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Getting my ducks to go in shelter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jeniep, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Jeniep

    Jeniep Chirping

    Jan 2, 2014
    :rolleyes:I have recently bought a property with pond and 6 ducks. I believe three are Pekins and three are black and white, Muscovites? Anyway we built them a wood shelter for the winter and placed about 2 feet from the pond. I have a thick lay of straw on the floor. They refuse to go anywhere near the shelter. It is suppose to be below 0 in the upcoming week and severe wind chills. I am not sure how we can encourage them to shelter, I am afraid if we try to herd them in they will be frightened and wig out. Any ideas?

  2. StruckBy

    StruckBy Songster

    Apr 2, 2012
    Marcola, OR
    Put some scratch in there, then accept that ducks don't need or want much protection from cold. Shade in summer is much more important. Ducks will stay in the pond rather than in a shelter until it freezes (and they may well prefer to sleep on the ice even then). Google duck circulation and cold hardiness and you'll see why. Every duck I've ever had has seemed to thrive on cold & snow. If you watch them over the year, you'll find that they are much more active and playful in the cold than the summer.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  3. Jeniep

    Jeniep Chirping

    Jan 2, 2014
    Thank you for your input. I feel so much better because that is exactly what they do. They swim in the pond and sleep on the ice, I guess it is safer there. It just seems so harsh. I will put some scratch in the shelter but they don't like it like they do cracked corn, I will probably try the corn and if they get desperate maybe they will go in the shelter. Thank you for your help.
  4. cigarmitch

    cigarmitch In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2013
    SW Virginia
    I herd my ducks in every night. They don't need it or like it, but I want to protect them from the confirmed predators in the area that I have not dispatched yet. My ducks prefer to be outside, in fact they spend almost every minute outside in the winter. This past summer they spent alot of their time inside the coop. If you are not worried about predators, I would let them do what they want. I know mine have grown larger with fat for the winter, and the grain bill has went up.
  5. Jeniep

    Jeniep Chirping

    Jan 2, 2014
    Thanks for your help! I have a big dog that has kept the coyotes at bay and I think that is why they stay on the pond at night. They have never been confined so I am not sure what their reaction would be, but to try every trick to get out of an enclosure. Of course we have not had these kind of temps for some time. I am very conflicted and I have given the plenty of corn, I guess I will hope for the best. PJ
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Putting corn into the shelter and not locking them in is just asking for trouble, if they don't go in and eat it it will attract other animals some who my love to eat duck, so if you don't intend to lock them up once they go inside don't put food in there.

    I have alot of preds some who will even swim and walk on ice to get to a nice tasty duck so there is no way mine can stay out all night.
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    [​IMG] for sure. The problem you have OP is they are basically feral ducks, my birds have been taught to go into housing, sorry i am not feeding local wildlife and Muscovy are just not as waterproof nor hardy in winter as other ducks.. i have enough of them and wintered enough to state this from my own personal experiences.

    I think due to them not being yours you have likely done all you can, and hope for the best.. perhaps as time goes by you can gain their trust so they can be sheltered at night for safety.

  8. Harriet&Lucy

    Harriet&Lucy In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2010
    Puget Sound
    This may sound nuts, but I can herd my flock of runner ducks with a flashlight. I just shine it on the ground where I don't want them to go. They get frantic when I use a stick to lengthen my arm. But a patch of light seems to be just weird enough, without being truly scary, that they can be guided wherever I want them to go. Only works at twilight and dark, of course.

    I tried the same thing on a mallard, and she could not have cared less. So maybe it doesn't work for any breed but runners. But you could try it. Herding ducks off of a pond is pretty challenging. Mine just swam to the other side until I got sick of circling the pond.
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Seems it would be really hard to convince ducks to come off the pond to be locked up unless they decided to on their own. My Scovy's herd real easy too and my geese also. Most of my ducks just go in on their own since they have been trained since tiny to do so.
  10. QuackQuackLady

    QuackQuackLady Hatching

    Dec 12, 2013
    Hello. We have done the same thing. (built a shelter). We feed them exclusively in the shelter and have an electric waterbowl in there. We also have 2 red heat lamps (outdoor kind from Home Depot or Lowes). They will go inside to eat but will not sleep in there! It got really cold, down in the teens and they all huddled and made it through. Made my heart hurt. If we can create an aisel for them to be ushered through INTO the shed they might obey but I think their down is warm enough. I throw canned corn and peas in that area so they always go there to search. Did you know that their feet do not feel the cold? Google that fact. Their beak does though, and they tuck it under their wings for warmth. I will keep watching the boards to see if someone has a great idea to share. Good luck and Happy New Year. Quack Quack Lady

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