Letting ducks out for the first time

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by babelfish, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. babelfish

    babelfish New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Mar 26, 2011
    In an effort to keep things cleaner and save some money on food, I'd like to let my ducks out. In the past, we've kept chickens, and had no trouble letting them out a few hours every day -- they'd coop themselves up at night, and we'd just have to close the door to the coop to keep them safe overnight. If the chickens were unwilling to be put away, tossing a bit of food into the coop never failed.

    My ducks don't seem as interested in food as the chickens -- they don't come running the moment they hear food.

    The ducks are smart enough to put themselves into the little house I've got for them inside their pen (the house is a converted calf hutch, and by "converted" I mean "filled with straw").

    These are ducks from a late hatch last year -- hatched in June, so I just kept them penned up until now, as they weren't mature before the days started getting colder and shorter. If I let them out, should I be worried about getting them back in at the end of the day? And, if they aren't so willing to do so themselves, what can I do to coerce them?

    Thanks!
     
  2. DuckLover179

    DuckLover179 Waddles & Puddles

    Nov 28, 2010
    California
    The first few times you should lock them up, so they get used to that schedule. Eventually they will learn to lock themselves up at night. When you first let them do it on their own, put a few peas in their house before going to bed, so they will know it's good to be locked up, and they get rewarded for it. [​IMG]
     
  3. AnaD

    AnaD Chillin' With My Peeps

    448
    2
    111
    Jan 27, 2011
    N. Ca
    We have 40-45 degree nights and 55-63 degree days and my ducks have been out every sunny day since two weeks and even some rainy days (they love mud). They love to be running around and eating snails and slugs. At night if they are not in their pen I just herd them to it...they are pretty cooperative.
     
  4. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,828
    19
    181
    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    mine go into their pen automatically. We put the babies out 2 weeks ago with mom and dad and they follow them in. I agree use peas never seen a duck that didnt like peas
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by