Getting them in the coop at night? Lost cause?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by NoVA Chicks, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. NoVA Chicks

    NoVA Chicks Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Falls Church, VA
    I've had my ducks for about a month and I love them--they're a lot cuter than the chickens and a lot quieter, too. They are pretty messy and aren't laying yet but I'm really enjoying them. The only issue I have is that they refuse to go in the coop at night. The chickens just put themselves to bed. The ducks have to be captured one at a time and put into the coop. We have a lot of predators and I can't leave them out in the pen at night, unfortunately. Right now we only have five so it isn't a big deal to grab them and put them "away" for the night but I'd love to have more . . . and I'm wondering how this will work out in the winter when there's 2-3 ft of snow on the ground. They have a little pool and I've read that ducks in the wild sleep on the water for safety but mine don't do that . . . any advice?

    And I should say these are Pekin ducks that were rescued. The woman who bought them lost about half to predators before asking me to take them. [​IMG]
  2. Eroc1_1

    Eroc1_1 Songster

    Jan 12, 2011
    What we do is feed them peas at night right before 'bedtime' AND we give them feed only at night (we feed them 1x a day but it is all you can eat and drink until morning). For us, they come and hang around their house at around 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm, we feed them peas and open the pen for them to eat. They don't leave the area and we put them to bed between 8 - 8:30pm. For them, it is all about routine.
  3. rainy day ducks

    rainy day ducks In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    Southeast Alaska
    This can be resolved by feeding them in their duck house at night. They will go into the house at night when they are ready to eat.
  4. TrystInn

    TrystInn Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Ditto, feed them in the duck house at night. Also, you can teach them to flock together with a long stick like a cane. They will happily paddle their way in the house once this vital skill is learned - be patient, this will take some time. [​IMG]
  5. animalpro24

    animalpro24 Songster

    May 13, 2011
    We have a ramp up to their door into their coop. We just herd them up the ramp and they do the rest themselves.
  6. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Songster

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    We had to catch ours for about 3 weeks and put them in every night before they got the hang of it. We always went out right after it got dark because it is much easier to catch them and they pretty much stay still. After about 2 weeks they would walk up to us so we could pick them up and put them in, and then the 3rd week they finally went in on their own.
  7. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Songster

    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    It's a matter of conditioning and repetition. They will get it , but it has to be very predictable and repetitive.

    The more you make the transition, the easier it gets. Good luck.

    BTW, I train mine to ride in a cart (kids wagon) to and from the play ground to "home".
  8. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Songster

    Jun 27, 2007
    I trained mine to go to their pen at 5 pm every night by herding them. Walk behind them using your arms to steer them, lift your right arm when you want them to go left, raise left arm to go right. It took less than two weeks. Each night at 5 they come to the pen and they'll get a treat along with supper and snuggles. Then I go outside just before dark and they go right into the house and I lock it up. I had to herd them to the house inside the pen the first few nights. Sometimes they'll see me coming and just go into the house and other nights I can walk out there and they're already in the house laying down. Ducks are super smart and easy to teach.

  9. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Songster

    Apr 26, 2011
    orange county
    Quote:UM>>>>CAN YOU TAPE THIS OR AT LEAST TAKE PICTURES???? pleeeeeeaaaaassssssseee?

    And as far as getting the ducks inside, I herd them like everyone else... and like Plum Tuckered's ducks... sometimes mine go inside when they see me coming, or they are already inside... I knew When I started them outside...routine would be their teacher and it sure worked well. Poultry loooooves routine. I feed mine in the morning by the way, but I'll change it to nights because I think they quack in the morning because they are hungry and want to go out to eat.
  10. NoVA Chicks

    NoVA Chicks Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Falls Church, VA
    I'm having zero luck herding them into the house at night. I've been resisting feeding them in the coop at night because I suspect they'll make a horrible mess, but I'm going to give that a try this week. So far they just act like they can't figure out the ramp to the coop door at all. I've even tried putting them on the ramp and guiding them up and they still don't seem to be getting it. Just my luck to end up with a less-than-average-intelligence flock. [​IMG] It does seem like they're all girls, though, which is nice. They were rescues and I have no idea where they came from so I'm thrilled about that. [​IMG]

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