Duck socializing concern. They HATE me!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jupiter_moon_3, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. jupiter_moon_3

    jupiter_moon_3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    I got my ducks from a farm, I'm guessing they were just under two weeks old. I have now had them for almost two months. They are developing fine, and they talk to me regularly. However, when I approach them, they are terrified of me! When they were babies, I tried to handle them as much as possible, but now that they're older, it's so much harder. I don't like freaking them out chasing them and catching them. Today my arm is covered with huge scratches from one of them trying to jump out of my arms! I finally just let him/her go... Will this get better (the situation, not my arm, haha)? I would like to be able to spend quality time with them! I adore them, I sit outside for ages watching them swim, talking to them, I love it. But they hate me! [​IMG] Any suggestions? Hope?
     
  2. sadies chicks

    sadies chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My ducks do the same thing although I just got them from my DFIL about 2 weeks ago. They are about 11 weeks old and have not had any socializing time with humans, my DFIL admits to not spending any time with them, so they are very afraid of me. I wanted to have fun, loving ducks like many people do and I know I don't have them with these babies. I do, however, feel that I am giving them a better home than what they had, they were locked in a dog kennel with (in my opinion) little to no attention and poor living conditions. I am not sure what the answer is, but I think that with time they will start to come around. I did make a decision that even if they are too scared to be with me, they at least have a loving home where they get to have treats and a swimming pool everyday.

    I did have a small breakthrough the other day, they actually started eating the treats when I was still in their pen with them, I was amazed!! I can tell that they are so much more happy than they were before, they just wag their cute butts all the time..... and maybe for them, for now, that is enough [​IMG]
     
  3. cdnley

    cdnley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2010
    I have spent quite a bit of time with my ducks BUT I don't pick them up. I find it akward to pick them up and they don't really like it. I find the best method of being close with them is singing to them and talking to them. I also get down to their level (crouch or sit) and read to myself /ignore them..they come very close to me, sit on my lap or at my feet. I think they prefer to come to you rather than you coming to them. I gently touch them and they seem to like it. I guess you will have to find what works best for you!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. sadies chicks

    sadies chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree cdnley, picking them up stresses them out and is scary for them so I don't do it unless I absolutely have to. I find that just being in there is starting to work, talking to them, bringing them treats, etc. I am going to get a chair so I can sit with them too.
     
  5. jupiter_moon_3

    jupiter_moon_3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    I don't pick them up often, but maybe I'll stop altogether... I usually just try to be close to them and maybe touch them, but if I reach out even slightly, they run. At night I have to carefully coax them into their pen by putting food in and running away, then when they go in to eat I quietly walk up and close the gate. It's a pain because they're terrified of me! But Sadie's right, they do have a good home, and they're HAPPY! [​IMG] The one thing they will do is eat out of my hand occasionally, if they hear me pour it out, even if there's food in their bowl or on the ground, they timidly peck at my hand. [​IMG] When they were teeny we would go on walks around the yard, they would follow me and peep wherever I went. Now they like getting out of the fenced pond area if I let them, but they won't follow me anymore. Then I find it difficult to get them back to the fenced area! But I adore them, even if they're just for looking at and taking care of! <3
     
  6. sadies chicks

    sadies chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am glad to hear they will come and eat out of your hand! That is definitely a sign of trust, or hunger, who knows [​IMG]
     
  7. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I agree. You will make tons more progress just by feeding treats, talking softly to them, moving slowly, and showing you aren't a threat. Chasing and grabbing really do more harm than good.

    At this point, when I want to let my baby ducklings out of the brooder for a swim, I take the wire top off so they can let themselves out. It's less stressful for everyone. I want friendly ducks but I don't expect them to love being held. When it's time for them to go back in, they are usually a little tired from swimming/running around my dining room, so I get my husband to block their escape route and I lure them to me with a handful of mealworms and scoop them up back into the brooder. They don't even seem to realize what just happened, they are so busy stuffing their faces. LOL

    One mistake I made with my chickens that I was told many people make was getting too many to start with. I think I am having an easier time taming my ducks because there are only three of them. They love me and cheep for me when I leave the room and just love people, they are so tame! But my Silkies... well, I got 10 of them and then ran out and got 5 more because I wanted all the colors, and they have been a nightmare. They are so skittish even though I spent tons of time with them. They just didn't get the one-on-one that the duckies did.
     
  8. lilchicklets2

    lilchicklets2 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2011
    I got two call ducks awhile ago. I was concerned because they were scared to death of me. These poor ducks had never even had water to put their heads in. I even had to dust them for mites. [​IMG] The female had to have neospurn on her everyday and I had to dig out the gunk from the drakes nose. I would just sit in there pen and talk to myself (yep like I was crazy). I started feeding the females worms and she really calmed down. Now the male will still yell at me a little but the female comes right up to me if she thinks I have something for her. A couple months ago they would run when I went near them. Now when I'm out in the yard I ignore them. They dont run when I go near them. They do get all excited and run to me when I grab the hose.

    I also have 5 ducklings that I hatched who are very attached to me but only when I'm 3 feet away. Any closer and they run. I dont pick them up unless I have to. I do, though, lay on the grass with them and I magically become a play ground.[​IMG]

    So I guess ignoring them when there out, talking to them like a crazy person, and spoiling them rotten is the way to go. Getting down to their level made a world of difference.
     
  9. BallardDuck

    BallardDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know, it's funny...when I was a kid I had quite a little flock of Mallards (I think it was 10 or 12) and I may not have been thier best friend, but I was definitely a friend of a friend! They would get so excited when I came home from school and call for them to feed, and first thing in the morning too. We had a little creek that ran by the side of the house and I would spend hours out there playing in the water with them. Fast forward about 40 years and I have 3 ducklings (about 5 weeks old)...I describe them to people as "extras in a horror movie". They just huddle up in a pack, granted a very small pack, and run this way and that together screaming thier heads off! They do calm down when I'm feeding or treating them. I just yack at them the whole time I'm changing water, cleaning the bedding or feeding them...I'm sure it'll pay off in the long run!
     
  10. THunter

    THunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    When I get one like that I make dinner out of them. I have yet to find a way to make a duck a pet that is just inbred to be scared of me.
     

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