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3 week old Ducklings.....advise?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by KathyM4, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. KathyM4

    KathyM4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2008
    I bought 10, 3 week old ducklings a few days ago. They are NOT used to people and mad about being taken away from their mom.
    What can I do to get them to the point they don't run like mad men when they see me coming? I have them in a small pen outside but every time I approach they run as fast as they can to the other end of the pen. When I do manage to catch one it squawks it's head off and struggles like crazy to get away. Any hope for taming them down a bit?
    And is meat bird feed ok to be feeding them? My only choices at our local farm store is chick starter, layer or meat bird feed.
    I've never had ducks before. We have over 40 chickens at the moment but never ducks so this is all new to me.
    Thanks!
     
  2. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    It just takes time - a lot of time usually. At this point in their lives they are not going to be real receptive but I've found that all my ducklings got more 'sociable" as they got older. even my completely spastic Holderread's runners are coming around - finally.

    Walk slowly and try not to scare them with anything, (like the scary scary pitchfork [​IMG] ) Basically just try to avoid any unnecessary ruckus when you're in the pen. Eventualy they realize you're good for food or heat and they tolerate you. One day they might even like you. [​IMG]
     
  3. KathyM4

    KathyM4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Thanks.

    So should I be trying to catch them to hold them? Cause they certainly don't like it when I do. I thought maybe that would help them like us a bit. But maybe that's just scaring them more. [​IMG]
    They love it when we aren't around. I watch them from a distance and they have a ball it seems when we are far enough away. I put a little tub of water in there with them today and boy did they have fun. [​IMG] Once they realized what it was that is, at first I think they thought it was something that was going to eat them. [​IMG] They wouldn't even go near it till something scared them and they ran to that end of the pen and one fell in it, once that happened and they realized it was just water it was quite funny watching them fight over who was going to swim.
     
  4. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    I try not to actually touch mine unless I have to for soem reason. Tonight I was herding the runners to try and sex them and I did pick up one completly adorable white runner because he basically sat down and wouldn't move he was so scared. He was so cuddly! But very happy when I let him go. [​IMG]

    I watch mine with binoculars![​IMG] They splash and carry on liek there's no tomorrow - but as soon as I approach they all run the opposite direction.

    My only ducks that actually like me right now are my new call pair. They are two yrs old though and came from a small yard in the city where they were around people 24/7. Everyone else tolerates me - but hopefully they will like me when when they get older. [​IMG]
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    ND
    I think if you make a point of catching them, they may think you want to eat them. I have a few Black East Indies that acted scared of me when they were in their little brooder, now they have more room to run and run up to the dish while I am putting their feed out. Instead of catching them, find a food that they love and they will start associating you with treats. I also have a goose that got injured, the whole flock is a bit flighty. Now, this one associates me with food and will eat out of my hand (though she still doesn't like to be picked up). Good luck with them!
     
  6. KathyM4

    KathyM4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Thanks for the help.

    I thought maybe they were like chicks and would like being held. [​IMG]

    I'd like to let these guys free range like my chickens do. How long should I keep them in the enclosed area before letting them out? I figure with as little as they are they need protecting but at what age should they be good to go on thier own? I'm worried about even letting them out to roam just for a bit, while I'm out there at this point, because of how skitish they are. I'm afriad they won't go back in the pen for me when I would need them to.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    I would wait a good while before letting them roam alone. I have my ducklings (8 week olds) in a sperate pen and they roam in that one with the 8 week old gooses, but I don't let them out with the bigger ones yet. Their pen is like 50'X50'.

    I think that my 8 wk old ducks are almost ready to be turned out - maybe in like two more weeks I'll let them battle for acceptance with the others, but for now they can enjoy the peacefulness of their own pen. [​IMG] Hopefully those goslings will get a bit bigger so they can all go out together, but they are growing much slower than the ducks right now.

    They will go where the food is so don't worry too much about them not coming in. [​IMG]
     

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