Do your ducks free range?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mangled, May 23, 2010.

  1. mangled

    mangled Songster

    And if they do, to what extent? We have several ducks housed with our chickens, and they will NOT leave the coop/run area. They seem frightened of leaving the area, even though the chickens go out freely. I'd really like to get them out of the run area, as they're really mucking it up. We've taken them up to the pond several times, which is literally 60 feet away, and they flee in terror back to the runs.

    They're happy in water, as we've got them a kiddie pool, so it's not a water fear issue. The pond has lots of cover, so plenty of places to hide if they needed to. I got a bunch of scaredy ducks!!

    Suggestions? Ideas? I'm puzzled.


  2. Lalaith

    Lalaith In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    My ducks are Rouens and they'll go pretty far afield, waddling around and hunting bugs and greenery. I prefer them to stay close to the comforts of home because they are easy prey. If you want yours to go out more, try leaving them a nice snack of something they like just outside their run. Move it a little farther away each day and they'll get the hang of it. My guys are very motivated by corn so you might try that. Good luck!
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  3. jjrabbit2

    jjrabbit2 Songster

    Mar 24, 2009
    Kuna Id
    Quote:I agree! Or maybe put the kiddie pool just out side the run and start moving it out farther and farther to the other pond as well as treats. I put treats in the water too!
  4. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    Our pekin, mallard and muscovy ducks free range on a three acre wooded pond all day. At night the pekin layers are brought into the coop to lay, and let out in the morning. The coop is surrounded by an electric poultry fence with an opening that the ducks can pass through at will to get to the pond. The muscovies and mallards will often spend the night just outside the coop, where they sleep next to an LGD.


  5. loopy12

    loopy12 Songster

    Apr 11, 2009
    Wow....look at that for a duck pond! Beautiful!

    When we had 6 ducks they were more than happy to stay by their pond every day. After the raccoons depleted numbers and we were left with just one duck and one drake they got a bit adventurous and now they free range further than the chickens do. They like to come up and steal the chickens' feed, even though they have the same thing! And they seem to prefer puddles in the bushes to their pond. I love to see them waddling up the garden, and I think they've been keeping the mosquito population under control.

    As PP said, try enticing them out a bit further each day with treats...and if they are a little hostile just leave the treats and walk away. Once they start free ranging they'll never look back!
  6. mangled

    mangled Songster

    They're super friendly, and they do love treats, so we'll have to try that. I've deliberately let the grass go a bit longer there to coax them out into the greens, but no go. Tomorrow, I'll throw some scratch in a pan and move it out.

    Never thought of that, thanks so much!!


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