We’ve been experiencing some challenges with the ducks going into the new coop at night. A couple of the adults were still going into the chicken coop (Pru and Piper roosting on the poop board) and most of the teen ducks seemed to understand where they were supposed to go – they’d hang out near the pop door but wouldn’t go into the coop on their own. Unfortunately, that meant catching ducks in the chicken coop and carrying them to the duck coop (not too bad except for when it came to Ty – he’s huge, strong, and fiesty) and trying to herd the others in.
Herding is easier said than done. Herding ducks is like herding cats – they go every which way, even though they seem to understand where you’re trying to get them to go. Wyatt, the dark-footed drake from our first (successful) incubator hatch, was so elusive, we had to resort to catching him with a long-handled net. Imagine running around after a very fast teen duckling in uncomfortable humidity and eager biting bugs…as you can imagine, there was much swearing.
It had gone like this for a couple of nights, despite having locked them in the coop for three days so they would learn it was “home”. Most of the ducklings started going in when it was dusk or when they saw us come out, and the stragglers were fairly easily herded in. Except for Wyatt. #%@&!! Even though everyone else would go in, he would run from us.
Tonight, something changed. When we started encouraging our incubator group to go in, they all filed in. Wyatt was in line to go up the ramp, but a duck had stopped at the top, blocking the entrance. We though he’d take off for sure when we shooed the bottleneck duck in, but, instead, he just eagerly went in once the blockage was cleared. Hallelujah!
It’s the small things that count, right?