How to get ducks to go into coop at night?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sunny Side Up, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    One nice feature of keeping chickens is the easy way they put themselves to bed at night, each one going into her or his own coop at sundown, without being forced/driven/reminded/nagged. Sometimes I forget to be grateful for this self-directed habit of theirs until a visitor will ask "Just how do you get them to all come in at night?" and I remember "Hey, there's a nightly chore I don't have to do!"

    The guineas will do this too, though sometimes they must receive updated signals from their Mother Ship to switch their roosting place. As long as it's safe and not subject to damage from their droppings I'll go along with it.

    But what about ducks? Will they just as faithfully return on their own to their pen? I plan to let them roam freely about the yard all day, but think they should be enclosed at night to keep them safe from predators.

    Am I right in thinking they prefer to sleep in snuggled together on the floor, and don't need a roost? I am planning on using a plastic dog house or plastic crate for their bedroom.

    Will this be where the girls will lay their eggs? Will they lay them during the night? Do they need a separate nest box or do they lay them in their beds? Do they poop in their beds while they sleep the way chickens & guineas poop throughout the night?

    They're only 4 weeks old now, I still bring them into the screened back porch at night, to sleep in a straw-lined plastic bin for safety's sake. But I know I need to prepare for them to sleep outside soon.

    Thank you for your advice for my ducklings!
    Caleb F. likes this.
  2. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Ducks can be taught to go in at night. When you go down to shut the door to the pen just herd them in the rest of the way. Some nights they will already be inside, others they will be sleeping at the door or getting in some last minute eating.

    They won't bother with a roost and they will squirt where they decide to sleep.

    As far as egg laying goes, they are roughly the same as chickens. As long as they find a nest on the ground they like they will keep laying there, especially if there are already eggs inside.

    They don't lay at night.
    Caleb F. likes this.
  3. Badhbh

    Badhbh Songster

    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    Mine go in the coop on their own at night, as do the geese. I kept them cooped up for a while when they were small, and they just follow the chickens in [​IMG]
  4. countrydream7

    countrydream7 Chirping

    Sep 5, 2013
    hi everyone, this is the first time i have ducks..and boy are they messy ...chicks so much easier to me..i have 6 pekin and 6 ruans had them in there coop for 1 month before I let them out. they do not want to go back in coop we have to catch them very tired trying to get them. anyone have suggestions..they go near it but not in it..don't want predators to get them otherwise id leave out..thanks
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Is the coop pretty well cleaned up, with fresh water and food? I had some success giving treats in the coop. They need to associate good feelings with the coop.

    Also, you may want to get someone to help, but generally I could get behind the flock and walk them in on those occasions they did not feel ready to go in.
  6. ihavechicks

    ihavechicks Chirping

    Jul 13, 2010
    Cypress Inn, TN
    I use a flashlight to direct them into their house. It works everytime.
    WhiteCastleFarms likes this.
  7. Kaessa

    Kaessa Songster

    Jan 23, 2015
    Fruita, CO
    I've had pretty good luck with treats. I hand-feed peas to them, then start tossing the peas into the duck house. Eventually they'll go in after the peas. They were dubious at first, and there were a few nights that I had to chase down each duck individually and put them in the house. The last few nights have been really good. Three nights ago, everyone went in. Last night, I just had to catch Peek, then tonight Abba was the lone holdout. Everyone else ran right in after the treats.
    WhiteCastleFarms and MaureenD like this.
  8. slordaz

    slordaz Songster

    Apr 15, 2015
    I raised 1 duckling in the brooder with the chicks and as I didn't have an established flock already the duckling decided to play momma to the chicks so when we put them out in the coop, she has been very good about herding the chicks into the coop at night and sleeps with them still, I will tell you I have some very confused birds right now though. I have a duckling that thinks it is a mamma chicken and a baby chicken that now thinks it is a momma duck as we got a new baby duckling and the other duck doesn't like her.

    we were not planning on ducks but have actually enjoyed them mixed in with the flock.
  9. pagiants

    pagiants Hatching

    Oct 4, 2015
    First timer with ducks
    have 6 Indian Runners and boy did they name them right
    you can't get within 10 feet of these birds but they are fun to watch
    My problem is they free range during the day with several Jersey Giant hens over 1 acre of property
    At dusk they all seem to return to the pen which is a old dog run that's 6 foot tall and about 160 sq.ft. in size
    In side the pen there is a 4x4 foot raised off the ground chicken coop,a small kiddy pool and a converted dog house for the ducks
    My problem is it is getting colder here in the northeast and the ducks have never gone in the dog is vented has a window and I even started leaving a dish of pellets inside there is a floor of hay I just am at a loss of what to try
    My hens go right in at dusk and the ducks sleep the night in their small pond
    soon they will be sleeping on ice
    Please HELP!!!!
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I have Runners. And no matter what others told me, or what the books said, mine do not always do what's best for themselves.

    For example, I was told they'd huddle together to stay warm. Nope. Never.

    And they did not bring themselves into the shelter at night before several days or weeks (I forget) of me herding them in.

    And mine will sleep right up against the fence, so if it were chicken wire or chain link, a raccoon could reach right in and pull them out piece by piece, as happened to someone I know's Runner.

    And raccoons will climb over a fence - does the run have fencing across the top? That same person got away without it till her dog died, then the raccoons came in and killed the flock.

    How big is the dog house for the ducks? Does it have a locking (not just a latch, a lock) door? No gaps larger than half an inch? Sturdy enough that nothing could pull a gap open?

    What I did to get my Runners in was throw a pea party, first thing, at least once a day, right there inside the shelter. Then before dark, I would herd them in. If yours are skittish (mine are not, some flocks are more jumpy than others, apparently), you may need a little help at first getting them in - or just set up some temporary poultry fence like a funnel to corral them in.

    If there is something special, mine will go in. I use peas. Some use mealworms. If there is something scary about the shelter, though, they won't. So be sure it's nice and cozy and friendly in there.

    How much bedding is in the house? I used a foot and a half - that left 2.5 feet of head room for them. You may want to place straw bales around the house to shield it from winds if it's not big enough for abundant bedding and insulation.

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