My ducks don't want to come out!


In the Brooder
Apr 12, 2017
Hello everyone! I have two pekin ducks and two khaki campbell ducks that are about 6 weeks old and doing well. We recently moved their duck house outside to the run. They are used to their house because they have been living in it for the last three weeks in the garage.

They have a secure house and an 800 sq ft enclosed run they will share with the chickens (chickens aren't outside yet). They have a pool, shade, food, and water outside. We decided not to keep food inside, so they came out no problem this morning (this is their second morning), to eat and drink. They took a quick swim and then they all went back into their house. Yesterday they were outside all day.

Is this normal behavior? I would assume they would be swimming or foraging, but so far they are just hanging out together in their house. Is there anything I should be concerned with?

The run is secure with buried hardware cloth, welded wire, and chicken wire. It's only been two days outside, so I don't think there have been any predators to scare them. I'm sure if I brought watermelon out for them they would come out, but if I don't need to worry, then I'll just let them come out at their own pace.

Any tips?
Ducks have a strong dislike for change. Move their food or water bucket, put them to bed 10 minutes too soon, etc, and they'll let you know. Sounds like you just need to give them time to get used to the change.

Worth mentioning, if you have a drake and he decides he wants to mate with a hen, he can do serious damage & possible kill the hen. Something to keep in mind if you plan to have them hanging out together.

Good luck & welcome to BYC!!
Thank you. I had a feeling it was because of the change of moving outside. It's a lot of change because now they don't have their food and water INSIDE. I figure they will get used to it soon enough. They aren't in danger, so I'll just let them do their thing.

On a different note, I have one pekin duck that doesn't seem to "get" ramps. The others go up and down the ramp into the duck house, or the pool, but Gershwin, our female pekin, doesn't seem to understand until I pick her up and put her on the ramp. Do you have any suggestions?

As for the hens, I did read that this could be an issue, so we will be keeping a very close eye on them. When I did let a few of my 6 week old chicks outside in the same pen yesterday the ducks weren't too happy and tried to bite them. We may end up sectioning off the run to avoid issues. I am certain we have at least one drake, so we're on alert! I appreciate the tip!
Some ducks are slower to learn. She should get it after watching the others. You could try bribery. Mine love (thawed) frozen peas so I put some on the ramp to practice with the 2 that seemed to dislike the ramp.

Good plan. I'd section off just for piece of mind. You can't watch them 24/7.
Mine are addicted to watermelon and meal worms. I haven't yet tried peas, but I hear ducks usually go nuts for them!
I teach mine words....I say bedtime and they waddle up the ramp....If free ranging I say bedtime and they waddle back to their run....I walk along behind them with my arms stretched wide or use a long stick as an extension of my arm to herd them in....
Ducks are very smart...I love Ducks...:frow
Do you have a lot of experience with ducks? We raised the ducks with the chicks the first 3 weeks. We moved the ducks when they got too big for the brooder. They have been in the chicken/duck run for almost a week. Today we let the chicks outside for the first time and the ducks ganged up on the chicks, tried to corner them etc. They did it a few times. Is this normal behavior? We didn't want to build a separate run but know we may need to because we have at least one drake. In the meantime, should we separate them? Ducks are becoming a hassle.....
Yes....Separate....I can not have my Ducks with my Chickens....I have fence separating them....My Ducks hate the Chickens....They even chase my huge Brahma Rooster away...

I prefer Ducks over Chickens...Less Drama...

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