Ducks suddenly not going in coop

badenglisch

Chirping
Oct 23, 2018
41
113
64
Iowa
The weather has turned unseasonably cold recently and now all of a sudden my ducks won't go in their coop at all. It seems like they've been eating less too. I have a couple hypotheses: 1) we recently added 3 new ducks to the flock and maybe that threw them off, 2) they can't all fit in their coop together (7 ducks, we have 2 coops) so they'd rather be outside all huddled up together, 3) husband has been pretty generous with meal worms recently and maybe they're not interested in their feed because of that? They're happy to eat the fruits and veggies i throw them. I will add that when we first put the younger ducks outside in a separate pen, both they and my older ducks were still spending time in the coops and eating normally. It's just so cold right now, I'd feel a lot better if they'd get out of the wind and off the cold ground for a bit.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far; this is my first winter with ducks and i'm just worried about them
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,521
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I'm not sure what's going on, but can share my experience with my own ducks. They go in and out of their coop throughout the day, but the don't generally put themselves to bed in their coop like the chickens do. They will often choose to hang out outside with howling wind and drifting snow while the chickens will hide in their coop. If it's particularly bad (last night was 30mph or more winds below zero F temps and snow) I will herd them into their house before I go to bed and lock them in there. I think when I went out a few were in the house and the rest just hunkered down on the ground. They really don't hide from or seek shelter from the weather much... not the way my chickens do anyway.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
115,670
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Mountains of Western N.C.
This time a year unless you have them inside a very predator secure pen and house your likely to have them picked off pretty quick. With it getting colder prey most predators depend on will be hiding out for winter which will make our birds even more interesting as prey to them.
 

Soon2BChixMom

Herding ducks and Wrangling chickens
Jan 8, 2017
9,131
19,839
842
My ducks only go in when I herd them in for bed. When they were really young they put themselves to bed for a bit, but now if I didn't herd them in they would stay out all night. They can't because my run is not totally predator proof.
Mine aren't eating as much and they are molting. I am giving them a little extra mealworms due to molting, but not too much more. Treats should be about 10% so that it doesn't interfere with the nutrition from the feed.
 

happy duck

Crazy duck mom
Mar 24, 2018
3,105
7,972
552
Small town
My Coop
My Coop
The weather has turned unseasonably cold recently and now all of a sudden my ducks won't go in their coop at all. It seems like they've been eating less too. I have a couple hypotheses: 1) we recently added 3 new ducks to the flock and maybe that threw them off, 2) they can't all fit in their coop together (7 ducks, we have 2 coops) so they'd rather be outside all huddled up together, 3) husband has been pretty generous with meal worms recently and maybe they're not interested in their feed because of that? They're happy to eat the fruits and veggies i throw them. I will add that when we first put the younger ducks outside in a separate pen, both they and my older ducks were still spending time in the coops and eating normally. It's just so cold right now, I'd feel a lot better if they'd get out of the wind and off the cold ground for a bit.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far; this is my first winter with ducks and i'm just worried about them
1. Maybe adding new ducks could have something with it, but probably not.
2. Maybe if you pick a group of ducks for each coop and you might have to pick them up and put them in the coop you designated for them to in. I would put a few meal worms(or there fav treat) in the cop as a reward so they know to go in.
3. I would not give many meal worms unless rewarding them. Maybe(till they start to eat) mix some meal worms in there food, so they kinda have to eat the food to get the meal worms.
Hope this helps a bit.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
115,670
135,717
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
Ducks don't know what's best for them being domestic they aren't as attuned as their wild cousins to the threat on their lives if they sleep outside with out protection. It's always best to work at and train them to go inside before dark. It can be done and herding is the best way and they learn fast too.
 

Soon2BChixMom

Herding ducks and Wrangling chickens
Jan 8, 2017
9,131
19,839
842
Ducks don't know what's best for them being domestic they aren't as attuned as their wild cousins to the threat on their lives if they sleep outside with out protection. It's always best to work at and train them to go inside before dark. It can be done and herding is the best way and they learn fast too.
The few times I tried to herd mine in before dark, they revolted. So, I do it once it is dark - they are less resistant. But, they are in a run so it's not as dangerous for them to be out after dark.
 

Alliesan648

Songster
Jun 20, 2018
87
138
116
Rock Creek, BC, Canada
Ducks don't know what's best for them being domestic they aren't as attuned as their wild cousins to the threat on their lives if they sleep outside with out protection. It's always best to work at and train them to go inside before dark. It can be done and herding is the best way and they learn fast too.
Seeing my ducks follow my cat around the fence perimeter... they really aren’t the brightest. They’d probably happily walk right up to a bobcat too if given the chance, sigh...
 

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