that my ducks are really not bothered by the cold, but they don't appreciate the wind.

    Yes, ducks are fine overnight with no food or water. I keep their food and water outside because they make too much of a mess to keep it inside their coop.

    Mine stay out all night because I got tired of chasing them and picking them up and putting them in the coop. My husband and I are going to build them a lean-to/windbreak and pile it full of hay so they can get out of the wind if the weather does get really nasty. If we have consistent below zero weather, we'll be able to hang a heat lamp for them also.

    If you feel uneasy about leaving them out all night, then by all means lock them up. I know that I'm taking a gamble by leaving mine outside.

  5. jacyjones

    jacyjones Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    I just have 1 duck at the moment and I leave the shed door open. She lives with the chickens and goes in later than they do. She has no water or food in teh shed and is fine. The run is fairly predator proof and I just hope she is ok - so far so good.
  6. chiknlady

    chiknlady Songster

    May 12, 2008
    SE PA
    Hello--please lock them in at night--I have learned the hard way that even in Suburban PA we have raccoons, skunks, feral cats, coyotes, and red and gray fox...They have eaten 3 of my ducks in the last 2 weeks and I had to work double time building a safe enclosure for their own good. Tonight after a week of practice they went into their yard and house without a fuss--Now everyone is safe and I am no longer running into the yard at all hours of the dawn to check for predators...Good luck
  7. SunAngel

    SunAngel Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    I went with my regular routine and put them away tonight. I would feel awful if something got in to get them. I know we have raccoons, fox, skunks, stray cats and probably bobcats lurking around the woods here, I am just scared to take the chance. So far I have not noticed anything trying to get in anywhere, hope it stays that way. I have an outside cat that has sort of made her home around the chicken coop and under it, so maybe she is keeping the creatures away.

    I will probably stop putting their water and food in the coop though. They are just getting the hay too wet. I will make that change when its time to clean out their coop again.

    Thanks for all the info. One day I might get up the courage to leave them out at nights, but probably not til Spring.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008

  8. jubylives

    jubylives Songster

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    I plan on leaving them out until the snow flies. I tried locking them up at night and like you they won;t go in unless I make them. It is right now 32 degrees out and they are in the kiddie pool swimming in poopy ice water. Crazy critters them ducks.


    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    Because preditors are always a consideration putting them in at night is a good idea. If temperature was the only concern they'd be fine outside, they're pretty hardy. Have you ever seen Wild Mallards asleep on a frozen lake? They hunker down to keep their feet warm & they're fine.
    Watering ducks inside is a bad idea. They're just too messy. They'll create an environment that is unpleasant for yoy & unhealthy for them.

  10. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    NYREDS knows that of which he speaks.

    I must only second him. If you ever think that you can safely leave your stock out all night--BAM; you will eventually learn the hard way--eventually.

    Some people entice the birds in with a treat, till they get the hint, then withdraw any treat and water they may need to swallow. Watering in the coop is a recipe for grossness, many experienced will say, like NYREDS, above--and others.

    Theeeeeeeeee only way to keep your birds safe--no matter how military your fencing may be--is to LOCK them in at night. You'll sleep much better, and so will your birds!

    BTW, racoon can open anything a child can, even a window latch. So if a hook and eye or a sliding barrel bolt is what you use to lock in your birds--and if a racoon can reach it, he can get in.......they just play with it over and over, til it opens.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by