How do we get our ducks in at night?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sBrickmanHouse, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. sBrickmanHouse

    sBrickmanHouse Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Hi all,

    We have about an acre of our property fenced near the house. Inside that acre, we built our ducklings a predator-proof house and little backyard pond, and enclosed both within a low fence. They are absolutely loving it!

    They're out all day with free choice feed and water, and we close them in the house at night without feed and water to keep it clean.

    They've been out there for a couple of weeks now, and each night, we chase them down and put them in their house.

    Here's the problem, though. . . Our future plans for them were to allow them run of a much larger area, if not the full acre itself. But there is NO way we could chase them down over a larger area each night to put them in their house (let alone the full acre!).

    We do have night time predators, so we'd really like them in each night. Does anyone have any ideas for how to train them to reliably go in each night?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I don't "chase" my ducks into the coop each night but I do herd them in. I have along thin copper pipe that has an L-shape and that is my herding stick. The ducks are still young but they see that stick and almost automatically head to coop. Just walk slowly behind them using some sort of long stick to guide the strays and keep them all in line. Don't let them panic and start running. For me it works like a charm.

    I let my ducks sleep in the hen house at night because I thought it would be more secure than just staying in the fenced runs where there are dog houses and other open shelters. But they make such a mess that I too gave them a separate fenced area with their pool and water bowls. So each morning I open the coop and the ducks just seem to know to go into their yard and each evening they come back - all with the help of a little herding. The other night I thought it was nice and hot and they were all in the dog house, where they usually are each evening so I thought I would just let them stay there. Save me the trouble. Well I went out to check on them later and they were all standing and honking outside closed hen house door as if they were yelling "Hey let us in."

    It's my hope that given a little more time they will be totally "trained" to go to their yard each morning and back each evening.
  3. Chick_in_Indiana

    Chick_in_Indiana Songster

    Dec 14, 2007
    NE Indiana
    My ducks freerange in an area just over an acre. It took a few times walking them in but they did learn to go in on their own. What time are you putting them in? Mine dont like to go in until the last possible min before dark. I have a light on a timer and that seems to help. It also gives them a little time to get settle in before it goes completly dark. You also might want to try some treats in the coop just before bed.
  4. SueNH

    SueNH Songster

    Feb 24, 2007
    Mine always wanted to wait until nearly dark to go in too. I used to herd them in if I needed to with two long sticks as an extension of my arms. It got so all I would have to do is yell Ducks! and they would come marching from wherever they were.

    Discovered by accident that a laser pointer herds them really well. I've got several small natural bodies of water here and sometimes I couldn't get the ducks out of the water. I can get the laser point out there and move them like a charm.

    Used to have one little duck that used to be the very last one in all the time. She wouldn't go to bed until she checked all the buildings, pens and perches and made sure all her bird friends were in.
  5. dragonshiner

    dragonshiner Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    My ducklings put themselves away at night. At first when I let them free range I would have to herd them in at sundown but eventually they got the idea and started doing it themselves. Also I only feed my ducklings when they come home at night. During the day they have water and all the greens they can forage for.
  6. shy

    shy In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2008
    I am pretty lucky on this. When it starts to get dark, my 4 campbells move in close to their kennel. Then all I have to do is start walking that way and they run inside the kennel. Then I just close up.
  7. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    Dark? My ducks don't wait for dark!

    Sheesh - they see me come out the back door and RUN for the barn now. Seriously. In fact, the donkeys do the same thing. By the time I open the barn door there are 2 pairs of donkey eyes staring me in the face. One scared the begeezes out of me yesterday morning - almost gave me a heart attack.

    They have a little over an acre and have never even BOTHERED with most if it. They prefer to stay close for some reason.

    If I go out to the barn in the early afternoon I have to explain for like 10 minutes that it isn't bedtime....they don't give in easily. [​IMG] 7pm is like waaaaaaay past dinner by their clock and they are sleepin long before sundown. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008

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