Ducks "jumping"?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Silvermist, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. Silvermist

    Silvermist Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    32
    Apr 19, 2014
    Brisbane, AU
    Hey all, my sweet KC hen usually is a bit shy, and only lets me and my sister pet her, not everyone else. Happy (the duck's name), seems to do this odd thing since it was little. When I kneel down to pet her, she stares somewhere at my leg or my shoulder and starts shaking. Then she literally "lunges" at me. Happy doesn't bite though, and sort of slides her beak against my clothes. Dunno what it is supposed to mean?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  2. collingwood

    collingwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    I read somewhere that developing ducks will try to mate with humans! Do you have any males?
     
  3. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,421
    195
    221
    Feb 9, 2014
    Mississippi Y'all
    some of mine do this, well not the shakeing part, but that when they try to mate my leg
     
  4. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

    2,601
    839
    256
    Apr 22, 2014
    Montana
    How old is she? Many of my ducks have started with complete blind trust as ducklings, then right around 8-10 weeks it seems their "wild" instincts kick in and they are more scared. Then anywhere from days to weeks later, they start to trust again as "adults", but first they "attack" with their chest. This is something they seem to do with each other and try to do with squirrels or people. To me it seems like, "I'm not afraid of you... but I want to see what happens if I bump you with my chest." I think it is kind of like a kid poking something it is nervous about with a stick to see what happens, but not getting too close mixed with a little dominance check (other ducks will either shy away or turn around and peck the offending duck in the head). After they go through this phase, and they see nothing bad happens, they usually settle down into "adult" trust and will lovingly pull at your clothes and shoe laces and maybe peck you lightly if they think you aren't giving them enough attention at the moment. At least that is how my ducks now behave [​IMG] I am no expert, but that has been my observation.

    BTW: the shaking seems to be duck for "I am going to do something crazy now." They do this when something makes them nervous, but they are going to do it anyway. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  5. KARy408

    KARy408 Chillin' With My Peeps

    122
    4
    61
    Aug 18, 2014
    Livermore, CA
    This is totally normal (and very happy) behavior!

    Don't worry! A lot of people around here will jump on you for noting the shaking part. Yes, ducks do shake when they feel threatened or nervous. However, I have noticed a Happy shake - more like a full body vibration - that they do as well, right before they give you the "love lunge."

    I have 4 adult Pekins that we raised from day old hatchlings. They are very attached to me and my husband (though they will sometimes act skittish, usually when the dogs are out or there's children around). We've noticed they like their beaks rubbed the most and sometimes they'll let us scratch under their chests. This is usually when we get the "shake and lunge" behavior, especially if they've bathed or been given a treat. I don't know if Drakes do this too-- but I do agree that it harkens back to a mating ritual of sorts. Just like the "head bob" is their flirtatious "How you doin'?" act-- I think this particular behavior is a mix of cuddling and sent spreading.
     
  6. Silvermist

    Silvermist Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    32
    Apr 19, 2014
    Brisbane, AU
    Yeah, we have a male pekin that is crazy and always try to mate, lol
     
  7. Silvermist

    Silvermist Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    32
    Apr 19, 2014
    Brisbane, AU
    This is so accurate it is creepy! well, Happy is 9 months already and a few months ago it was suddenly very skittish, but now it is slowly letting me pet her and doing the 'lunging' thing. Maybe khaki campbells are naturally nervous, or maybe females in general. Thanks for the reply ;)
     
  8. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

    2,601
    839
    256
    Apr 22, 2014
    Montana
    Yeah, my wife and I would laugh when this happened with our first two ducks (they were 6 weeks when we got them). "Ooooooh, you are attacking me with a big down pillow." It would happen when we hand fed meal worms. They would start by shaking then lunging at us, then shaking and taking quick jabs out of our hand, then shaking and eating out of our hands, then just eating out of our hands, then climbing in our laps (if we were sitting on the ground) and eating out of our hands. When we got the rest of our ducks (at 3 days old), they reacted similarly once they hit puberty. All my ducks settled down fairly well by about 4 months. But at 9 months, I would guess something happened that made Happy a little more nervous (we have had this happen to our ducks sometimes). It could be any change in routine (moved water from one side of the yard to the other), pools got packed up for the winter. You picked her up when she had actively growing blood feathers (I guess they are kind of tender). The leaves fell out of her favorite shade tree. She saw/heard a predator closer than she was comfortable with (even if she was safe.) Just about anything can shake them up a bit, but they come around again. You never can tell. One of our runners, Dove, was always so close to us that between my wife and I, we stepped on her feet on at least 4 occasions (fortunately on nice soft giving grass). This didn't even phase her for the moment... We would lift up our foot and she would lift hers and all was good. But we had a real cold day (-20F overnight) about 3 weeks ago when she was in mid-molt, so we brought her inside for the night, let her swim in the bathtub and stay in a dog crate until morning when the sun came back up and it was warmer. She is just starting to trust us again because that shook her up. (Silly ducks).
     
  9. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

    4,771
    434
    276
    May 11, 2013
    Wobbles shakes like a chihuahua all the time, the poor thing. :/ But that chest thing makes a lot more sense now! Around that age Wobs would love to sleep on my tummy or draped over my shoulder, but he'd shove his chest feathers onto my face first. I thought it was a sign of affection but I guess he really was trying to smother me!
     
  10. Julie Birb

    Julie Birb Ducks win

    8,227
    1,183
    350
    Mar 22, 2014
    Italy
    Amy you are hysterical!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by