Do human imprinted ducks ever stop crying when I leave?

saschoey

Hatching
Feb 9, 2020
3
6
5
I have had a single duck I found as an egg for 12 weeks now and due to a bunch of circumstances (having to temporarily surrender her to WIRES because they thought she was a native, 2 different coop shipments being cancelled/delayed/sent to the wrong address/parts missing) we have only just got her a female friend to live outside with in their coop. However as she was raised with me and my family she is very much imprinted on us and quacks loudly at 6:30 every morning and every time we go back inside. We live in a small suburban area with neighbours overlooking our garden and are very worried the sound is annoying them (it even annoys us a lot) or worse, we are worried they’ll just kill them.
My question is will my duck ever grow out of being so reliant on us and bond more with the new duck or are they like that forever? I love her so much but if it’s not going to improve quickly I’m worried we might have to adopt her out along with the other duck. They have plenty of food and water and outside swimming time. Any help is greatly appreciated.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2, 2018
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Good and bad news: Yes, she will let go of you, but it will need some time.
At an age of three months she is what i call a »ducknager« and teenager rules apply: They are loud and cheeky, bring themselves into trouble and in the end come back crawling to their parents for comfort…
You can help her getting over the fact that she won't be together with her humon flock for 24 hours anymore by making her outside environment as exciting as possible:
  • Hide some treats in the grass, so that she will be busy finding those
  • Make a mud pit for her, ducks love to drill holes into the ground and can they do that for hours
  • A kiddy pool is irresistible and ducks love to bathe
  • Sit down somewhere away from the house and feed some treats to both ducks, so they get accustomed to each other
And be consequent: Herd them into their house in the evening, feed them some treats and say "Good night ducks! See you in the morning." Then go back to your house.
It will take maybe a month and she will be fine, forgive you and be a normal duck.
 

Miss Lydia

My Best Bud
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
103,670
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Mountains of Western N.C.
Good and bad news: Yes, she will let go of you, but it will need some time.
At an age of three months she is what i call a »ducknager« and teenager rules apply: They are loud and cheeky, bring themselves into trouble and in the end come back crawling to their parents for comfort…
You can help her getting over the fact that she won't be together with her humon flock for 24 hours anymore by making her outside environment as exciting as possible:
  • Hide some treats in the grass, so that she will be busy finding those
  • Make a mud pit for her, ducks love to drill holes into the ground and can they do that for hours
  • A kiddy pool is irresistible and ducks love to bathe
  • Sit down somewhere away from the house and feed some treats to both ducks, so they get accustomed to each other
And be consequent: Herd them into their house in the evening, feed them some treats and say "Good night ducks! See you in the morning." Then go back to your house.
It will take maybe a month and she will be fine, forgive you and be a normal duck.
:goodpost:
 

saschoey

Hatching
Feb 9, 2020
3
6
5
Good and bad news: Yes, she will let go of you, but it will need some time.
At an age of three months she is what i call a »ducknager« and teenager rules apply: They are loud and cheeky, bring themselves into trouble and in the end come back crawling to their parents for comfort…
You can help her getting over the fact that she won't be together with her humon flock for 24 hours anymore by making her outside environment as exciting as possible:
  • Hide some treats in the grass, so that she will be busy finding those
  • Make a mud pit for her, ducks love to drill holes into the ground and can they do that for hours
  • A kiddy pool is irresistible and ducks love to bathe
  • Sit down somewhere away from the house and feed some treats to both ducks, so they get accustomed to each other
And be consequent: Herd them into their house in the evening, feed them some treats and say "Good night ducks! See you in the morning." Then go back to your house.
It will take maybe a month and she will be fine, forgive you and be a normal duck.
Thank you!! Would you suggest keeping them in the coop mostly (it’s been storming and very hot here in Australia) to get them used to it or bringing them outside as much as possible? But when we do take them out my duck cries unless I stay outside 😓
 

Miss Lydia

My Best Bud
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
103,670
101,636
1,842
Mountains of Western N.C.
If you only have the one and she imprinted on you of course she’s going to cry for you, your her flock. Give them time they will bond. Do you keep them in a secure area when they are outside? Knowing they are safe helps you be more peaceful at letting them be left out there to bond.
 
Sep 2, 2018
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16,636
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Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you!! Would you suggest keeping them in the coop mostly (it’s been storming and very hot here in Australia) to get them used to it or bringing them outside as much as possible? But when we do take them out my duck cries unless I stay outside 😓
Sadly i don't know much about Australia - basically only what i've seen in TV - and you don't say where in Australia you're located, so from my experiences with ducks and severe weather:
  • Thunderstorms: As long as they are not too severe, my ducks love them. They use those like a warm shower, don't mind thunder and lightning, only hail scares them.
  • Rain(storms): see Thunderstorms, except when it is that really cold rain in winter, just above freezing, they hat that. Usually they all sit under the roof of the house and sleep the day away.
  • Eggcessive Heat: Temperatures over 30°C are a nightmare for my ducks! Imagine it is so hot and you are being forced to wear your down winter jacket… The need plenty of water bowls spreaded around their area, so that they can cool down. Replacing the water in their kiddie-pool with fresh cold water is the highlight of the day! Bazilla Duck collapsed after one particular hot day last fall and had heat cramps. She recovered after being sat in a bowl with cold water and a handful of meal worms, but it was scary!
  • Windstorms: My ducks hate those, especially when there is a lot of dust in the air, like in dust-storms. In general high winds scare them and dust clogs their nostrils. We had a freak downdraft last summer and all kinds of debris was blown around and the Duckies all sat in the corner between the house and the patio, heads under their wings, waiting for mother nature to calm down.
Every other weather condition they are fine with - i don't think you have extremely cold temperatures anywhere in Australia?
To answer your question: Yes, keep them as much outside as possible if that is safe, predator wise. Over night i would herd them into their house and lock them up. Night times are dangerous for ducks, they don't see very well in darkness and usually the really dangerous critters come out at night. (Again Australia, i don't even know what critters you have where you are).
Another reason to lock them up over night is that they will lay their eggs in the house where you can find them. Even if you won't eat duck-eggs (which would be a pity!), you don't want to have (broken) eggs laying around everywhere. Those will attract pests and predators.

For the crying, it will subside, just be patient and occupy their minds with something. Try hanging a salad or a cabbage from a tree-branch so that they can nibble it away. I heart some ducks here love that… My spoiled Duckies just glare at that and wait for their humon servant to cut that thing into bill size pieces they then devour.
I would definitely not lock up the ducks during they day, unless there's a good reason.
 

saschoey

Hatching
Feb 9, 2020
3
6
5
If you only have the one and she imprinted on you of course she’s going to cry for you, your her flock. Give them time they will bond. Do you keep them in a secure area when they are outside? Knowing they are safe helps you be more peaceful at letting them be left out there to bond.
They are in a very safe coop that is “built for about 6 chickens to live permanently” as the place we bought it from said. The only problem is I work full time and don’t feel safe leaving them out unsupervised all day... my mum will let them out for a few hours but that’s the best we can do. The coop has shade and 2 water buckets they can sit in and grass for them to nibble at.
 
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