Duckling seperation anxiety

A Lee

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
22
0
22
I have two pekin ducklings about five weeks old. I have raised them in the house and they have become very attached to me. I have been putting them in their run during nice days while I am home to keep an eye on them. The problem is, anytime I go out of their line of sight they literally panic. They quack and squawk and run around in a frenzy. They do calm down eventually ( like half an hour) but I am worried they are getting very stressed and is this bad for them? I would like to leave them out when I go to work but afraid all the chaos will attract predators. We have hawks, ravens, possibly raccoons and mink. Will they get over this and come to think of the pen as home?
 

Finny

Songster
6 Years
Jan 5, 2014
838
76
128
Yes they should grow out of this. If you are planning to leave them out in the pen when you are not home you may want to get strong netting to put over the top of the pen to prevent hawk attacks.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,635
531
Southern New England
Well, first, make sure their pen and house are secure, secure, secure. That will help your anxiety, at least!

Hang out with them in the pen if you can, or at least right next to it. Leave the door open, let them go in and out, give them treats, sing to them. I have napped on a lawn chair next to the duck pen. Just make it a normal happy hangout place.

There will be some separation anxiety. Zehn used to be able to hang on for 45 minutes before yelling for me if she knew I was in the house. Now, the neighbor told me that they were always quiet when I was away from home - they started calling when they heard my car come down the street.
 

A Lee

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
22
0
22
Well, first, make sure their pen and house are secure, secure, secure.  That will help your anxiety, at least!

Hang out with them in the pen if you can, or at least right next to it.  Leave the door open, let them go in and out, give them treats, sing to them.   I have napped on a lawn chair next to the duck pen.  Just make it a normal happy hangout place.  

There will be some separation anxiety.  Zehn used to be able to hang on for 45 minutes before yelling for me if she knew I was in the house.  Now, the neighbor told me that they were always quiet when I was away from home - they started calling when they heard my car come down the street.
Thanks all, I just feel like the meanest person ever, but today was much better. I went out for an hour and when I came back Ping and Pong were happily nibbling away at clover and having a great ol' time. We have gone to great lengths to make a secure pen and hutch which they will be closed in at night.
 

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