can't get ducks into their house at night

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TinyBirds, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Texas
    I think we made the mistake of letting all our ducks free-range, to the point where they never even come to eat anything we provide once they got to around 4 months old. Now there are 2 of them missing without a trace, so I'm thinking they may have left for the wild, or I assume it could be something like a coyote. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to keep the others with us, by getting them into housing at night, just in case it was a predator. I think they are cayuga ducks, but they lay smallish green eggs, so I'm not sure. They are pure-black. I've tried several times to get them to come into roost w/ the chickens, or even in a separate house, but they have no interest in going anywhere they don't want to. Is there anything I could use as a lure, maybe a super type of duck treat that they would come running into their house for at night? They have no interest at all in scratch grains or the flock-raiser-crumbles they ate as babies.
    Thanks for any advice!
    Jenny
     
  2. That's a difficult situation! People have written in about trying to catch feral ducks, some are tamer than others, but they are very hard to catch. I wonder if they are Black East Indies if they lay small eggs? Do they fly? If not people have herded ducks on water with two people using a rope. Maybe something like that could work on land too. Some have caught them with nets but if you fail at first the ducks become extremely wary. I haven't heard of any super duck treats.
    I hope you can get them. If you do you may need to keep them in a pen for a while so they learn to enjoy eating the duck food in order for them to want to come when you offer it to them.
    Good luck!!!
     
  3. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    You are going to have to round them up first and probably pen them in for awhile till they get used to staying close in. My Scovies free range during the day but if I don't follow a routine and round them up each eve they start scattering about roosting/sleeping who knows where. [​IMG] If they fly, you may need to clip their wings. You can try thawed fresh frozen peas as a treat to draw them in. Seems ducks of all breeds LOVE peas! [​IMG]
     
  4. OH YES PEAS!! How could I forget?
    You may have a good chance with those!!
     
  5. GnomeGirl

    GnomeGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2009
    I feel for you. We actually just lost all of our ducks because of this. If you have a pond can you put a floating platform house in the center? That will help to protect them. I hate to clip the wings because if they do free range they need to get away from anything chasing them.
     
  6. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    If they fly but you need to clip their wings (well one wing), you can do a partial clip which will allow them to fly just a bit. They will be able to get up off the ground a few feet up (3-4') and also get some distance fm the predator. If you do a partial, clip most of the middle section of the long flight feathers leaving a few close into the body and the last 3 of the longest on the outside edge. It also allows for a prettier look when they have their wings folded since the longest feathers still show.
     
  7. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    777
    71
    181
    Jul 9, 2009
    Texas
    Thanks so very much for everyone's help! It's so nice knowing I can come here for immediate help w/ my problems! I defrosted some peas for them and they did enjoy them! Eventually maybe they'll come up to my hand to let me feed them, but at this point I was excited they came within 15 ft of me.
    And tonight, I got the shock of all shocks! The ducks are in the house w/ the chickens, for the first time! When I went out to shut the coop-door, they were all inside in the corner! I couldn't believe my eyes! It felt as if they knew I was concerned for their safety or something, and they just knew what to do. Sometimes I really think the hand of God (or whoever one believes in) is at work. We decided we should also install electric wire (tomorrow) around that part of the yard to hopefully keep predators out of that area where they've been sleeping, since there will surely still be nights they refuse to go in the coop.
    Thanks again for everyone's help! I appreciate it so much!
    Jenny
     
  8. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    So glad to hear that your ducks went into the coop but you're right to install some electric fencing. Those ducks may have seen the predator and decided to go into the coop for some security but as soon as they feel safe/forget they will be out and about again. Yes, I do believe the Lord hears our concerns for the critters in our care & many times Graces us with the time and knowledge to "make a fix" for both their and our benefit. [​IMG] They are, after all, primarily His and we their temporary caregivers here.
     

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