baby ducks are skittish

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MMaddTom, May 15, 2008.

  1. MMaddTom

    MMaddTom Hatching

    Apr 6, 2008
    i have three groups of baby ducks , cayugas, saxonys and khaki campbells. the khakis are like nervous wrecks. the others are becoming tamer everyday but these khakis are like electric ducks. they spook no matter what you do and they never stop running from cornewr to corner. is this a breed trait? cause if it is i'm not so sure i like it. the saxonys are tame and the cayugas actually come to your hand but its like we strike terror in the khakis and we treat them all the same
  2. dragonshiner

    dragonshiner Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    This is my first time raising ducklings. I have 7 khaki campbells and one indian runner. They are all two to three weeks old. I bought them when they were approximately four days old. To this day no matter what I do they runn like mad from me. The runner is the friendliest of the bunch and tolerates my affection, but the khakis keep their distance. From all the sources, internet and books, I've read Khaki campbells are about as hand shy as ducks can get. I'm not too thrilled about it either but I'm going to keep a small flock none the less to breed for eggs and foraging in my garden. I'd like to get some hand friendlier ducks as well but I'm resigned to the fact that most ducks are not "People Persons" for lack of a better phrase.
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Can't help you with ducks too much, but am just glad to see someone spell 'skittish' correctly!

    If they are like chicks, they will get friendler as they get past the 'everything really really wants to eat baby ducks' stage and they figure out where the treats come from.

    Enjoy your ducks!
  4. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    I think all my ducks are rather skittish myself. ESPECIALLY the new calls. Boy, those babies can JUMP! [​IMG] I hope they calm down.

    My runners have calmed down a lot and they always run up to the pen door when I go in the barn, only to run away screaming as soon as I open the door [​IMG] - but I still have hope for them...maybe there is hope for your's too! [​IMG]

    The geese on the other hand are super friendly, especially the dewlap toulouse. I will stand in their pen - because they are between the calls pen and the older bunch's pen (I like to look at all of them at once) - and these little guys pretend like I'm not even there. I pick them up to cuddle even.

    Maybe try some geese next! [​IMG]
  5. Sparrow

    Sparrow Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    Actually Truffle, my Khaki Campbell, is one of my friendliest ducklings. He doesn't li ke to be caught, but once I get ahold of him he lays down in my hand(he is almost getting too big for that!) and loves to be petted and talked to. I also have an Ancona, a Crested something(probably F&W Runner), and a complete mystery duckling, and they are friendly in that order. The little mystery girl is very skittish when it comes to being picked up. I don't use treats to train my ducklings, just affection and it seems to be bringing them around.

    My Chinese White goslings are EXTREMELY cuddly! If I set them on the floor and sit down, they both snuggle up against me as close as they can get and love to be hugged and petted. Goslings do seem to be much cuddlier by nature than ducklings, but I love them all. [​IMG]
  6. professor-yellow

    professor-yellow Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    I would not recommend either if you want hand tamed ducks. I have the whitr goldens and Rouens and they are very mellow, and friendly ducks. other than those, the Pekin is the mellowest but not good layers.
  7. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    I would have to agree that ducks are skittish by nature, in general. Especially compared to geese, from what I've seen so far.

    My ducklings did used to like to be held and petted, once caught. We handled and cuddled each one every day. One of them would lie along our hand and dangle his head off and fall asleep (Kupo - he's the one who attacks us daily now!).

    When they became teenagers, they had no use for us anymore. Now, they will get right underfoot hoping for food, or else trying to herd us away from the direction we want to walk in (the drakes do this). If I am holding a feed cup, there are 3 that don't mind terribly being touched, but they don't enjoy it either. The 4th would usually rather starve than be touched. She'll stand near us, but doesn't want hands to touch her body.

    None of them actually likes to be petted, and they are very indignant if they are picked up. We don't touch the shy one just because she hates it so much, and she trusts us more if we don't ever attempt it.

    Hehe, the baby gooses on the other hand always come up to us, rub their beaks on us, nibble our hair, want to be petted and cuddled, etc. (As long as it doesn't interfere with their eating ... but even then they want to be near us and "talk" to us as they stuff their little faces.)

    Good luck with your baby ducks!


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: