Duckling imprinting

Adz_k187

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2020
36
18
41
hello all, so I am currently incubating duck eggs, I am on day 10 and have confirmed only one of the 3 is fertile. Once this duckling has hatched, I’m planning on getting more eggs. My question is, if this duckling imprints on me, will it stay imprinted even when the future ducks hatch and I put them together when they’re older? Or will they imprint on eachother and stop imprinting/being attached to me? Hope this question made sense lol
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
114,843
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Provide the duckling with a large mirror so that it can imprint on itself rather than on you. That way it will realize that it is a duck and bond to any new ducklings.
 

davez

Chirping
May 19, 2018
31
61
76
Illinois
The above is unnecessary. Let it imprint on you and when it sees other ducks, it will go hang with them. Duck imprinting is not as strong as perhaps a goose. I have had human imprinted ducks take to their new buddies (other ducks) after hanging out together. They have so much in common - love of worms, mud, eating greens, swimming, snails, fish... etc. They can't help but to get along. The ducks that imprinted on you will probably be friendlier towards you rather than ones you bought and didn't hatch. Any that you hatch are going to imprint on their caregiver - even if they have siblings. If they have parents - they will imprint on them (their caregiver.) If you talk to them in their shells, they will know you, your voice when they hatch.
 

TomCahalan

Songster
Feb 13, 2020
316
336
118
Ohio
Imprinted ducklings grow up. Juvenile and adult ducks live on their own, they do not follow their mother around.

Why are you only incubating 3 eggs? Why hatch a single duckling? He will be terrified because he will wonder where his nest mates are. It is very stressful for a duck to be on its own. They are flock animals and need flock mates to throw under the bus when predators come. In my state you can't buy just one duckling, you have to get a minimum of six.

I recommend starting over with a larger number of eggs. Put your current egg in a freezer if you are squeamish, or just smash it with a brick to give it a quick death.
 

davez

Chirping
May 19, 2018
31
61
76
Illinois
I wouldn't kill him/her, just know that you have to add to its flock. Spend lots of time with him until his flock mates come along.
Although - it is super late in the season - it may be a long while before you get another fertile egg if that is your plan. You might be able to pick up a juvenile duck or two from someone. I've known of too many people who had a single duck to say that you can't raise one comfortably. They will "flock" with other animals if you have any - like a dog or chickens. It's not the best situation - it would be better to have several ducks - but to suggest that you have to kill it strikes me as pretty far over the top.
 

TomCahalan

Songster
Feb 13, 2020
316
336
118
Ohio
but to suggest that you have to kill it strikes me as pretty far over the top.

It is just an egg on day 10 of incubation. You don't have to kill it, but it is the sensible thing to do. Not every duck embryo is precious. We eat several that are on day 0 or 1 per day. They are just as alive as this one, just not quite so far along. We're not talking about a human child here.
 

Adz_k187

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2020
36
18
41
It is just an egg on day 10 of incubation. You don't have to kill it, but it is the sensible thing to do. Not every duck embryo is precious. We eat several that are on day 0 or 1 per day. They are just as alive as this one, just not quite so far along. We're not talking about a human child here.
You have to understand that this is my first time ever hatching eggs!!! I don’t live on a farm or something as such where I’m doing this regularly. It may sound silly but I have grown quite attached to the little thing, seeing it move around while I candle it every day, I just don’t have the heart to kill it. I am planning to get 6 eggs next, It’s on day 14 now so not a huge amount of time left until hatch day, and as soon as this one has hatched I’ll be ordering them.
 

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