Holland89

Hatching
Jun 13, 2020
6
3
8
Evening Everyone,

I have 4 Swedish Blue ducks that are roughly 20 weeks old. We raised them in our garage and then put them outside with our chickens. They get along great with the chickens, even hang out with the barn cats, but will not sleep inside. We've tried putting them with the chickens, we've tried their own little dwelling, but they prefer to bed down in this tangled mess of pine trees by the edge of the corn field. What happens come winter? I'm in Southern Ontario and while our winters aren't horrible we do get episodes of polar vortex and sustained temps below 0°c/32°f. The fact that they're all still alive and not some animals snack is beyond me. But I'm at a loss as it is getting colder and wetter, but these ducks are so stubborn. Any help/insight is appreciated.
 

Callender Girl

Crowing
Sep 18, 2018
1,371
7,203
466
North Central Iowa
Winters here in northern Iowa see the polar vortex, too, so I understand your worries. My runner ducks' year-round shelter is built with a frame of two-by-fours, wrapped in hardware cloth. There is a plywood roof over about half of it, and in the dead of winter, I usually pile bales of straw along the outside to cut down on the endless wind.

I get everyone inside at night by yelling, "Duck, duck, house, house," and they all march in. Not because they're obedient but because I toss a scoop of feed into the shelter. My ducks love nothing as much as feed.

I worried the first few years that they didn't have enough protection from the weather, but as long as the snow isn't piled up inside their shelter, they seem fine. Four years worth of fine.

Good luck luring your kids inside.
 

U_Stormcrow

Songster
Jun 7, 2020
503
923
176
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Mine prefer to sleep outside as well - though I elevated the hen house 3' so the ducks could sleep under it. Only find them there when they are hiding from the blazing sun, or we are getting a torrential downpour (typical rain, they are out playing!). Thankfully, here in N FL, its rare to have more than a few days in the high teens, so they don't need more.

In spite of my inexperience with the cold, I agree with @Callender Girl's assertion of common duck behavior. A consistent sound clue to get their attention, and a scoop of food to keep it, does a great job of herding them in the right direction. They just need retraining. They aren't (completely) stupid - not even my Pekins - but the routine needs a lot of reinforcement before they seem to "get it".
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
Jul 26, 2008
31,489
59,540
1,342
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
Ducks really love schedules.

If you train them to come when called, with their favorite treat, then do that every night at the same time, they should do it on their own after a week of training.
 

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