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Putting ducks up at night - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by farmin'chick, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    My Muscovy duckies are free range during the day. At night, ever since they have been outside, I put them up in a triangular prism shaped tractor. The last three days, they have been very resistant to going up at night -- they just want to sleep in a bunch on the ground. They are 3 months old. Is it safe to let them stay out, or should I keep struggling with them to get them to go up? During the day they sometimes will go in the tractor to lounge -- it has shade and is waterproof, although they like to be out in the rain sometimes, too...so I don't think it's just because they don't like the tractor. Suggestions, anyone?
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Put them up--you will lose them eventually if you don't.

    I know they can be brats. I used to DREAD the evening chore of putting my ducks up because they were SO bratty about it. Sometimes I let them stay out because I just couldn't deal with them... and twice I lost a couple while they were out.

    Now I have a little secret. And I think three months is old enough to start this. They only get fed at night, and only *inside* their pen. Now, they stand at the pen door yelling at me in the afternoon until I come down to feed them. They always seem surprised and rather indignant that they can't get back out again after the feeding, but as long as they are safe for the night, I'm willing to weather a little indignation on their part.

    I give them enough food that they can munch on it overnight and there's usually a little left in the feeder in the morning. When I let them out in the morning, I remove the food and place it in the basement with the feed bins or, if the weather is nice, just on top of the pen out of reach.

    Good luck. I know it's a pain!
     
  3. minifarmer

    minifarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2008
    warren county, ohio
    Keep struggling! I have to build some kind of enclosure for mine as an owl is killing them several times a week. I'm looking at making a pen that has fold out sides(additions like wings) made of 2 pieces of hog fencing. That way I can herd them towards the covered pen and shut them in at night. The panels are 12 or 16 feet long, so if I can get them close, they should run into the pen to get away from me and I can let them back out in the morning. Owls are protected, so other than complete confinement (my guard goose and those red led predator lights haven't worked), it seems to be my only choice. karla
     
  4. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    Definitely put them up. Nighttime is a dangerous time for ducks and they will easily become a meal for many predators.

    We've had trouble putting our 6 Pekin ducks away in the past. Once they get into the routine they'll go in.

    Is it too hot in their tractor? We figured out that was why ours didn't want to go in. When we added more ventilation to their house, we didn't have any more problems.

    Laurie
     
  5. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    Their tractor is wire over a wooden frame, with a tarp draped over the top. They have grass underneath and the ends are wire, so they should have enough ventilation.
     
  6. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    My 6 ducks prefer to sleep on the pond, and sometimes I have to go out there with a big stick and hop around, smacking the water, throwing rocks etc. to get them to go in... Yes, i know that sounds mean, but they are completely uncoaxable, and if i leave them out (except the mallards who REFUSE to come in, and have not been eaten yet) they will be instantly eaten, because they can't fly, and honestly, aren't that bright...
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Mine are in a chain link dog kennel with an attached shelter. They hate the shelter. They MUCH prefer to be in the open. Can you hang the tarp only over one end, and leave the other "open air"? They might like that better.
     
  8. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    Good idea. I'll try that. It may be just that as they are growing up they don't want to hide -- it used to be they would all group together under the tarp if it was partly covering their tractor.
     
  9. kingmt

    kingmt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mason WV
    I second that you should only feed at night until the get the hang of going in to eat at night. I feed them in the morning & at night only now. No all day feeding. That is why they free range.
     
  10. 1duckychick

    1duckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    3 months seems to be the magic "defiant" age for duckies I guess! Mine are very routine oriented and they come in at night, like clockwork, around 730/8pm. If I loose track of time they're at the door pitching a fit to remind me. But, now that they've hit 3 months and entered they're "teenage" phase, they've been exerting their independence and defiance and will only come in when they decide it's time - granted it's still the same time as always (as soon as it starts to get dark) but now they need to be the ones who come to the door, if I go out and try to round them up they won't come in. So I just wait until they come knocking at the door and let them in.

    Once you start rounding them up and getting them in at a certain time, they'll establish a new routine and getting them where you want them will be the expected norm for them. Right now they have their own routine going and they're resistant to changing it. Once a new one's established things will get easier.
     

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