Training ducks?


11 Years
Oct 10, 2008
Northern CA
I have 10 ducks and 2 geese that are about 14 weeks old from Metzer Farms. They are currently in a portable cage on the top of a hill in my backyard, at the bottom of the hill is my pond. I am planning to let them swim on our pond during the day, but I have lost countless ducks to mtn. lions, coyotes, and raccoons during the night. I am hoping to train these ducks and my other 5 ducks to come up the hill to their cage at night. I would let them out in the morning at 8:00 and around 6:00 I would put feed in the cage and lock the ducks in. I am just not sure how to train them to come up every night. Any suggestions would be great!


10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
Charlotte, NC Area
Mine know when their dinner time is, and they come up for it. I make sure there is no feed available to them during the day, so they know they have to come up to the pen at night to get fed. They're always indignant when they discover that I've locked them in, which always makes me laugh. It works for me--hope it does for you too!


Enslaved by Indoor Ducks
11 Years
Nov 20, 2008
Chicago, IL
The best thing to do is not offer feed during the day for a few days (before letting the out on the pond), and feeding them at a certain time (when you want them to come in each night, remember not to make it too late, when it gets to be winter again it'll get darker earlier). Also offer tasty special treats like greens, corn, and peas then too. Ducks seems to have an internal clock and will learn when it's dinner time. It will also help if you yell to them a certain phrase or in a certain manner so they can associate feeding time with your call. We're trying to try our ducks to come out of their pen when they here a door bell chime, lol.

With ducks, it's all about being repetitive. You won't see results right away, but then one day after trying to get them so do something for what seems like ever, you'll just noticed that they are doing it on their own...


11 Years
Oct 10, 2008
Northern CA
Thanks for the suggestions!
I will try that, but I am going to have to wait until the week after next because I am going to Disneyland! I hope it works.


10 Years
Jun 2, 2009
chimacum, WA
Our ducks always want to be herded into the pen at night. They will hang out somewhere near the chicken coop in the yard. Once I put the chickens to bed, the ducks know it is their time. Often they will stand up and let themselves be slowly "herded" into their pen. I just gently follow them, sort of encouraging them to move toward their pen.

Almost never will they go in by themselves (at night). I think that they are afraid of getting stuck in there with a predator at the door, but they seem to know that it's okay when I tie the gate shut. Also, they know that when I call "Ducks" in a certain tone of voice, that it means them, and usually means food, so they quack at me and look at me.

I'd say , the younger you start getting them used to being herded, the better; I started by herding them in for their food and fresh water anytime during the day.


10 Years
Oct 16, 2009
Belmont, CA
Mine will go to the night pen at dusk and wait for me to close the gate. At first we put them in there for a few days so they would get familiar with where home base is. The food stays in the night pen.

A few times we have had to put them in bed early and they were very upset. They knew it wasn't time yet. We bribed them with snacks to get them in...or pick up the boss duck and put her in the pen and the rest follow.


Overrun with chickens
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
Southern Oregon Mountains
I whistle for my ducks when I have treats for them. Some will whistle back and the rest will quack. Next they start to run, because everyone want to be home first. They surely know that whistling means treats. Start training them for that in an enclosure so they learn to come when they are being called.


15 Years
Jun 27, 2007
The first few days my ducks spent the day on the pond I would stand up at the pen (up the hill at my place too) and holler Duck Duck while holding the feed bucket, they'd take their time coming up the hill and after a few days I held up a bag of peas instead of the feed bucket..those boogers ran up that hill LOL It took less than a week and they were all coming up to the pen before I got out to the feed bins in the evening. To this day they'll come up to the pen around 3 in the afternoon, if they don't see me come out the back door they either play in the pen till I come out to feed or they come to the kitchen window and call me :)



Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
My ducks run into their pen when I call for the cat. They also hang around the door to their night pen starting around 6 p.m. They know the sun is getting low and it is about time to go in for the night.

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