Duck who thinks he is a chicken, foreseeable problems?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Chixine, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Chixine

    Chixine Out Of The Brooder

    14
    1
    24
    Mar 12, 2012
    Pittsburgh
    Hi, I was recently given a young (maybe 5 week old) runner duckling. His dad had attacked and killed his sibling, and tried to get him too, so he was taken away and raised inside.

    When he first got here, he was definitely imprinted on people, and would follow us around and cry if we walked out of sight. It was cute, but our main goal was to incorporate him into our 9 chicken flock.

    Anyway, within a few days, he stopped caring about people, and would desperately try to get back to the chicken yard if I took him out to swim. I moved his wading pool to just outside the chicken yard and put a movable pen around it so that he could access the pool when he wants and get back into the yard if he wants. It didn't seem to help much though, as soon as I put him in, he gets right back out and runs back to the yard. I had to stick him in three times today to get him to start preening himself and doing his ducky things.

    The 7 young chickens have accepted him as one of their own, and even seem to have changed their routine to better fit his - they now lay in the straw in the yard rather than roost in the coop like they used to.

    It's all very sweet, and I am happy that he has a flock of his own, but I worry about him not wanting to swim.



    I would get him (I think it's a him) another duck if necessary, and build them their own area.. but if everything is fine as it is, I don't necessarily want another duck.

    Thoughts? Should little Bonino be ok with his chicks?

    Thank you for any help you can give!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,071
    2,114
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    It's always up to the individual ducks - watch for any interest the duckling may begin to show in mating with chickens - that can be fatal to the chickens. Of course, he may be a she, in which case that's not a concern.

    As long as the duck is healthy, that's good - so also watch that the duckling does get time in water. I would not force the duckling into water, but toss treats in and see if that entices the little one in. They need to rinse their heads frequently to avoid eye, sinus and ear infections.
     
  3. Chixine

    Chixine Out Of The Brooder

    14
    1
    24
    Mar 12, 2012
    Pittsburgh
    Thank you for your quick response! I definitely am concerned about potential mating issues, and the people I got him from have agreed to take him back if that becomes an issue.. however, I suspect that I would have a hard time giving him up by then, and would probably try to find an alternate solution.

    Speaking of which, if that does become an issue, would I be able to get him a female duck and bond them? Or would it be too late to introduce them as adults?


    He does have a deep bowl which he sticks his whole head in and uses to eat his food, but he enjoyed swimming so much at first that it pains me to think he may not want to do it anymore! Maybe once he gets more comfortable with the idea that his circumstances aren't changing again, he will feel better going for a swim?
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,071
    2,114
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I think it is possible he will relax and get into his own routine, yes.

    As far as getting along with a new friend - again, it's up to the ducks. Take the introductions very very slowly. Don't just put them together. Seriously, it seems like they need to see each other for quite a while at first. Unless they are the kind that bond instantly. We cannot know ahead of time! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by