Dumb & Dumber & Dumberer?!?!

0wen

Songster
Mar 25, 2016
715
185
151
Southwest Virginia
Okay.....

I bought half a dozen Pekin ducks on a whim. They were outgrowing their bin at a local Rural King and as a result, were discounted to $1/each. No idea of the age - pretty big; relatively speaking, but it's my first time with ducks so no idea. They're already about the same size as my adult chickens in the coop next door...

Point of the post...! I expected them to be nervous a bit, since they were raised in a Rural King stock tank, but these things are complete bat sh#t. Complete panic mode whenever a human comes near - retreating to a corner and making a ton of noise. They'll go all on Black Friday Sale if you try to get near them. No amount of bribing with treats has worked. Odds that they calm down as they age? What can I do to tame them down a bit? At present, I'm basically just waiting for them to get big enough to go to the freezer. Original intention was just to have ducks for the sake of having ducks - but they're not the most pleasant guests in their current frame of mind....
 

0wen

Songster
Mar 25, 2016
715
185
151
Southwest Virginia
duck1.jpg
 

Fishkeeper

Crowing
Oct 30, 2017
2,345
4,969
286
Central Texas
Yeah, that'll happen with un-socialized animals. Just go feed and water them, scatter some treats around, and leave. When they start calming down a little, to the point of not entirely panicking when you come near them, you can start trying to tame them down. Just leave them alone until then, you won't be able to socialize them if they're that scared of you.
 

0wen

Songster
Mar 25, 2016
715
185
151
Southwest Virginia
Not terribly long. A couple of weeks. This photo from today - some size reference against the cattle panel frame (8" tall x 4" wide). Ducks standing around 12-16" depending on their current level of panic...

I don't need them to be pets, just to the point that I can let them out of the cattle panel coop to get fresh grass, weeds, bugs, etc and still be able to be herded in for the night. No way I'd let them out at this point - I can only imagine the nightmare that corralling them in would be...
 

MROO

Enabler
Feb 26, 2018
7,455
38,819
1,067
The North-Eastern Corner of Maryland
Another thought - just as a cockerel goes hormonal at about 4-6 months, ducklings go nuts, too. Overnight, the sweet little snuggle bugs that used to come running at the sound of a voice go all Terror-Town on you. Just be persistent. Approach calmly, ignore the craziness, talk to them and leave treats. Frozen peas offered at your feet as you sit quietly in a corner of the run may help, as well. Be patient. They'll come around.
 

Kholts

Songster
Feb 11, 2019
427
1,024
216
Canada
I find talking verry important. I’ve always since having my ducks as ducklings have said “good morning ladies ready to come out today” then go about letting them out of their coop, replenishing food & water. Now at 15 weeks they quack as they hear me come down my deck stairs.

At first they huddled in the corner absolutely terrified but eventually came around and now will walk about my feet as I’m in their pen.

I would say just calmly talk to your ducks and do your chores. I wouldn’t reach for them or hold treats out just toss your treats on the ground around them and go about your day. Eventually they will grasp the concept that you= food/treats & that you are not their to harm them(until slaughter if that’s what you end up doing).

It will take time. Mine even still do not care for me to get close enough to pick them up.
 

FathertoFeathers

Songster
Aug 26, 2019
514
1,221
176
Tennessee
My ducks were similar to that when I go them. What I did was let them free range and then I would spend time in the backyard with them. I would read to them or work in the garden. Just hang out outside for a little bit every day for about a month and they'll come to realize you're not a threat. I would get a pool for them and make sure they see you filling it up and make sure they see you feeding and watering them. They'll come around don't worry! Bets of luck to you and your babies!
 

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