In the house at night...challenges of winter hours

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by newbyduckmom, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    I lock my ducks in the duck house at night.

    Usually go out around 7 am and let them out in the runs in the morning, and bring them in about 6pm (hours will change as daylight gets shorter). As daylight hours get shorter, this becomes a bit of a challenge. I will not always be home to bring them in, but am reluctant to leave them cooped up in the coop all day.

    Their runs that they are in during the day are not secure enough for leaving them out after dark, or when I am not home. (I would prefer they were more secure during the day as well, but - ). Ideally, we need more secure runs, but this is not going to happen immediately.

    One night last week, I had put them all in the duck house (drakes included - they are normally in a separate house at night due to issues - they are presently behaving), because I knew I would not be home before dusk, and they could have access to the outdoor pen which is covered and relatively secure. When I got home, later than planned, it was dark and the ducks, which usually go in the house at dusk, were still out and panicked (possibly just due to me walking up in the dark although I was talking to them all the time as I approached). There was a light on in the duck house, but it was dark in the run. They have been taught to go into the house at dusk (or so I thought), but I am normally present. They apparently did not figure out they should go in at dusk themselves, even though it has been the routine for the last 5 months, and there was a light in the house.

    Just curious how everyone deals with putting ducks in at night, if you are not home to force the feathered children to go inside at night? I was surprised they did not go in, and even more surprised how panicked they were.
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I get a neighbor or a friend to get them in for me.
  3. BallardDuck

    BallardDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Ballard in Seattle
    Mine are in a secure pen/run all day, unless I am in the garden, then they can "free-range" with me.
    When I first had them outside they would go into the coop at night on their own, but now they wait for some "encouragement" from me! And that's fine as I usually leave their dinner out till bedtime, so I go out and herd 'em into the coop, bring in the feed dish, along with peeing the dog one last time for the night! I prefer them to be inside the coop, so as not to attract attention from nocturnal critters, but they are safe in side a hardware cloth pen/run.
  4. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    Northern Wisconsin
    Mine free range all day till dusk...they always go in the coop right before dark on there own! I have come home late like 11pm and they are always in. When I walk up they do panic a bit till I shut the door!

    I assume they will get use to it. I got lucky since all mine have been adults when I got them, and they just went in without any pushing! And I just got 3 new ones who also never had a coop before, that I assume just followed the rest in!
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    My guys have a secure run attached to their coop. They have access to that all night if they want it. I don't actually close them in to their coop at night, but they must be inside that secure night run before sunset.

    If I know I won't be home until after the sun goes down, the ducks are not released into their large day time enclosure. There is too much risk having them out all night and I am very opposed to having them killed or injured.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by