Can I lure the ducks to a house for the winter?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GnomeGirl, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. GnomeGirl

    GnomeGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2009
    I rarely post but have mentioned before that our ducks were cast offs and manhandled as babies. They now come to us for food but do not let us touch them. We used to put them in at night but once they could fly it was near impossible to catch them every night. So, we had to chase them (bad move know).

    Alex started a nest and I did move it because it was beside the pond and she was sleeping on it. We were afraid she would be eaten while the others slept on the pond. She refused to move with her nest to the duck house.

    Tonight I realized while the other ducks were up eating at the garage that she was at the pond. It is sleeting here so by the time I got out to the pond she was in it and I couldn't figure out if she was making a new nest or not.

    So, is there a way to lure the boys and girls back to the house I built for them? I was thinking of only feeding them in the house and to put a heat lamp in there as an extra pull [​IMG]

    I am afraid they will be eaten if we continue to let them be out at night, especially since Alex is laying eggs. Ariel will be laying next spring I assume (she's a Call) and I want to get this worked out now.
     
  2. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Only feed them in the morning and at bedtime. If you can rattle the food around in a can so they know what's going on, that would help too. And yes, go ahead and feed them in the house at first. Don't forget to make sure they have water, and be prepared for a lot of mess.
     
  3. thecochincoop

    thecochincoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a house for my ducks to go into but they NEVER did. They would stay outside in rain, snow, and ice storm! They all lived so I guess it didn't hurt them [​IMG]
     
  4. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    I'm with Rainplace on this one. When I started feeding mine only twice a day they became much more responsive. ( And it's supposedly healthier because it forces them to 'forage' for themselves during the day and they get a more rounded diet.) I feed mine outside the pen in the morning (and only what they'll eat up in about ten minutes time), but in the evening they have to go in to eat and they do so enthusiastically. In fact they come walking toward the house in late afternoon and the girls start quacking like mad (and then I feed them in their pen and shut them in for the night).

    If you have the energy to encourage them, I know you'll sleep easier if you can make them safer. Not sure what your strategy should be though if they are pretty used to fending for themselves. I think that once they get used to the safety of shelter at night they really do start to prefer it.

    I'm sure it's true that they might survive outside, but for those of us in areas with more predators than others, it just breaks our hearts when we lose one, even if it is just nature taking it's course.
     
  5. GnomeGirl

    GnomeGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    We have a lot of predators. We have 3 acres, the neighbor behind us has 20 and then beyond that is the state forest. Starting tomorrow they are out of luck if they don't come in the house to eat [​IMG]

    We have a stream along part of our property that goes under the road to the neighbor. The ducks sleep here and then in the morning cross the road to the part of the stream that is wide and forage over there. When my husband comes home he drives by them and they either know by sight or sound of the Jeep to come home to get fed. He comes home a different time each day which is the funny thing.

    Tonight it has been snow and sleeting here. They were hanging out here most of the day for a change and around 5 were at the garage looking to be fed. So, just to see, I opened the house door and called to them. Boy were they thrilled! They came running to the house quacking like mad until my husband went out to feed them.

    He says they are spoiled but I think I just have him well trained after 14 years of my craziness [​IMG]
     
  6. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Were they in a pen though, but just chose not to use the house? Mine don't always use their houses either, but even just being safely penned gives one a better sense of security. Though I did have a drake with 'wet feather' for awhile, and I had to start rounding him up and locking him in an inside dog run until he got better, otherwise he would just sit out and get soaked to the bone some nights. And, I put some of the others in for company (with a heat lamp) and it became the preferred sleeping spot last winter. Best not to spoil them too much.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  7. GnomeGirl

    GnomeGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Spoil? Isn't that what happens to meat left on the counter. Never to ducks or cats or dogs or goats [​IMG]
     

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