duckling panting or mumbling?


Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
I have two Cayuga ducklings about 2 weeks old. (Not really sure how old they were when I bought them 10 days ago.) They're very shy, but because I work, they don't see me that much on week-days. They're in a brooder with 4 chicks with a hardware cloth divider. (They knocked it down once last night and everybody milled about together, no problem. Well, except for the ducklings destroying the chicks' water supply..... Anyway, I put the divider back up more securely so they - hopefully - stay on their own side whilst I'm at work.) The brooder is in my bathroom.

I've noticed that the larger of the pair often looks like it's mumbling. Or maybe panting. It's when the two of them huddle together, and I THINK it's when they are frightened or anxious about: #1 - fan noise when the bathroom light is on. #2 - the sound of the dryer working. #3 - When I put them back into the brooder after gently handling them.

It isn't a steady, open bill "huffing" sort of thing like panting, but it IS exchanging a lot of air, because its chest/sides move rapidly in and out. It really seems like mumbling, "saying" different ducky words and syllables, but without any peep/whistles I can hear.

Is this something I need to worry about a lot? Has anybody else seen that behavior? Am I scaring the poor thing to death???


Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
I found my 10 day old ducklings doing this when they were too warm. I have eleven, and some of them seem to want it warmer than the others, so I have enough space in the brooder, with the heat elements at one end, so everyone can find a spot that is comfortable.

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