free ranging ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by watchdogps, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Central Ohio
    I have four runner/muscovy cross ducks, about 3 1/2 mos old, and not really friendly, that I am wondering if I can free range, and how to go about it. They muck up their pen so fast I have to keep moving it and the ground is alll torn up from them. If I can let them loose, they would have enough space that wouldn't happen. Are they like chickens in tht they will stay home?

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    If you train them for a while first it will work. Feed them half their ration in the morning, and the other half at dinner. Do that for a week, and they will learn to come home for dinner. Im training my ducks right now...

    Edit for typo
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  3. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    I'm way too paranoid and a "control freak" to let my ducks or chickens free range (roam around). To me it's like letting your dog run where he wants without supervision.

    All I can envision is a predator attack, hit by car, get lost, etc. But that's just my personal opinion....[​IMG]
  4. animalsRawesome

    animalsRawesome Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Well, I have chickens and they free range and I have never had a problem with them. However, I do agree with duckgirl89 that you usually have to train your ducks to go to bed at night. I've read on here that they also like routine, so putting them to bed around the same time helps.
  5. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    My ducks free range just like the dogs do. They have access to the same fenced 4 acres the dogs do. But they stick to the 1/2 acre or so that is closest to the house. That is their safety zone. I've marched them out to the far back before, but we get there, they take a quick look around before running back to the house. They know where they are comfortable.
    As far as training them. I didn't.

    Maybe around 4 weeks or so, I'd start putting them out in the yard while I was out there and just hung out with them. When I was ready to go in, they went back to their area on the deck. Eventually I left them out without staying and just checked on them, a lot. And then I started leaving them out there for the day, they would come up to the deck as it was getting dark. I don't know that I was so much training them as I was just going with my comfort level.
  6. critterrun

    critterrun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2011
    my big guy free range
    they meet me every morning and night for there food
    it is great to see them come running when they hear me [​IMG]

    I did have them locked up in the beginning too
    and yes what a mess [​IMG]

    they are happy and so am I no more mess
    they spend mosy of there day cleaning up after the horses

    hope this helps [​IMG]
  7. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Ducks are creatures of habit. They are also easily herded. So if you want the to go back to their pen when it gets dark, you should feed them there. If that fails herding them back there should work after a while they'll go on their own. My females were bought as grown ducks and put themselves to bed on the second night they were here. On the rare occasion they decide not to go to bed at dusk. All I have to do is go out and walk behind them and they know where they're supposed to be.
  8. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    I free range mine, they all go in when it gets dark. Theres the odd one that I get every once and awhile that doesn't want to do in so I leave it out and if it gets eaten by something, it was its own fault.
  9. yoyosma

    yoyosma Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 13, 2011
    Whidbey Island
    We have hawks and eagles, stray dogs, and the occasional daytime coyote... I keep my ducks in either their bulletproof coop at night, or in a fenced garden during the day (keeping them out of the strawberries and lettuce with 3' high plastic poultry netting fences). There's light poultry netting over all their daytime areas, for the raptors...
    This is a lot more protection than many of our neighbors have- but they have all lost ducks and chickens to predators. So far- in my very brief experience- this is working well.
  10. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

    Apr 27, 2011
    Browntown, VA
    Since they have been in a pen, it should be easy to get them in at night. They may go automatically.

    Mine all free range all day every day. They all avoid getting too close to me (the only person that has fed them every day of their lives).

    But they can usually be coaxed into the house at night. They are sometimes herded in. And sometimes, a few hard-heads have to be trapped and carried in.

    The Mallards often refuse to go in, and I believe I lost a drake last night to Mr. Fox. While my flying Mallards stay very close to the house, they are hard to catch and seem better suited for survival than the non-flyers.

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