When can ducks free range and will they come back?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by casslarrabee225, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. casslarrabee225

    casslarrabee225 Songster

    Apr 23, 2011
    Mid-Coast, Maine
    My Coop
    I have 4 ducks. Two Khaki's and and two mixed. They are about a month and a half old and are currently outside in the coop. They have been outside since 3-4 weeks old. I'm wondering about letting them out while I am outside doing chores and what not. It probably won't be for more then an hour. I just don't know if they are old enough to come back. Every time I let them out of their inside coop to the outside coop in the morning they flap their wings and try running to fly. I'm nervous they will take off and not come back. Or I won't be able to herd them back to the coop. Any suggestions, tips or advice?
  2. casslarrabee225

    casslarrabee225 Songster

    Apr 23, 2011
    Mid-Coast, Maine
    My Coop
    I know you're curious to see the ducks associated with the post. So here they are:


    From left to right: Lucky (Boy? - mixed breed, possibly Cayuga mix.). Ming-Ming (girl - Khaki). Moo-Shu (Boy? - Khaki). Yenko (girl - Khaki mix..possibly full Khaki?).
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    Mine spent time on the deck for a few weeks and I'd bring them into the yard with me for some time. They'd follow me around. We'd tour the yard and just hang out. Then I'd watch as they did this on their own and they'd come back for food if nothing else. Then I'd let them out and just check on them to see they were hanging out where they belonged.
    They've created their own territory and don't usually venture much outside that. They do get a bit brave now and then and head into the woods, but that was Blue who was afraid of nothing. Ally would follow and Cad would stand outside like she was fretting "I don't think we should do this, I'll stay out here for help if needed" But now she ventures in to lay eggs. They pretty much just stay in the yard they like - which is closer to the house. They've been to the far back of our yard, but it was with me herding them out there. THey've never gone into that part on their own.
  4. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    They should come back with no issues. Mine do. I even have muscovys that occasionally fly to a pond that is across the street and down a little (I also own that) and they are always back before dark..They could even really leave for good if they got in their heads...they know where the feed is though [​IMG]
  5. aineheartsyou

    aineheartsyou Songster

    May 6, 2009
    Dixie, WA
    They are too heavy to fly [​IMG] the wing flappin and what not is just them stretching their wings and getting the sillies out. as soon as I open their night house door my flock takes off runnin, flappin, quackin, its quite entertaining to watch [​IMG] Ducks are homebodies, they wont go far. mine dont even go around to the other side of the house, they stick to the front yard and will occasionally wander on over to our compost pile to pick around in it but thats it. getting them back into the night house is a piece of cake! I use to give them peas every night when I locked them up so now they know when its gets to be around dusk its time to march on over to the night house [​IMG] I still give them peas most nights but I dont give them to them in their house any more, I sit on my porch steps and hand them out.
  6. ZoeS95423

    ZoeS95423 Songster

    Apr 17, 2011
    They should come back, if they have been outside for that long in their pen/coop, then they know where their home is. Mine go inside all by themselves every night at about 8:30 during sunset. I just have to shut the door behind them.
  7. crumpshill

    crumpshill Hatching

    Jun 10, 2011
    We live on a farm in North La. and have around 40 Ducks, of which most are Muscovies. They free range on about 50 acres and fly (hens) to ponds nearly 3 miles away but always have come back to their pond. Many stay in our pine trees in the mornings and a few have perched on our telephone lines. We have never had any to fail to come back home. They make such great pets and we love them all. We also have a lot of R.I. Red hens and Roos. Terry in La.
  8. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    I have rouens and 1 pekin that are 1 month old. they free range 24/7 and today I wasn't sure they would come back...they were down the hwy at my grandmas house... they are back this evening [​IMG]
  9. GosfieldAcres

    GosfieldAcres In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2011
    We got our 16 Khaki Campbells when they were 9 months old already, and when the weather got nice we let them out to free range. They got more and more adventurous and started wandering off to the neighbours. They do always come back, but I'm worried about them getting hit by cars or eaten by dogs, so now we only let them out when we're outside. We have two acres of yard area and pond for them to wander in and they still take off. One day we'll fence it all and let them eat all the bugs they want.
  10. heidihas2ducks

    heidihas2ducks In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I have 2 7 week olds (one is a blue swedish and the other we believe is a rouen) and they have been free range all day for the last 3 weeks. I let them out of their duck house (a craigs list dog house that looks like a little barn that my boyfriend welded a metal grate like door for) in the morning and they come outside and I feed them their duckling crumbles and give them their water. They eat and drink for a bit then they waddle down the hill to the pond and hang out all day long til about 8:30 when it starts to change lightness...at which point they waddle back up the hill and wait for their spinach and strawberry salad and thawed out frozen peas in a bowl of water(makes it fun for them to pick the peas out of the water!) Then they march up the ramp into their house. I am gone all day and I don't worry at all anymore.[​IMG]

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