Ducklings imprinted

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LNej375, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. LNej375

    LNej375 New Egg

    Jul 6, 2016
    As I've said in previous threads, I recently brought home two ducklings while on vacation in Iran. However, I am leaving in 2 weeks, and it seems that they have imprinted on me. They follow me around and start cheeping when I close the door on them, and they often fall asleep on my shoulder. We brought them home yesterday, and I am not sure of their age but they seem only days old. Since I will be leaving them here when I leave in 15 days, I need advice on what to do. Have they imprinted on me? What will happen when I leave? Can I have them reimprint on another person/object?

  2. LNej375

    LNej375 New Egg

    Jul 6, 2016
    Any help would be appreciated. If it comes to it, I may be able to bring another duck to join the two, which could be male or female.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    They certainly know you are the one who cares for them. Introducing another duck takes some time, and does not always work out, so I don't think it would be advisable to do so if you won't be around to manage things.

    So, who will be taking care of them when you are gone?
  4. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2013
    It is important to socialize ducks but letting them imprint usually ends up frustrating for both the ducklings and caretakers. People think it is cute until they realize that the ducklings will cry everytime the caretaker is out of sight. The ducklings end up so stressed from separation anxiety that they become neurotic and even more vocal during times of separation.

    What you need to do is to let the ducklings form a closer bond with each other than their bond to you. They need to know your voice and know you will not hurt them but they need the companionship of another duck that will remain constantly by their side. A duck companion is the best companion for a duck because people do not live outside with ducks and do the things ducks do. They are smart enough to know you are not a duck but in their need for a stable attachment they will become too attached to people when they are deprived of other ducks to bond with for life. They will be so much happier if they look to each other to meet their need for a strong social attachment and not expect you to be dedicated to living with them 24/7.
    1 person likes this.
  5. tmorgan46

    tmorgan46 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2015
    Stafford, VA
    X2X2X2X2X2!!! The thought of a duckling imprinting sounded so cute!! How could a person resist?!?!? And then it happened. We had a single duckling hatch in an incubator this spring. He imprinted on me immediately. It appeared we had our first house duck. He'd sit in my lap and snooze while we watched TV at night. It was cute. I have a few selfies with this duckling sitting on my shoulder. All cute. Then he started to get big. We could tell he was a drake and his playful nibbles were becoming a bit more aggressive, especially after we'd get home from being at work all day. It wasn't long after that that Uno was introduced to his own kind. It was miserable for him and for us. He'd pace the pen fence looking at us with his "please let me out of here!! I want to watch more Magnum P.I. !!!!" ;-) The only thing which really helped the transition is when after a week or so of trying to introduce him to the flock, we added 4 ducklings a few weeks younger than Uno into the flock as well. The five became fast friends with Uno being like the big brother. The four still snuggle up next to him during nap time and at night in the coop that we keep them in. It's tough, but imprinting while it makes us feel warm and gushy on the inside for a short period, has it's drawbacks if you come to the realization that they need companionship from their own kind more so than us. That was our experience and I'm sure as I'm sitting here, there are a hundred different perspectives on imprinting.

    PS - Uno is quickly becoming one of the most handsome drakes we have and he's fitting in quite well. He is still very trusting of me and is the only duck of ours that doesn't complain when I pick him up. So we got that going for us... :)

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