getting ducks to go in at night

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Bad Andy, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Bad Andy

    Bad Andy New Egg

    Jun 9, 2011
    I travel alot and am not always home to let ducks and 2 geese in and out of coop. I have automatic door opener and closer, and they dont often go in at night, so they get locked out. this is a problem because i have already lost one to a fox.
    I have lights on timers, and I put one inside the coop that comes on at dark to attract them in after dark? hasn't really worked yet. can I put an automatic feeder inside to lure them in? . any other ideas? all my birds are not yet fully mature, and there is no set feeding schedual yet.
  2. bt03

    bt03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Over the rainbow...
    That is a toughie. We had to train our ducks to go in every night. It took us a week and a half to train them by putting them in a bribing them in. You have to be consistent with putting them in or they will think it's ok to just go in sometimes and not others. Do you have a buddy that could maybe help you when you are out of town to help train them to go in at night? If not maybe a feeder or other nightly treats would help them learn that they should go in at night.
  3. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    They need a routine to entice them to go inside. The automatic feeder is a good idea. I used food to train mine to go into their pen at night, but I don't think my methods would work for you because of your situation.

    My ducks were very stubborn about going in at night. I would have to herd all of them in one at a time, sometimes having to resort to tapping them on the butt to get them moving. The way I fixed it was this: I would feed them just enough during the day that they would run out of food a little before sunset. As the sky got darker, they got hungrier. Then right before full dark I would go outside and make my "food time" noise. It's something I've ingrained into all my animals from the day I get them. I make a sharp clicking noise with my mouth while shaking a cup of the feed so that it rattles loudly. They come swarming. I would put just enough feed into the feeder to last them the night and then put it inside the pen, and they would all go rushing in so I could close it. Now, as it gets dark they wait inside the pen or just outside the door for me, no herding required.

    Maybe hook up an auto-feeder that makes some sort of noise that they can associate with food?
  4. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Ditto what Ravenstorm said - training! Our ducks love cat food, so I walk to the pen carrying a cup of it and they almost chase me down trying to get to it. I throw the catfood inside the pen and they run in. Works like a charm. Our Border Collie can do it all on her own, but this allows her to keep an eye out for the stragglers.
  5. littlenell1

    littlenell1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2011
    Our runner ducks put themselves to bed at night...or if not already in the hut as soon as I enter the enclosure they all file down to the hut and go in, and I shut the door. I have not had to herd them as such, unless it is not really dark enough. If I forget they still put themselves to bed as I discovered when I woke up in a sweat thinking they would all be fox food to find them all tucked up, warm and safe!

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