2Sesslers

Chirping
6 Years
May 5, 2013
204
3
81
Wayne County, North Carolina
Will my ducks EVER relax? They will rarely come over to us, when we're around their area, they waddle to the furthest corner of the pen.

A couple of times, I've had to go out at night and catch them and put them to bed -- could this be hurting our chances at friendly ducks? I just don't want them to get eaten by possible overnight predators!

We also need to upgrade their living quarters, any tips on what will best suit them for safety and ease of cleaning? Right now they are in a dog house, but I'm thinking they need more space!

TIA!
 

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lomine

Crowing
Aug 7, 2015
2,790
2,799
326
Peyton, CO
You might want to try herding them in at night instead of trying to catch them. Mine are easily herded as a group. I just walk behind them slowly and they will go where I want. You can hold two long sticks in each hand to help guide them.

I no longer have to herd mine in. I put their favorite treats (mealworms) in a plastic container. Every time they get some I shake the container. They have learned what that sound means and come running from where ever they are in the yard. I shake the container and then toss a few worms in their water bucket. Though I can still herd them in if they have had too many treats or I don't have any on hand.

A dog house should be okay if it's in a predator proof run. I've found that mine prefer not to sleep in the coop. They just want a wind-free place during cold weather.
 

egraham

In the Brooder
Apr 21, 2017
40
26
34
Herding is the key with a yummy reward at the goal.

As far as generally being fearful, I started out making a lot of mistakes. I wanted cuddly ducks. Once I learned to stop acting like a predator (handling/chAsing/appearing out of nowhere), they really came around. Sit on the ground with them every day. Quack or sing softly to them and come prepared with some yummy mealworms or thawed peas. My ducks now come when called, know what bedtime is and willingly climb on me for treats or to investigate a new pair of sunglasses. They still don't like to be handled but will tolerate it if needed.

It takes time. Once one duck decides you're cool, the rest will come around.
 

egraham

In the Brooder
Apr 21, 2017
40
26
34
I bought a low profile camp chair (so I don't have to sit in duck poo). I sit and read a book while they do duck things. My ducks come and pick on me in between their duck activities of foraging and swimming. They have also JUST started to lay near me when they need a duck nap.
 

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