15 days - getting more scared instead of less

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TLWR, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had the 3 runners for 15 days now and Cadbury (chocolate runner) is getting more scared of me instead of less scared.
    She KNOWS I am using peas to pick them up at night to put them in their kennel (they spend the day in a penned area on the patio/deck if I'm home to check on them). So she makes sure she stays at least an arm length away when I'm ready to scoop them up at night.
    Took me 10 mins tonight. I was cleaning the deck while waiting for her to calm down a bit before trying again. In the end, I had to corner her and was afraid I'd scare her to death. It was getting too dark to keep trying to get her to come to me on her own.

    So I think I'll spend this weekend changing things around a bit so there is more penned area on the deck so I can really just hang out IN the penned area with them instead of on the outside. And maybe put the kennel on pavers to get it up off the deck a tiny bit, but still have them be able to go in and out on their own (right now it is 3' up off the ground so I can clean it and sit with them easier when they are in the kennel - figured I'd be less scary if I was on their level than above them).

    I'm going to need her to trust me. I don't need her to be a lap ducky, but I'd like to be able to touch her and pick her up when I need to.


    Then we'll have to work on DH, but for now, at least me since I'm here.

    What can I do? Do I pick her up and just force her to sit on my lap for a bit or something? I don't want to force it since she's so afraid, but I also don't want her getting more and more afraid of me either.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    How old are they?

    Mine were frightened of me from about three weeks to about 6 or 7 weeks. What they needed from me most during that time was space, me moving very slowly, routines, and treats without grabbing them. I would let them leave the brooder (into a hallway I had prepared for their safety) while I cleaned it. When I was done, I would give them treats, let them hang out, then look toward the brooder. They would follow my gaze and within a minute all of them would walk back in.

    I was able to direct them all on one level so they did not need to be picked up. They still got very agitated when we herded them into "the limousine" to take them outside, but they loved being outside (and I liked some slack time for cleaning the brooder).

    I hope you are encouraged to read that all of them are comfortable around me now, and four of them are very very sweet and let me pet them and pick them up. Actually, all of them let me pick them up - I just have to move a tad quicker for some. But none act terrified any more. They are almost six months old now. (Time flies!)
     
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are 17 days old.

    All 3 curl up in the corner of the kennel when I go out and sit with them before bed. Blue and Ally are content to let me pet them. Cad prefers to just chew on my fingers and will jump when I pet her, but stays laying with the other 2 and tolerates it.
    I'll have to see if I can figure out a way to get their kennel down to the deck/patio level tomorrow and still be covered and not have the rain come through the side.

    I also want to set up an enclosed space in the yard so I can bring them out there and sit with them so they can run around and 'hunt' in the grass for a little bit each day too, but then I have to pick them up again.
    Their limo is a blue bin, so no way for them to just walk in to that to get their ride.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Yes, that was one reason I splurged on the limo. Their first "bus" was a cardboard box and we had to pick them up. But the scene was getting so horrific I just couldn't take it anymore, so I recorded the money I spent on the walk-in under "mental health care for me." [​IMG]

    Duckyfromoz gave me really good advice and encouragement. Many of us have experienced this phase and it is saddening. It takes three or four weeks to get through, and your patience and optimism will be tested. But patience, creativity, and all that have been rewarded.

    I would definitely make time as much as you can to sit near them but give them space, roll some peas their way, just let them be near you but not where they might feel cornered (my runners, I read somewhere, HATE to be cornered).

    Mine eventually came around. We are buddies now.

    Pulling for you!![​IMG]

    Patience, sweetness, patience, smiles, patience, treats, patience, sing lullabies, , , , , [​IMG]
     
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Instead of picking them up, is there any way you can lead them back to where you want to go? Maybe if you get a bowl of treats and when they go to eat, just kinda take the bowl and maybe they'll follow. Let them have a few treats and then pull the bowl away and let them follow again.

    I wouldn't try to force her on your lap or anything as she might associate you with something she feels is unpleasant. I think Amiga gave good advice, just hang with them and give them treats when they willingly come towards you, but allow them to get away if they feel uncomfortable.
     
  6. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Their current set up
    [​IMG]

    I move them from the kennel to the fenced in area on the deck for the day when I'm home so I can check on them.
    I'm going to try to figure out a way to give them more room and put the kennel on the deck so they can go in/out on their own, but I've not figured out how to do that yet so the opening will be IN the fenced area AND be able to do it to keep the kennel dry when it pours each day. They aren't a fan of the downpours we get here.

    Their limo is on top of the stand that creates a corner for their play area.

    The current height of the kennel makes it easy for me to sit with them when they are in their kennel and at night when I hang out with them before bed. Also keeps the splash of the rain out and high enough so all the dogs can do is poke their nose close at the bottom.
    I'm thinking if I just wrap the side facing out with more house wrap that will hopefully be enough to keep the rain out - I don't want to have to cover the top too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  7. suburbanduckmom

    suburbanduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she starting to get feathers?

    Mine got really skittish around that time. I think the feathers growing in was irritating them and they didn't want to be touched.

    Could just be the temperament of that duck.
     
  8. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I penned in half the deck today and scooped her up first with plenty of peas.
    Now to figure out what to do with their kennel or just pick up a pet carrier that they can go in on their own as a new limo.

    Even after picking her up, once the other 2 were in there, she was fine to run up to me to look for more peas.

    And yes, they are getting their feathers.
     
  9. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there anyway to put them in a portable pen on the lawn somewhere? I think they are too confined in the kennel. Mine get a wagon ride in a dog crate to their kiddie pool. It took a bit, but all I have to do is say"who wants to go swimmin?" and they all line up for the crate to go for the ride. [​IMG]

    I don't need to pick them up anymore. They will however let me. When they come in for the night, the same procedure, but I don't need to say a thing. I just put the crate down, open the door, open the pen and they file into the crate for another ride. [​IMG]

    When they get back to their assigned pens, they get chopped tomatoes and peas for supper. [​IMG]

    Spoiled rotten, I know.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010

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