Coop Training a Duck

Can a Duck be coop trained?

duck coop

We keep our chickens the redneck way.  Go here to learn how we do it.  It’s fabulous.

  • No fences
  • No cages
  • No tractor
  • No run
  • No nasty grass-less, lifeless, chicken-poop filled world
  • No parasites
  • No feed (except for deep frozen winter months)
  • No boundaries

free chickens

Freedom.  We have free chickens.

duck coop 4

Then we got ducks.  We don’t have a “duck house.” I don’t really know what a duck house is, but always heard that ducks lived in them.  We didn’t have a duck yard, or duck anything.  We raised our ducks with some chicks.  They all came home from Tractor Supply in the same box.

Maybe our ducks think they’re chickens.

ping 1

Well, the ducks went from little fluffy balls to full-blown-ducks in about 5 weeks.  Now, that’s fast!  They were too big for any hutch, brooder, or cage we own.  So, we moved them into the coop… the chicken coop.

We used the redneck technique on our ducks just like we do any new chickens.  They got to camp in the coop for a few days and then we let them out.

duck 3

Guess what happened that night?

You think I’m going to tell you that they walked up the chicken ramp and went to bed in the coop don’t you?

They didn’t.  They were huddled under the chicken ramp waiting for someone to shove them into the coop.

The duck wrangling went on for 3 weeks (felt like 3 months). It got better every week.  The first week there was one duck in the coop in the evening and 2 under the ramp.

The second week there was 2 ducks in the coop and 1 under the ramp.

The 3rd week they were all catching on.

If our ramp was longer, had better treads or was less steep I think the ducks would have gone in right away.  We did make some adjustments to make it more asssessible for the ducks.  The bottom line was that they had to learn how to climb an uphill ramp with those giant flippers.

They finally figured it out and go in the coop unassisted every night……….. well, almost every night.

duck coop 2

We’ve had ducks now for almost 7 months and they go to bed in the coop every evening at sundown along with the chickens.  We (my son) still pop our heads in the coop to make sure all the ducks are present and accounted for.

One night after my son went out to close the coop door he came back to the house and said, “Mom, we might have a situation.  One of the ducks isn’t in the coop.”

My daughter (Ping’s person) and I immediately slid on our boots and went searching for the missing duck.  All it took was a moment of silence.  We heard him “Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack.”  The nice thing about ducks is that they never stop quacking (at least ours don’t).  Ping was stuck in the cow pasture, pacing the fence-line, quacking.

duck coop 5

My daughter ran up to the field and scooped Ping in her arms.  She carried him to the coop and tucked him into bed.

That was the only night we had trouble with a duck not making it to bed on time.

Coop trained ducks – who knew?

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-Candi

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