Ducklings think I'm going to murder them 24/7?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by katefollot, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. katefollot

    katefollot Out Of The Brooder

    They've just hit 4 weeks, we got them at 2 days, and regardless of what we do, the instincts of 'large thing looming over me' seem to kick in and they legitimately seem like they think they're going to die. (Wish I could tell them I'm a vegetarian and don't plan on culling any of our originals to feed to the cats)

    Is it better when you hatch them out yourself and have them from day 1? We handled them and talked to them everyday, and they eat from our hands. They hate being picked up, and regardless of how many times I do it, they always freak when I go to change their water (which happens many times a day). They're Ancona's, of which I've read are supposed to be one of the more relaxed and friendly breeds of duck.

    Mainly what I'm wondering is, what can I do to prevent this next time? I think I'll do the raised brooder as that seems to be a large part of the issue, is there anything else I could do that would help to keep them from... completely losing it and trampling each other when I go to do things in their pen/brooder?

    I didn't want them to imprint on me as we have horses and I didn't want them following me too closely and getting hurt, I wasn't counting on daily handling still not being enough though!
     
  2. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

    943
    155
    121
    Jan 1, 2017
    Fortunately, that is relatively normal. Many ducks become scared of certain things after a few weeks, including their humans.

    Why 'fortunately'? Have I gone nuts? Well, no. The good news is that, with a lot of time and treats, you can remedy this. Just be near them, talk to them, feed them treats. Try to stay on their level (Low to the ground), because, as prey animals, it's scary to see something big looming over them.

    Many ducks don't like being picked up, but are game for a petting session or just being near you. And the raised table thing is probably a good idea. Try sitting down on the floor (On a towel), and letting the ducklings out. This way, you'll seem less threatening.

    Oh, and as for them not being scared of you while in the brooder, I would put my hand in there and just leave it. The ducklings may be scared at first, but they'll see you're not a threat. Do this a couple of times. Put food in your hand, so they associate your hand with treats. Gradually start moving your hand, so they can see that, while the hand can now move, it still won't hurt them and it still has treats.

    Hope I helped! Feel free to ask any questions! [​IMG]
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I call it the GingerMan syndrome ...:)...Lol.... :)......They get silly and Run and act like your a beast...:(......They will calm down again though...:)...Be patient....Silly Ducklings...;)



    Cheers!
     
  4. katefollot

    katefollot Out Of The Brooder

    "GingerMan Syndrome" [​IMG]

    My feelings aren't hurt or anything, and I completely understand what's prompting the behavior, I was mostly caught off guard by how ingrained it is. I've earned more trust and made more progress with semi-feral horses I've worked with in the same amount of time. I will most definitely be going with a raised brooder next time, hopefully that and handling them from hatch time will make the difference. I've also had these guys inside way too long making sure their living quarters are safe. They're getting booted out at 2 weeks next time so they're better adapted to everything life related and it's not so much of a shock.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by