I have a chicken cage whose entrance is high off the ground. I open the door every day in the morning, the chickens run out and jump easily from their house on the ground, and so in the evening, they fly comfortably to enter and sleep in their house.
Recently I added some ducks to my flock, but I found them unable to jump and enter the cage, as I catch them every day and take them out in the morning and enter them in the evening!
But this takes me some time and costs me the trouble of catching them and chasing them. Is there a way that my ducks can be trained to climb up the ramp themselves to their home?
Ducks have short legs and their knees do not flex in the proper way to accommodate the movement required to climb standard stairs. But they can be trained to climb ramps that are designed with a certain inclination so that the ducks can adapt to climb.
In the coming lines, we will explain how well ducks can climb ramps, and we will discuss some tips for training ducks to climb ramps.
Can Ducks Climb Ramps?
Yes, ducks can climb ramps, but not as efficiently as chickens. Ducks have flat legs, which limits their ability to climb ramps. Therefore, the ramps that are designed for ducks have certain specifications to suit the shape of a duck’s leg.
The ramps should not be very inclined but should be slightly inclined so that the ducks do not slip on their feet. Stalls must also be placed in an orderly manner so that the ducks can climb the slope safely.
Some clumsy ducks show less ability to climb ramps, so the slope must be adjusted to accommodate all ducks. Generally, there may be some stumbling at first, but it won’t take much for the ducks to get used to climbing ramps.
How Do You Get A Duck To Use A Ramp?
Make The Ramp Appropriate
Appropriate inclination, ramps should be at angles between 30-45 degrees, the less steep the better for the ducks. If the slope angle is large, this can expose the ducks to falls and fractures.
You should also add some texture or steps to the slope of the duck house to give the ducks something to catch on when they fall.
Cleats should be placed every 4 to 6 inches. Keep in mind that the steeper the slope the more cleats you will require.
Make It Wide Enough
You have to make the ramp of your duck coop wide enough because the ducks move in groups behind their leader. Therefore, having a wide area that accommodates the collective movement of ducks will be an important safe year for them to move comfortably on the ramp.
The ramp should not be less than the width of the door of the duck house, but rather it should be as wide as the door or wider if possible.
Feed The Ducks On The Slope
You can lure the ducks with food to encourage them to climb up the ramp. You don’t have to do much. Just place a tray full of feed at the top of the ramp at the entrance to the duck’s house to encourage him to climb up the ramp and reach it.
Ducks imitate their mates. If any of them run up the ramp and the others see it scratching in the fodder, they will follow quickly anyway.
You can help one of the ducks by yourself and push it up the ramp to reach the food at the top of the ramp so that the other ducks try to imitate it. This is an easy and effective method and it will not take more than a week for the ducks to learn to climb the ramp and reach their home.
Plant Some Trees Around The Slope
You can make the ramp more attractive and safe for ducks by planting some small trees and shrubs around it. You can plant a grapevine on either side of a ramp as the grapevines are very woody once mature and will stay this strong throughout the winter and even into spring regrowth.
Ducks can cling to the grapevine if they stumble on the ramp, which makes them walk safely and encourages them to take the ramp without hesitation.
Nailing some blackberry brambles in spaced intervals between the top to the bottom of the ramp will help to train the duck to the ramp.
You can make the intuitive leap, the blackberry cuttings must be far more woody and durable, accessible and sustainable. Even some of the Blackberry rungs would wear out. The blackberries will produce new canes again every year.
They will be easily replaceable each summer while blackberry pruning is to be done.
After adding the rungs, you can also use some of the remaining blackberry cuttings to weave alongside the edge of the ramp to close the gaps between the rungs. This also will make the ramp a bit wide.
Set An Evening Feeding Time
You can motivate the ducks to come up the ramp and into their home more easily in the evening after they have been somewhat trained to walk on the ramp by delaying their dinner until the ducks are on their way home.
As duck food is the biggest motivator for ducks to do anything. You just need to put the feeder containing duck food into the duck house. You can add peas, table scraps, and vegetable scraps like leftover cabbage, tomatoes, and broccoli
to encourage the ducks to walk up the ramp and reach it. It won’t be a few minutes and the ducks will come line up the ramp e to get the food. Then the ducks will get used to climbing up the ramp at the same time every day when you put them their dinner.
Do Ducks Need Ramps?
Yes, ducks need a ramp if the duck cages have an entrance far from the ground, where ducks cannot jump to higher places. Ducks cannot jump and fly as efficiently as chickens.
Therefore, a wide ramp should be installed, at least as wide as the door, for the ducks to climb. The ramp should be slightly inclined gently so that the ducks do not slip with their wide, wet feet.
Do Ducks Need A Ramp To Get Out Of A Pool?
Yes, a ramp must be provided to allow the ducks and their chicks to exit the pool. Ducks cannot jump and fly over the water to escape the pool.
The ducklings are completely unable to fly out of the water and cannot get out from the edge of the high pond, which may expose them to drowning young if they become exhausted.
Therefore, you should make a ramp by using any surface that is somewhat rough and not too slippery for the ducklings’ feet so that they can easily get out of the pool.
Can Ducks Go Upstairs?
No, ducks are not very efficient at climbing our normal stairs. The ducks’ legs are too short to move upstairs, and their knees don’t bend well. Ducks can climb gently sloping ramps with some steps or roughness to catch on and prevent them from slipping.