Female muscovy won't go in new coop...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Gaidheal, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Gaidheal

    Gaidheal New Egg

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    Jul 2, 2016
    1st-year raising birds - 14 layer hens and 4 muscovies. Brooded in the house in a kiddie pool and the "plan" was to build them a coop and move them straight into it. Hoped for 3 females and one male duck but it turned out the other way round. LOL

    A lot of "life" happened this year and as things turned out the layers and ducks got moved outside into a tractor inside a fenced-in area (electric poultry netting). They roamed the paddock during the day and slept in the tractor.

    Fast-forward to now and the coop has finally been finished (needs trim, and, and... ) The chickens took the coop in a day or two. The ducks - not so much!

    I had to catch the ducks and put them in to the coop. They are not fans of the ramp at all! This went on for a few days, but the BIG! males have caught on and reluctantly go to bed in the coop.

    The female on the other hand will have nothing to do with it. I've left her out at least one night, having given up trying to catch her. In the process she has discovered that she can fly which is oh-so-helpful when I'm trying to catch her. LOL

    I won the battle tonight and got her in. I might go back out and clip one of her wings but I'm torn... if she will never relent and go in and I can't catch her, at least being able to fly she *might* get away from a fox/coyote overnight. The food is in the coop so I figure if she gets hungry she will go in but I'm not sure that my ducks are that smart. :(

    Any thoughts? Am I stressing out over nothing? Am I stressing my duck for nothing? Shoot I just eat the ****** thing?

    I'm not enjoying owning her at the moment. And I thought this was supposed to be fun & stress-relieving.

    LOL
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I am not sure I'd want to go into a coop with 3 Big Muscovy drakes either. How are they with her outside ? maybe they are over mating her and she doesn't want to sleep in the coop with them. Best thing would be to re home 2 of the drakes or get at least 3 or more females for each drake. I clip my scovy's one wing each fall after molt to keep them safe from flying off and getting lost. They herd well, try walking slowly behind using your arms or a long pole to get them to go where you want them to go inside every evening before dark, and think about either rehoming or getting more females.

    Welcome to BYC @Gaidheal
     
  3. Gaidheal

    Gaidheal New Egg

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    Thanks - the ducks all seem to get along fine together. The female duck is VERY nasty towards any chicken that gets too close. The males all seem to be upset with me whenever I handle the female... I guess they all think she is theirs and I'm competition or something at that point. They never refuse to eat from my hand but will sometimes bite at my arm with varying degrees of force that I haven't yet deciphered - playing or fighting? Sometimes they are very gentle and other times they seem to be trying to flay my arm. They stop if I grab their beaks. lol

    I figured the coop would be a welcome change for them all... the chickens how have somewhere elevated (roosts) to get away from the ducks if and when they want/need to. And everyone certainly has a lot more room in the coop than in the tractor. Both are 8x8 but the coop is 8 feet tall, not 2. The coop itself is 8x12 with an 8x8 section for the birds and a 4x8 section for storage, somewhere to open the nesting boxes out of the weather, etc. I went with a translucent (nearly transparent) roof material (Palruf) so I wouldn't have to put windows in for lighting. The chickens have learned not to try to fly out through the roof. OMG it was funny and a little upsetting to watch them learn about a translucent ceiling. They discovered the limits in a hurry.

    My primary interest is the chickens so if something has to go it *will* be the ducks. I got them only because I thought they would be an interesting addition to the mix... ad when I read they are voracious flying insect eaters and will even eat mice & baby rats I decided I had to have some.

    But I am now second-guessing their value and wondering if they would be better in my freezer than in my yard. Kind of discouraging really but since I am new to all this I'm trying to stay positive.

    The meat birds have been a lot more work-intensive but the last of them will be processed on Monday. So at least that part of my day will be returned to me.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  4. Gaidheal

    Gaidheal New Egg

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    Jul 2, 2016
    After a few nights she caught on and decided on her own to go in every night. I finally decided she cost me $4 and I'd rather hit myself with a hammer than chase her all over the property just to put her into a coop she didn't seem to want to go into. She could obviously fly so maybe she'd get away from a predator?

    As far as I know she has never flown out of the fenced area since... although she does hold flying lessons for the males and that is funny to watch as she flies where she wishes and the males run after her flapping like crazy and doing nothing better than scaring the chickens.

    The chickens are either trying to get out of the way of the ducks or following them flapping like crazy and going nowhere.

    All that aside I think I'm done with the ducks. They were supposed to be fun: so far they have been everything but fun. They are mean (to each other, to the chickens and to us). They don't do anything interesting other than flapping and running. That is amusing but only so often - especially when it freaks the chickens out.


    This weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada so I am thinking of breaking with tradition and having duck. And there is room in the freezer for the others.

    They are buggers plain and simple.

    Hopefully they at least taste good,

    LOL
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016

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