Friendly ducklings question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by invertere, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. invertere

    invertere Hatching

    Aug 19, 2014
    Hello! I've been browsing this forum a lot to help with my new ducklings, and it's been really useful! I'm hoping some of you can give me some tips and ease my concerns about my new ducklings.

    They were hatched yesterday and arrived from the hatchery today. They're really hand shy and not too interested in humans. I've let them run around on the floor while I sat there, and they started climbing on top of me so I took that as progress. They'll sleep in my hands if I cup them and pet their backs. However, they do not get excited when I approach the box. I can't tell if they're alert or just interested. When I put my hands in, they run to a corner. I'm worried they they've imprinted on each other (is that possible?) or they didn't imprint on humans and that they wont be as friendly with humans now. Do you think this is the case? Is there a way I can get them to be more friendly toward humans (aside from trying to feed out of my hand, which hasn't worked that well) and get them to like being pet or picked up?

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    It really took time with my runners. I spent as much time as I could, stayed as low as I could, talked gently, constantly, after they were old enough, gave them a few peas as treats every day, sang to them, anything I could think of to socialize them.

    They went through the awful "you are an axe murderer" stage, we got through that, thanks to BYC members' help and advice.

    Now, they are quite friendly, not afraid of me. A few let me pet them, no one wants to be picked up. All of them will hang out quite close to me.
  3. salsan20

    salsan20 Chirping

    May 4, 2014
    I home hatched my two with some chicks which they've grown up with. I think they prefer their chick friends and each other to me and they dont like initially being picked up bit they love cuddle when they have been put down on a lap. When they are a few weeks old they can have small amounts of treats (mine love raspberrys and black currants, but any fruit and veg in small quantities wont harm them, just make sure they arent filling up on it and not eating their proper food! They are 4 weeks and still run if I reach down to pick them up or race towards me squealing if I have food in my hand. If they are in their outdoors coup away from their chick friends then they cry if I walk away but if the chicks are there they are happy to be left. Lots of time, lots of handling and cuddles and treats!


    Jun 10, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    My ducklings never liked it when I approached their brooder. If they clime on you that is a good start. I sat down and put food around me. Then after they start eating it put some in your hand. Talk quietly to them and move slowly. I did this repeatedly for a while and now I cant walk in my duck coop with out tripping over my ducks. lol They will eat out of my hand, let me pet them and even hold them. It worked for both baby and adults.
  5. mjoubre

    mjoubre In the Brooder

    Aug 20, 2014
    Mine were the same way. I just gave them as much attention as I could and they came around.The only time I did not have baby ducks start out like this was when I hatched them in my incubator.
  6. Richb353

    Richb353 Chirping

    I make it a point to feed mine twice a day, a breakfast and dinner, from day one. They forage the rest of the day. The hungrier they are, the less shy. Like Amiga, mine will stay close to me and eat out of my hand, but none want to be picked up. There is one of the 21 who is easier to catch than the others (at feeding time). I sit her on the bench next to me and she will wait for a handful of food. When she's full, she hops down.
  7. smonkeySK

    smonkeySK Chirping

    Dec 20, 2013
    wigan uk
    Time, patience and treats. Don't get frustrated with them. You just need them to associate you with all good things and it will happen.

    Ducks are naturally curious little blighters, they will come round :)
  8. KARy408

    KARy408 Chirping

    Aug 18, 2014
    Livermore, CA
    It sounds like your ducklings are too young to have already imprinted. I don't think it really happened for us until they were about 3 weeks old. Don't worry, just follow the advice everyone else has been suggesting. Ducks are like most domestic animals (in my experience); the more time you spend with them and the more you can be "all up in their business," the better. My husband and I found that talking in a lower register really calms them down and warms them up to you. And our Pekins absolutely love to be sung to- we've been singing the same 3 or 4 songs to them since they were little and now, no matter how loud or rowdy they get, if I start singing one of those songs they all go silent and come to me.

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