Are they Happy or not?**update**


9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
Portland, OR
Im new to ducks. I speak chicken very well, but the duck peeping is confusing to me. They LOOKED pretty happy bobbing around like they were swimming and flapping their wings in the rain yesterday, but then they would run around peeping their heads off. They had a short round feed container full of water that they were drinking out of, but DID NOT like to swim.

They rush the front of their crate and peep like crazy when they hear/see me coming, then flee to the back of the tub and lay down submissively (in terror??) when I put my hand in to change food/ water.

They are 2 1/2 week old East Indies. They were hand raised by a different woman and I got them 2 nights ago. They would eat a hardboiled egg out of my hand at her house, but will only eat it now if I put it on the floor of their crate. They still have a heat lamp. Whats going on in their little heads and what all should I be doing differently.
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I'm new to ducks too, but it sounds like they are afraid of you. My duck chirps when he's happy but does the peeping thing when he is scared. They probably thought the woman who had raised them was their momma and now she isn't there. That is my guess anyway. I guess I would just keep trying until the learn to love you!
Yes, I believe they are scared of me. Bummer. Ducks imprint differently than chickens, I am assuming? I am going to change a few things when I get home today. The other woman had them in a large dog crate, and I put mine in a tupperware (very big, of course) so I am going to re-assemble our dog crate and use that instead. I think they are not used to seeing a human come in from above, as her crate opened from the that could be another thing.

I'm going to keep giving them lots of treats. Is it possible for them to change loyalties or will they always be skittish of me? I don't mind if they don't want to be held or anything, but I don't want them to be afraid of me and run away. Maybe the chickens will help teach them when they are integrated as well?

I have 3 chickies that are being raised in the Basement by 2 mama banties that I was going to put with the duckies when mamas are done raising them.
My little guys will run and stand next to me when I talk to them, and then if anything moves or is different, they all run, as a herd, to the back of the brooder.

Then I talk to them and the whole herd runs back to listen to me.

I think what you are seeing is normal duck flocking behavior. They do everything together and they do everything fast.

Ducks don't like to be held, but if you are quiet around them and feed them, they will soon be looking for you. Mine will eat out of my hand, and they tolerate being picked up, but it's obvious that they don't like it.

Cheeping loudly is calling for their flock. If they feel lost, they peep. Also, they peep all the time just to be making noise, but it is a quieter peeping, I think just to identify where they are to the flock.
Well, it seems that the way to any animals heart is throught the stomach. I had the more brave one eating a hard boiled egg out of my hand and in a few short hours (every time I went downi gave them new treats) they are. Looking for me and softly chirping. I have found that they LOVE LOVE LOVE sweet corn. So I got 2 more cans and they now, I believe, understand that I am the "food person".

I took the mamas away and put them out in the coop and put the ducks with the chickies. Ducks are happy because they have chickies again (they were raised with chicks) and the chickies are happy because they think the ducklings are their new mamas. Things are working well, I'm proud to say.
Our ducks did not get friendly until they went out with the chickens. For six weeks they would freak if anyone got close to them. We put them out with our chickens and now they come running at us at feed time. They still bolt if you move too fast, but at least they walk up to us now. The chickens definitely taught them that we are the ones with the good stuff, and they have to get close or they'll lose out. Sometime I wonder if the ducks really think they are chickens.

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