I just read it... I wish people would actually do research before running out to buy ducks, then discovering, OMG, they're different than chickens! Also, is this correct that males don't quake? Because we had a rouen drake that quaked...
Anyway, instead of learning and dealing with it, she seems determined to dislike the ducks. We have had cayugas before, and they're hysterical! We loved them! And they gave black or gray eggs! But again, proper research could have prevented this bitter blog.
I just noticed that she had planned to integrate the ducks with the chickens... We never found that to be practical because ducks are so wet. They will turn a chicken run into mud before you know it. Someone should link her BYC, we would have given some advice!
Ours never tried to fly. We had Khaki Campbells, Rouens, and Cayugas. Other than the Khaki's, they're pretty heavy and I doubt ours would have been able to fly. And if you're expecting ducks to be like chickens, yes they are more trouble. But if you're preparing for water birds, then I wouldn't say they're difficult. It's actually nice because they don't tear up the grass, or destroy flower beds like chickens do. My aunt used to keep ducks in her HUGE raspberry patch because they fertilize without destroying, eat bugs, and also the extra berries that fall. So I suppose I'm biased.
I think animals that are curious and highly social tend to be viewed as "more trouble" by people who prefer species that are aloof and independent. Ducks like to have fun. They're known for their clownish antics. Raising a single duckling and raising a single chick, though not recommended unless the person really knows what they're doing, will show the difference. A duckling communicates needs very well, requires interaction, and will cuddle up w/ a human it has imprinted on. I think geese are even more so. Chickens, IMHO, tend to be more independent and, yes, they may follow their human around and fly onto their lap, etc., they do tend to be more aloof than a pet duck.
Of course, when a flock of ducklings is raised together they tend to adhere and imprint on each other more than the human and that is why some people say that ducks seem to be "scared of them". I think, too, that people have sudden movements and try to grab at the duck and this sets off their natural flight drive. Most animals have to be worked with and their trust has to be gained. They have to be exposed to lots of situations in order to become used to the way humans react unpredictably, flailing their arms, bursting out laughing, etc.
They are simply different and require different environments, to an extent.