Are all ducklings like this?


12 Years
Feb 10, 2009
Rural Valley, PA
I had ducklings when I was a teen but that was 20 years ago. We just got 5 Mallard ducklings and they do not like to be picked up & held. They just struggle and peep the whole time. Is this normal? We just got them Thursday from the hatchery. They want to be with each other constantly. If we pick one up they all peep.
ducks in general don't like to be picked up, they don't like their feet uneven, mallard especially are gonna be more like that, as they are natually a wild duck, even domestic mallards, when mine were babies, they didn't like being touched, and even now at 11 and 1/2 months old (they'll be a year old on july 7th), the two girls allow me within a few inches of them, but notouchies!

my two incubator hatched ducklings don't mind being held, but they're getting to like it less and less
Out Pekins hated to be held, but are warming up to it every day. My partner, grew up as a farm hand, and told me that in general, Ducks are skittish and horrible as babies, but with alot of "training" can be coaxed to be handled.
Hmmm...I have week old "wild" muscovies that I have only had for a few days. They already eat out of my hands and almost are ready to jump in my hand when I put it in the brooder box with them. I pick them up all the time and hold them agaisnt me, under my chin, nuzzle them, talk to them. They seem to like it. No peeping or squirming or anything. I wanted to teach them that my hands were a source of food and comfort, not fear, and they are doing really, really well so far!

Good luck with your babies.

Seems like when folks have only one duck they are touchable. More than that, they go with their own kind. Mine were always skiddish and never touchable, but they always eat out of my hand and come right up to me. Good luck!
Our trio is scaredy cats, they're terrified of us and run like crazy when we go to put them away at night. They don't like to be held at first, and I'm not sure if its fright or calm but after a few minutes being held they quiet down and just....sit lol
I just hatched Mallards on Friday that were from a wild mallard. The mother got killed and I was called to the rescue.

Ive noticed these are a lot different than my Pekins, and surprise Indian Runner that I hatched in April. Mine arent scared of me, they just always want to explore! Such curious little boogers! These Mallards are more active. They jump, run, and climb like crazy. They seem like they can defend themselves if they had to more than my lil Pekins could...or would. These seem to have wild instincts. I have 3 and the day they hatched they were sleeping in my hair, and armpit lol. They seemed to be really interested as to who I was, and wanted me to cuddle them as much as possible. They are friendly and want to be close, but just more wild than my domesticated duckies. Today while I was holding them they wanted to sleep in my cleavage lol. They would climb up my stomach somehow as I was sitting upright, and nestle in my shirt.
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I think if it is one or two duckies they are more touchable. My 11 have each other to play with and such...they do not need me and I am only here to be tolerated.
if you hatch the ducklings yourself, then you are momma, I hatched out 4 mallard mixes 2 weeks ago, albeit they spent the first 25 days under a broody chicken
, but she developed a BAD habit of wanting to leave the nest at around 23 days, then her chick hatched, so I took the 5 duck eggs and put them in the bator, 4 hatched, and 2 of them,Bruce(pure mallard), and Harley(mallard x Mojo
) have since found a home, that leaves me with Jingo, and Lil'Bit who still follow me EVERY where, but they're getting into that half-way mark, where they "still need momma", but are getting ready for the switch from dependent to independent it's so sad!...but such as life, alas babies may not stay babies foreverz

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