I have spent a lot of time picking up my ducks (they hate it) and feeding them, while held, one handful of peas or mealworms, then putting them down. That way the experience is very short and they get treats. If they are too upset to eat, after 30 seconds (or when they quit struggling), I set them down then feed them. Now there are only about 2 ducks (it changes sometimes) that won't eat while being held and only about 4 ducks that have accelerated heart rates while they are held. (So they are no longer scared, they just will never choose to be held.) I work this constantly so that If I have to examine them for anything, it will be easier on them and me. I have found that if ducks do things that scare them (even by force like being held) repeatedly and the only bad thing that happens is they are scared, then after a while, they aren't scared any more. I even have about 4 ducks now that when they realize they are going to be caught, don't bother to run around until they are cornered, they just hunker down and wait to get picked up. By the way this has nothing to do with the ducks that want to visit me. Pocahontas is one of the first ducks to come over and see me and peck at me when I have no treats, but she has to be cornered to be picked up. She isn't afraid once she is picked up, but the only way it is going to happen is if she has no choice.
That's a really good plan. I think I will try it once I can actually get them to trust me and come up to me regularly. It's so iffy now. Some days they do and some days they don't. Yesterday they wouldn't come up to me even for fresh greens, but the day before, half of them gobbled meal wormso out of my hand. I need to spend more time out there with them, but it's hard to make time since i am working a full time job and taking care of all the animals at the housend and doing housework all the time. This weekend I worked nonstop from morning to night doing all that and painting cabinets and ceilings and doors, trying to prep the house to sell. Sigh I need a vacation lol
She's my little Welsh harlequin girl 😊
NI, probably not going to hatch anything this year, unless my husband gets another crazy idea in his head. We hope to move to a new house in the next few months, and all the prep plus baby birds would be too much. If somebody goes broody outside, however, I wouldn't mind. Plus I already have eleven feed store chicks and two feed store ducklings in the house (compliments of my husband, sigh) and they're driving me bonkers. I need a bird free house! Lol
Edited by PotatoWaffles - 3/21/16 at 7:22am