Muscovies will not go into coop at night

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DStewart PDX, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Hello, duck people! I have six muscovies about eight weeks old. They are getting along with my four laying chickens, and everyone has been sleeping together in the chicken coop without incident. My problem is the muscovies will not reliably go into the coop at night. Two or more of them often bed down in the grass instead of getting up into the coop. Every night I wait until they are settled and go fetch whoever is in the grass and toss them in the coop. The ducks promptly settle down, looking completely content to be there. An acquaintance with muscovies says hers don't always go in the coop, and she thinks they are just willful that way. Any thoughts?
     
  2. nikkers390

    nikkers390 Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is what works for me.
    I have a covered pen about 16 x 24 feet. I have 15 Muscovies and 7 African geese living there.
    I used to go out there and feed them twice a day, am and pm.
    When they were large enough to free range, I would go there in the morning and change the water in their pools as usual, but NO food. I leave their gate open and they would go out to explore and forage. They were not overly happy with the change. but they adapted. It was also difficult for me fearing they would not return in the evening. My birds do not tolerate being handled and I am too old to chase them around a 2 acre pasture.
    In the evening I come with the goodies. They are all very excited to see me. They go into their pen with NO urging. Actually, they noisily beat me to it! I feed them and lock them in for the night.
    I was really surprised that they learned the routine so quickly, like within a couple of days. Food does wonders! If I had to leave one of my babies out all night, I would have a very restless night, indeed!
    You may find a way that works better for you.
    Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    So your muscovies won't go in the pen without bribery! It sounds like they are not like chickens that will reliably return to the coop once they figure out that is where they are supposed to be. Sigh! I prefer my birds to be more independent to make them easy for the neighbor to look after when I travel. Sounds like these guys may never get there.
     
  4. Megaputz

    Megaputz Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2013
    I have seen the chickens starting to roost early around 7 or so. The ducks will go near the coop around dusk but won't go in the coop until well after dark, 9 or so. They are right about treats. If I mix a little water with their crumbles or throw kitchen scraps in the coop, they hear the chickens the ducks will go in to check it out. Really sucks having to wait until 10 pm to lock the coop up.

    One of my favorite things is mixing water/crumbles in a bucket at dusk. The chickens will start eating and the ducks will shuffle in. 20-30 minutes after putting the bucket down they are all asleep. It is such an adorable site.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    Great advise food and routine is the key. My Scovy's are waiting for me to lock them in every evening, They love their house. I don't wait till after dark either, too many preds just waiting for duck dinner.
     
  6. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Sounds like these guys won't care for themselves the way I like. I might just eat all of them rather than keep a breeding pair.
     
  7. Shikoba70

    Shikoba70 Out Of The Brooder

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    My ducks dont go in but they wait near the door until I go out and say " in to bed " then they go in . They are worth trying as once a routine is established they will stick to it
     
  8. nikkers390

    nikkers390 Chillin' With My Peeps

    DStewart PDX

    You call it bribery, I call it routine. Even when poultry forage, they still need to be fed and have clean water and a safe place to sleep.
    With any animal, food is an incentive to learn. Think of doggy treats for a task well done.
    There will come a time when routine takes over and treats are are a non-issue. With any animal training, the owner sets the pace, the animal complies.
    If your Muscovies were really as self-sufficient as you would like, they would simply fly away and become feral. We have many thousands like that here in FL.
    Your idea of eating them seems like a good idea. If you don't train them to come in their coop, something may beat you to the duck buffet. Like chicken, ducks are on every predator's menu. [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  9. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    So maybe if I do some training with them, they will learn to get themselves into the coop at a reasonable hour? I don't mind training them, but at some point, I would want them to get themselves to bed without me. This is important to me. The coop has an automatic door on a timer, and that makes it much easier on anyone caring for them when I am not at home. If the scovies can learn to do this, that would be ideal. If they will forever need a cue or treat from me, that will not work.
     
  10. nikkers390

    nikkers390 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's worth a shot. Remember that time of dusk changes throughout the year. Dusk seems to be the trigger to roost. Timers need to be reset occasionally.
    Good luck and I hope it all works out for the good. [​IMG]
     

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