Do Ducks Suffer Emotional Distress?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Captain Cluck, May 12, 2010.

  1. Captain Cluck

    Captain Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2009
    Central Florida
    Would it cause extreme emotional distress for a house duck to be made to live with outdoor farm ducks? My outdoor mixed flock ducks only tolerate me for food and water. They came from a family raising them as farm ducks.

    On Friday, I got a Crested Swedish house duckling (4 weeks old today) from the friend of a friend who could not keep it. This duckling was raised to be a pet, slept in the last owner's bed, sat on her shoulder, went everywhere with her and followed her around the house. (The duckling is getting too big to sit on my shoulder now, to my relief and her dismay)

    Currently the duckling is living in a rubbermaid tote in my office. I take her outside to play in the grass, but the other ducks pick at her and chase her away from the feed and water.

    I tried putting her in a large wire dog crate lined with shavings in their pen with a pet taxi for a house, but she screamed her little head off the whole day she was in there, so I brought her back into the house that evening. Also, it is in the mid to high 60s at night and I thought that might be a little cool for a lone duckling at night.

    She doesn't want teddy bears or feather dusters, she wants people. She will happily sit in my grand daughter's doll carriage and let her wheel her all over the house for hours, or sit in my lap for as long as I will let her.

    I am working out making some diapers for her (they are rather expensive and she is so small) so she can roam the house with me as she is lonely in the office by herself when I am not able to be in there with her.

    So, will she suffer emotional distress if I make her live outside with the other ducks when she is older? Or should I let her remain a house duck? If she remains a house duck, how would I get her certified as a service animal or therapy animal? She loves to go everywhere, and I like having her with me.

    My husband thinks I'm crazy, but If I change the diapers, clean up the mess and she doesn't stink up the house, he will let her stay in. He said she can't possibly be any more work than the zoo we already have, both indoors and out. [​IMG]
  2. classroomducks

    classroomducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2009
    Fort Worth, Tx
    i would say your first concern would be if the other ducks would even accept her. sounds like they are picking on her. however, 4 weeks is still kinda little to go out with a group of adults. If you think you can keep her as a house to nettie. She has 4 runners that live in her condo. great website she also makes diaper harnesses. you will hear a lot of mixed opinions about keeping her as an indoor duck...but its really going to be what can best suit your family and your heart. I cant imagine however that it would be any more stressful on her than it is on a broody duck to loose all her ducklings...but then ive only hatched one group of ducks and they dont live with me anymore so i am no expert. good luck sorry i cant help you with more reliable advice.
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Personally I think, yes ducks can suffer emotional distress. She has bonded to people, as she ages and grows some independence - she may seek the other ducks but do not be surprised if she does not.

    I have a duck, Peepers - he was abandoned just after hatching by his mom, I brought him into the house to raise. He created such a fuss – being lonely, I purchased some bantam chicks for his company. He now thinks he is a chicken and will have nothing to do with the other ducks (he actually panics if the duck hens come toward him)

    You might look for another duckling close to the same age and see if they will bond. Then you could start putting them outside for short periods of time. But if you’re happy with a house duck – just get her some diapers.

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