Are indoor ducks less talkative?


13 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Central NC
I know, ridiculous question, but I don't know what to think about one of my ducklings. I refer to him as a male because I refer to all of them as males until they prove that they're girls. This one, my Bill Bill, is an odd duck. His other egg siblings died before hatching and my other ducklings were a lot older/bigger than him so he ended up imprinting on us. Without getting into that whole story again (I'm sure I've posted about it already... probably), he's been around PLENTY of other ducklings and hears them peeping and whatever all the time because I'm crazy enough to brood ducklings in the house. He hatched June 30th and I thought he was starting to make girl sounds several weeks ago. He'd quack and honk loudly at me while we were going about our daily routine. Over the last couple weeks though he doesn't seem to talk as much. Not as much as the babies anyway. I'm not sure the babies ever stop talking. Bill Bill will respond when I talk to him, or talks when he wants me to do something (feed him, take him out to his kiddie pool, have his bedtime shower, etc) but he doesn't walk around talking as much as he did when he was younger. His voice isn't raspy like I've heard with other male ducklings, ones that obviously sounded male, so I suspect he may actually be a "she" but he isn't nearly as loud as some of our younger ducklings that are just starting to "quack" instead of peep. I'm wondering if he talks less than the babies because he's a "people" and people don't talk as much as ducks? He doesn't talk to the babies much, if he talks around them it's more like he's talking about them. He also sees/hears our adult ducks (including his parents) when we go outside but he doesn't talk to them at all.
Other than not being extremely talkative he's acting like his normal self. Stands next to us in the kitchen begging for whatever, plays with his toys (I found several baby toys that he loves), has temper tantrums in the dogs' water bowl when he's not getting whatever he wants immediately (snacks or shower time)...not "normal" duck behavior maybe but normal for him.
Anyway. Just curious if other folks with indoor ducks have noticed their ducks not being as loud/talkative as outdoor ducks.
I don't know if it works the same way with ducks as it does chickens, but my "indoor" chickens actually talk more, not less. They've learned that they get a response (usually a treat) when they get our attention - and that the best way to do that is to warble at us. It's pretty cool!
That's pretty much how Bill is. He talks when he wants something, sometimes talks while he's playing with his toys, but doesn't talk as much as the brooders full of ducklings. I guess they're all talking to each other about stuff. Bill talks most when he's hungry and I'm at the kitchen counter. Like he's telling me to hurry up and give him something. If I try feeding him something that he doesn't like (collards for example) he shakes his head from side to side and says something that we've decided must be "don't like".
I guess maybe I think he's talking less than he used to because he doesn't usually panic when I leave the room anymore. He'll stay in the bedroom or livingroom playing with his toys while I go to the kitchen or laundry room or something. I suppose it makes sense that baby "people ducks" would act like baby people. Like how they don't understand that you're not gone forever if they can't see you for a second.
I think maybe I was expecting he'd start talking to the younger baby ducks and that hasn't happened.
I’ve been thinking the same thing about my indoor duck, “he” (I refer to him as he too, though I’m not sure) is only about 5 weeks so he’s still peeping, but should be starting to think about making mature duck sounds, though I haven’t heard any hint of that yet. I think maybe cause he doesn’t have other ducks as an example? But he’s generally pretty quiet regardless, he’ll make little peeps when I’m giving him treats or he’s curious about something I’m doing but otherwise nothing.. When I had all the ducklings they wouldn’t stop cheeping! Maybe they don’t communicate with people the same as they would with other ducks?
Up until a couple weeks ago Bill would run around the house yelling "Come with me!" (it sounds like that to us anyway and they follow when I say it) whenever I left the house. Like if I went grocery shopping and left Bill with my husband. Now he just lets out a loud "QUACK!" if he notices I've left the room. Like he's yelling "Mom?!"

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