Cooping Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Stacykins, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Can ducks, like chickens, learn where their 'home' coop is? Where they belong and should go to before nightfall?

    After acclimating eight, five week old ducklings to coop in a dog crate, I let them out so they could have the run of the coop and run. But they don't return into the coop when night falls. Nope, instead when I go out there to close up the coop, I find them all snuggled in a corner in the run. I can't let them stay in the run during the night. So I've been doing a duck roundup, which hilariously involves me chasing down squalling ducklings, putting them in the pop door, and closing up the door. Whew, they are fast and nimble little buggers!

    I am keeping them (and the chickens) confined to their coop and run for the meantime, but I eventually intend to let the ducks free range too (two ponds on the property will make them very pleased). But until they figure out where 'home' is, I don't feel comfortable letting them.
     
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For the first few weeks, they were always in their dog kennel on the patio. They came out to play in the bathroom and tub and then back to their kennel on the patio. Then I set up duckling day camp on the deck and took them out of their kennel during the day and let them play on the deck and put them back in their kennel when I left the house or when it was getting dark. Then I moved the kennel to the deck and they would put themselves back in there when it was dark, just had to close it up.
    Eventually, they moved to a dog house on the deck and learned that was home and would sit by the door of that waiting for me to close them up.

    Now they sit in their pond and wait for me to stand by their steps and escort them to their house for the night.
     
  3. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My ducks go into their coop at night. Not until I go out to herd them in. Until then they lay around just outside it & look at me like, "What took you so long," when I get out there.
    Even though the door is open & they spend the rest of the day waltzing in & out for food & to lay in their hay, they need me to say "Time for bed, Quackers".

    When I moved them from brooder to the yard & coop I admit it - I cheated a little. At night I would go out & throw peas into the secure part of their house. When they clamored in for the peas, I locked the door.
    I also made sure to say the same thing ("Bedtime, Quackers" or "Time for bed, Quackers") until they were all inside. I think it took 3 days for them to get it.

    They are awfully nimble & good at evasion, aren't they?

    Good luck! Ducks are such fun.
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    They do eventually, well at least mine all have.. by dusk they start moving towards the barn and either wait around the porch or go in. They know the routine now.
     
  5. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine haven't learned. We have to round them up on the very coldest nights, but other than that, we gave up and let them sleep in their (very secure) run the rest of the year. They like sleeping under the stars, I guess. LOL

    I wouldn't let them do it if their run wasn't covered or didn't have sightboards running all along it, or didn't have a buried wire perimeter. But it's been a year and nothing's broken in yet.
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine don't go in until I go outside and tell them it is time for bed. Then they all troop in and I close the door.

    If I am really late and it has been dark for awhile, they will have put themselves to bed, but I hear about it. They are very displeased if I break the routine.

    If you are having trouble herding ducks, you are moving too fast. While they are learning, it helps to have some "wings', small fences that funnel them into the entrance, so they can't run past the entrance.

    I have a "duck smacker". That's a stick that I use to extend the length of my arms to herd them. In spite of its name, it isn't used to hit or prod the ducks. It's just used to direct them.
     
  7. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Haha, I've used a form 'duck smacker' like you have, just a dowel to direct my turkeys, when I had them. I will need to find a new thing to use.

    My run is pretty secure. Covered with netting, with a buried skirt of hardware cloth, with hardware cloth fencing. BUT my coop was built like Fort Knox, so if anything ever breached the run, it couldn't do so into the coop. So I feel more comfortable with the kids being in at night.
     
  8. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a "white bucket' they would follow it anywhere[​IMG]because it has bird seed,sunflower seeds, calf manna, and cat food morsels in it!!! Actually I have a whole system with 6 apartments from different runs for the ducks. Everyone learns"bedtime" and gets a snack. With the younger ones ,when I separated them for 'spring' crazies , it took a couple days of me herding or them following the 'white bucket' to figure out the system, they all know now... goodies make for motivation......[​IMG]
     

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