gathering geese in for the night


In the Brooder
Nov 24, 2016
Hello everyone,

I have a new flock of geese and ducks (6 goslings and 8 ducklings), all healthy & now 5 weeks old. We just recently moved them to their outside pen, which is quite large. We need to lock them up at night in their houses for safety, but they don't seem at all interested in their houses any time of day (nice weather). Each night so far has been rather chaotic trying to round them up and get them into their houses. What is the best way to get them to go in for the night, without chasing them all over, having to catch them, and causing them distress? They are used to us, and the geese are especially friendly and easier to catch than the ducks, but they still do not like to be "put away." How can we make this a less stressful process for us all? Will they ever get used to going in at night? Thanks so much for your advice!

-- Tracey in Idaho


7 Years
I had the same problem. But, it is solvable. First get yourself a couple of long poles or sticks, one for each hand. Then slowly and calmly walk behind them guiding them with the poles. Birds see out the sides and geese have one eye that is far distance and one the is close distance. So guiding them is pretty easy. The will balk at first but be calm and persistent and they will learn. Also, I think they are able to understand simple and very few commands. Use them only for what they are intended. I use "go, go, go" to get them moving and once near the door to their barn I use "inside" and they just go right in.

Duck are a bit more of a challenge because they will take off in several directions. But they do learn and will follow your guidance if you remain calm and cool.


Apr 1, 2015
Barnstead NH
We struggled with this too. Best idea ever? A funnel. Set up their house in a corner of the pen, and set up some fencing that's easy to herd them into. Like a chute that leads to their door. It makes it easier for you, and less stressful for them because there's nowhere else to go!


May 22, 2017
We also are new to geese this year, and have a large pen where they stay at night for safety. The first couple nights it was somewhat difficult to get them in, but now they know the routine pretty well. We barely have to get them moving, and they head right in from anywhere they happen to be on the property. If we plan to be away from home at other times, they are not quite as cooperative, but still not too difficult to herd. I don't use poles, just hold my arm out wide on the side I want them to veer away from. And it's easier if my wife and I both work the project, with one in front to lead the way and the other herding.


Apr 3, 2015
Wales uk
like others have said, it's a training thing.
i kept my geese inside the kitchen until they were around 12 weeks old. by then they were way too big to stay indoors any longer, and the mess each morning was horrendous.
teaching them they had a new home was a little tricky.
initially they followed me, so i walked in front and they followed. after a while they started running away so i went behind them and drove them home.
i had problems earlier this year when the bird flu issue meant they had to remain indoors, i had to give them a new bigger home, but they kept trying to go to their old home.
i tend to use one large shepherds like crook to guide them.
i never touch them with a stick, just use it to direct across fields or block off entry to other walkways.
after a few weeks they stopped trying to go to their old home and accepted the new one as their house.
now they tend to start going home as i am filling their overnight buckets of water.
i occasionally have to drove them home, but not often.
i always say exactly the same thing to them too, "bedtime babies", my guess is that they understand with repetition that the sound means there is a tub of grain waiting for them in their house.


Apr 12, 2017
My flock have 2 different "homes". One is for daytime use while I am away. (It's just a 6' enclosed dog kennel/run). They have a converted shed for their use at night, but there is no access to grass and the ventilation isn't perfect for daytime summer use. Initially I had to herd them similarly to what you describe, but after 2 days they started doing it themselves. As soon as it gets to be twilight, off they go. I have 2 Sebastopol, a white chinese, 2 toulouse, and 2 saddleback pomerainians along with 2 Rouen ducks. When it started getting warmer and I needed to start utilizing the dog kennel, I started feeding them in there. They now know to go right to the kennel when I let them out in the mornings. All of my flock are less than 3 months old.


In the Brooder
Apr 6, 2017
Geese and ducks are pigs. I put mine up every night with a trail of treats. Drop a few treats, back up a few steps and drop a few more. For about a week, once I get them close enough I "herd" them through the door. After about a week of that they had the routine down. Now that's not to say they don't occasionally make me play ring around the duck house just for fun! But bedtime has been much easier with a little bribery!

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