free ranging ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hollyk, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. hollyk

    hollyk Songster

    Nov 21, 2008
    Canton, Texas
    I had ducks for the first time this spring/summer. We had a real problem with predidation and lost all of them. Putting them up for the night was a challenge, they did not want to go in the duck pen. I wanted them in the garden and it is fenced in, but it did not go well. How do you duck lovers keep your ducks?


    DUCKGIRL89 Songster

    Apr 28, 2011
    I keep mine in a 16 x 16 chicken wire pen, but im building a new one this week. What kind of ducks were they? Do you think you will get more?
  3. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Mine are free range all day and go back to their house on their own when it starts to get dark. We do have hawks but my ducks keep a close eye on them and they have a lot of pine and oak trees for cover. My suggestion would be to keep them in a pen where you can easily herd them into their house at dusk. Once they get the hang of it, then you can start letting them out to free range a couple hours before dusk. If they consistently put themselves to bed on their own you can increase the time. Also, keeping their only source of water close to the house will help. Feeding them once in the morning and then once at night (near or in the house) will get them back there. Mind you, my experience is with Muscovy ducks. I think they are abnormally easy to train for ducks. Mine love their house. Even the hens that I got that were free range 24/7 took to the house on their own after one night of being herded into it.
  4. hollyk

    hollyk Songster

    Nov 21, 2008
    Canton, Texas
    Thanks for the input. I had cayugas and really enjoyed them and I will definately get more. The japanese beatles didn't stand a chance in the garden with the ducks. I will try the smaller pen first and I think I will rig it to where I brood them in the same duck house that they will live in.[​IMG]

  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    My 6 are in an 8x5 house with a 10x10 run. There is a fence around the coop area, and another fence around the yard. Ducks herd really easy if you have a barrier to help you.

    What about building the run next to the garden with a pop door on the run into the garden, and then the house either inside the run or attached to it. Put their swimming water in the run, so that they have to return to it for play, grain, water, ect. If they grow up there in a brooder they'll seek there comfort from there, and you can more easily put them to bed from the smaller area, it should work out well. I sit out with mine because I'm so paranoid. The run is fairly secure and the building is a steel shed so not much can get in there. But when they're loose, I don't trust these hawks coming through here this time of year, and there's a 2 very large owl, countless coons, and whatever else.

    Every time I run mine out of the yard I say "Go Home Duckies" and they start marching towards the gate. They have a treat bowl waiting, which makes them pick up the pace and not argue with me.
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Mine free range till dusk.. then some go into the pen and the others go into the barn... they put themselves in when the dark starts coming... then we just lock everything down.. the ones in the pen get moved into the barn a little later on.. they like being outside a bit later although i admit since dark is coming on faster now we're just shifting them over earlier.

    BTW love your quotes in your siggy [​IMG]

    DUCKGIRL89 Songster

    Apr 28, 2011
    I had a caygua, he was a awesome duck! I was gonna get him a mate, but he died, I cried alot that day.

  8. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

    Jul 1, 2009
    Southern Maryland
    ducks don't like to go inside at first... you'll have to stuff them in one by one for the first few nights. After that you shouldn't have any trouble getting them to go to bed! [​IMG]
  9. Nu Chix To Cash

    Nu Chix To Cash Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Central Iowa
    Mine are all free ranged. What works for me is to similar to what others have said. I only feed them in their pens so if they want fed they go in.

    I have 3 pekins, 2 runners, 3 mallards and a rouen + my geese and chickens all housed together. Typically the chickens are the first ones in, then the ducks, then the geese. I have a stick I use to help "herd" them in but now that they have the program down I don't need it.

  10. Evelle

    Evelle Songster

    Apr 27, 2011
    North Idaho
    i free range mine all day. i feed them a little in the a.m. then at night i give them a whole bunch of food the know when its time to eat i walk out and they come running up to me then go stright in to the duckoop. its starting to get cooler in the night with frost on the ground so i find them walking out of the chicken coop right before i leave the house.
    mine do great. i just cant coop them up all the time i dont think its fair to them.. they need room to play.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011

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