Corralling Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Miss Ducky, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
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    Corralling the ducks is not an easy task. I requires grabbing one or two when they first come up for treats, and then my parents and I have to chase the remaining duck(s) all over the pond. (They know what's going on now, and won't come up to us) Any tips on making this easier? How long before they learn to go in at night on their own?
     
  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Oh poor ducks they are all freaked out. One thing I've learned is to back off when they freak, because you are not getting anywhere. Grabbing one or two it the worst thing you can do. They will be afraid of you, something you don't want. Anyway, I slowly walk behind them and use my arms to direct them. Stop and step one or two steps back when they get nervous. Let them think for a moment before you go on. You will have to do this very slowly until they get it. After that they will do it faster. You can also try the bowl thing, throwing out a few peas at a time until they follow the bowl. Again don't rush it. Ducks are smart and willing to learn, yet they easily freak out. Mine go into the duck house at night, but it has to be almost dark. They start walking to the house like 15 minutes before it get dark completely. That is about 9.15 at my location in the Oregon mountains. I've started this routine as soon as they were moved out to the duck house at 2.5 weeks. Took them about 4 days to learn it. They have also learned to move across the parking lot to the fenced in daytime area each morning as soon as we let them out. They know their kiddie pools are there and they almost fly across the parking lot. They are to heavy to fly but the flying motion enables them to run faster. How old are your ducks? You may have to restrict their pond access for a while, while teaching them the routine.
     
  3. smurfboe

    smurfboe Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Mine are lettuce fiends. All they need to see is one big leaf of lettuce and they will follow me anywhere.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    It does take some work, but you can change the dynamic. I agree with Katharinad. In our flock, the ducks love peas as treats, and that can entice them. When we first moved them outside, I fed them peas in their little house. I tried to associate good things with being there.

    While they were in temporary fencing as I built their day pen, they would sometimes find a "hole" in the fence and pop out. To get them back in, I would walk around behind them and hold my arms out and walk them back toward the pen or the house. It took me a few minutes to learn how to best guide them, and sometimes they would end up in a corner and I would need to pick them up and place them on the other side of the fence, but it was a low-anxiety adventure.

    Now the temporary fence is set up around garden areas, and yes, sometimes they find my mistakes and pop out. But I just walk behind them, raise my arms out to my sides, and walk them back into the pen.

    I have worked for months with these ducks, so that they will eat out of my hand and not be afraid of me. It takes time but they seem happy to have a routine, to know where to go when I give certain signals. They even let me know when I am not doing it right!

    Perhaps if you begin earlier in the day, you can reduce the feeling of being rushed as you retrain the ducks about the evening routine.

    May it work out well and soon.
     
  5. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I try not to freak them out too much. I always feel so mean after corralling them. It's hard to herd them like you suggested, because the pond is so big, and it's round. Dad has to get on the raft and herd them to shore other wise we just go in circles. They have a pen, halfway in the water, that I was planning on keeping them in until they were 6 or 7 weeks old (to protect them from birds of prey), but we're having a dry spell, and they only have a puddles-worth of water in there, so I've been letting them out everyday, and will be taking down the pen today. They are 5.5 weeks old. They know the routine when they're in their pen, but not when on the entire pond. I'm hoping that it'll be easier when the pen is removed, because when they're on the entire pond they have to use the big door for cleaning, instead of their little door,(It is in the pen) which they like better. I'm also hoping that making them into Pavlov's ducks will make the routine easier [​IMG] I will try as you suggested, Katharina, and do my best not to spook them.
    P.S. Thankfully they aren't scared of me, and always swim up to me when I come out to see them during the day [​IMG] They are used to being held, as I take them inside every other day or so for snuggles!
     
  6. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just saw your post, Amiga. I always try to entice them with treats, but once they figure out it's bedtime, they run away! They don't want to leave the pond, and I think that part of that is because usually, especially in the morning, they are restricted to only a tiny portion of the water in their pen. Mine have escaped one or twice too! If only one escaped, it's pretty easy to get him back in the pen, as he wants to be with his siblings. We usually start to put them to bed around 8:30 or 9, and it is usually still a little light when we get them in, the sun just setting. Thanks!
     
  7. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2007
    Arkansas
    Grabbing them will only continue to scare them.

    When I was teaching my ducks to go to their pen in the evening I simply walked behind them, raising left arm when I wanted them to go right, raising right arm when I wanted them to go left. I walk slowed and easy, talking sweetly the whole time and they didn't get scared. They now come up on their own between 3 and 5 every evening. If for some reason I'm not out there with supper when they come up they'll come to the kitchen window and holler at me LOL

    If I want them to come up from the pond at a different time of day I take some peas out to the pen and rattle a plastic walmart bag...they know that sound means peas and they come running and flying.

    Michelle
     
  8. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is only one problem with these suggestions-you can't herd ducks when they're on a pond. They don't really leave the pond, except for brief naps and preening time [​IMG]
     
  9. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2007
    Arkansas
    No you sure can't. That's why I will rattle a plastic bag up at the duck pen, it makes my ducks come running and flying because that sound means Mamma has frozen peas :)

    Michelle
     
  10. thechickenguy

    thechickenguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i did the same thing this weekend. caught 2 ducks out of 20 and now they wont come anywhere near humans. they caught on to what i was tryin to do. smart ducks once they get you figured out.

    i have 1 and let the other go.

    i dont think theres anything you can do now. i couldnt do anything to get them to come back to me. darn.
     

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