Feathered ducks, trust

Smallbone12

In the Brooder
Jul 31, 2019
12
38
41
I can't remember how old my ducks are but they are pretty much fully featured, I need to help to get my ducks to trust me and to come around me, they just run away. What can I do to get them to come around and trust me??
 

glassdragonfly

Crowing
Sep 3, 2019
837
1,693
377
Ozark,mo
I just use food with my chickens.Lots of food!:D I just get as close as I can,sit down,move slowly and talk quietly,throw out treats to them. Soon they will come closer. Don't force it,might take days.Good luck
 

Pickled Plaid

Songster
Sep 3, 2019
100
262
111
Central Oklahoma
I haven't had ducks nearly as long as others here, but I struggled to build rapport with my Muscovy too.

My ducks LOVE frozen peas, and they're cheap to buy.

Start by tossing a few little handfuls of peas away from you, where they can see them, and investigate them, and feel comfortable doing so. They might not try them right away, but keep at it a little at a time.

On warm days, put some frozen peas in a fresh, clean bowl of water deep enough they need to submerge their head to retrieve the peas. It's a fun game for them, and fun to watch.

Once they try them, chances are good they'll like the peas. Try to be mindful of not giving them too many, as they are very, very high in protein and some breeds can't process that much protein all at once (especially when they're still growing).

Other favorites of my flock are fresh picked tomatoes, cubed cucumber, cantaloupe, rolled oats...come to think of it, they just love food. Whatever you offer, try to keep portions sized appropriately so the majority of their intake is still their grower food. A balanced diet is important for proper duckling growth and good health. I need to caution you, if they're young enough that they're still on starter food, I wouldn't give them ANY food treats; just sit near them, talk to them, watch them. Be present with them, but not so close they seem nervous.

My muscovy ducks aren't the cuddly lap duck types, but they're pretty comfortable with me moving around in their pen or sitting down nearby when they're out free ranging. They watch me closely, but most of them lazily get up to slowly wander off if I get close enough to touch them. I read somewhere that chasing ducks is one of the biggest trust breakers for them, and I try to be mindful of that by keeping things low stress when collecting them for bed at night, and when I'm working in their space. I also don't believe a majority of ducks enjoy being held or petted, which is disappointing, but a reality of living with prey animals who come pre-programmed with generations of survival instincts. We have to interact with them in a way they're comfortable with.

Every flock is different, just be patient and celebrate even the smallest victory.
 

Smallbone12

In the Brooder
Jul 31, 2019
12
38
41
Thank you, I do give treats, they do expect frozen peas when they get fresh water they love them. I also have quack snacks that they get, although my pekin is the only one that comes close to me when I have them.
 

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