Ducks & accepting shelter?

nao57

Crowing
Mar 28, 2020
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So I wondered is there a way to get ducks to accept an area as a shelter or nest area?

I'd tried this last year but they rejected it. At the time I was busy and didn't follow up. But then lately I'd wondered if I could have approached it differently.

Partly also why I want to revisit this question is that I'm worried it could be a reason why my ducks don't lay eggs much. This is my primary concern affecting whether or not they accept the shelter.

But apart from this we do have trees and bushes in the backyard. They haven't been unhappy. And I check on them a lot. So I wasn't worried about this before now too much. And they weren't suffering.

Do you have to do this a certain way to get them to accept a shelter? And how much does them having something similar to a coop or open air coop affect them laying eggs also?

Thank you very much.
 

Quatie

Crowing
Oct 16, 2020
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Ducks are not big on laying in coops. You most likely had more eggs laid than you knew, and didn't find them. Every day is like an Easter egg hunt with ducks. Some of mine will lay in the coop and others don't care. Even at night I must herd then into the coop with lots of protesting. They really don't like to be in a coop, but it is for their safety. You could try fake eggs to get them to lay in there, but they can sometimes spot a fake one and know the difference. You can use treats to lure them in at night, but ducks don't really put themselves to bed.

I have heard of some people having success when their duck grows up with chickens, but that doesn't really help you.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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If your ducks won't go into their coop how do you keep them protected overnight?

Herding and training really help to get them used to the routine of going into their coop at night. Walk behind them slowly with your arms open for guidance walk them into the coop. When first learning this technique getting help from someone so they don't scatter when getting close to their coop can help. Also let them out later like instead of 7am try for 8 am. Most of my ducks do lay inside their house. it took a while for my Runners and Buffs to learn this I'd find an egg laying on the ground or by the pool etc but now most are laid inside.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
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In my experience ducks have been reluctant to utilize coops. It may be necessary to train them to go to the coop each night and then close them in.
 

nao57

Crowing
Mar 28, 2020
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My ducks love their coops. Actually, my Runners and Buffs taught my Muscovy to go inside when it's really cold and windy outside they always just hunkered down behind something in frigid temps.
So how did you get them to go in and accept it?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
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Well my mama ducks taught their babies. And it's been like this ever since. But when i first started with ducks back in 2004 [Muscovy] it wasn't that easy to train them to go inside at night and A few times they got up on the steep bank behind my house and wouldn't come down. So after about freezing to death trying to convince them it was nicer to be locked up I had to leave them out overnight. And thank goodness they were still alive in the morning, But I had a plan and worked it out so at time to go inside they were encouraged to come into the smaller fenced area for treats and I closed the gate and walked them inside. After that it only took being consistent to get them to go in on their own.
 

nao57

Crowing
Mar 28, 2020
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Well my mama ducks taught their babies. And it's been like this ever since. But when i first started with ducks back in 2004 [Muscovy] it wasn't that easy to train them to go inside at night and A few times they got up on the steep bank behind my house and wouldn't come down. So after about freezing to death trying to convince them it was nicer to be locked up I had to leave them out overnight. And thank goodness they were still alive in the morning, But I had a plan and worked it out so at time to go inside they were encouraged to come into the smaller fenced area for treats and I closed the gate and walked them inside. After that it only took being consistent to get them to go in on their own.
Oh very cool. It makes sense since for the right treats could even get people into those haha.

Thank you.
 

alhln

Songster
Feb 28, 2021
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Just want to echo that a consistent treat routine is super effective! When our ducks first started sleeping outside, we would herd them into their coop every night at sunset and give them a big bowl of peas. After about a month, they started going in on their own. Now we have an automatic door that closes about half an hour after sunset. The only time they didn’t make it into the coop in time, it was because a branch fell and blocked the entrance—when we got home that night they rushed over and told us all about it.
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
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My muscovy go into their coops and my new runners also have learned in just a few months when to go into the coop. I just trained them by being consistent. Everything is a schedule that they have learned. Every morning they get let out, get food and water for the day. I go back out to clean the coops after my dinner (I work full time). Once done, they get a treat. They then get put to bed at a certain time when I go back out to clean everything up. When they see me coming, they start to go into the coop. I do have to persuade some of them that its bedtime, but when I trained them, I used a stick to guide them and said, "bedtime". I have 2 set ups. One for the main flock and one for the extra drakes. The 2 drakes go into their own coop once they see me out there - and I've rearranged their area a few times. It's not super hard to train them, but ducks do need a consistent routine and they will learn.
When they get to free range, I just start walking behind them with stick in hand to guide them and say "time to go in". They are quick learners.
Its probably a good thing chickens roost every night, because for me, they were harder to train to go from free range to the run. But, shaking a treat can helps chickens as they are very much food motivated.
 

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