Handling Ducklings around their momma

Gkundern

In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2020
60
43
46
We raised our first two ducks and they love us as a result. We bought 5 more ducks as adults and they merely tolerate us. I would like to let them hatch out their own ducklings this spring and am wondering if it's possible to still handle them from a young age so they grow up as friendly as our original pair.
 
Sep 2, 2018
7,894
31,481
1,357
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
We raised our first two ducks and they love us as a result. We bought 5 more ducks as adults and they merely tolerate us. I would like to let them hatch out their own ducklings this spring and am wondering if it's possible to still handle them from a young age so they grow up as friendly as our original pair.
It totally depends on the ducks personality weather she will tolerate you around her nest. I had broody ducks three times in two years and the experience was different all the time:
You would have to gain the trust of momma duck while she is sitting on her nest. I fed some mealworms to Pinball, handed her water and crawled her under her bill, which she started to like. I also sat down in the duck house everyday for some time and spoke to her and her eggs.
In the end i was tolerated to sit near the ducklings, but they never touched me, nor would they eat out of my hand. Today, as grown up ducks and drakes they do and are trusting me.
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
6 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,215
9,375
701
Carnation, Wa
My very sweet and friendly ducks have gone broody on their non fertilized eggs a few times. Each time when I approached their nest they hissed at me! They wouldn't take treats from my hands and they pretended we didn't love each other. Even my pekin who follows me so closely I can barely walk and gazes at me intently with love eyes shunned me.

I don't know what would happen if they had actual ducklings.

But these ducks who turned on me when broody? 3 of them were adopted as year old adults. They were terrified of me, and within months I had tamed them into friendly ducks who came when I called, happily followed me around, and ate from my hands. They'll never be imprinted on me, of course.

Have you thought about what you'll do with the males if you breed?
 

Gkundern

In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2020
60
43
46
That's why I want to breed welsh harlequin. I can keep the girls and sell the boys as chicks. You can tell them apart as ducklings.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
1,092
2,655
231
Western Washington
We raised our first two ducks and they love us as a result. We bought 5 more ducks as adults and they merely tolerate us. I would like to let them hatch out their own ducklings this spring and am wondering if it's possible to still handle them from a young age so they grow up as friendly as our original pair.
I’ve had ducklings hatched by a broody mama twice. I was not permitted to get close either time. Aside from the mama duck coming after you, I once had a mama duck step on and smush her duckling when I got too close and they were running away. The baby was okay but after that I gave a healthy amount of space to make sure no one got hurt. Also I’ve had not so great hatch rates with broody mamas, if I ever did it again I would use an incubator.
 

Gkundern

In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2020
60
43
46
I'm working on creating a sustainable living situation here, so I'm trying to create a flock that will do all the work for me. I choose pekin and Welsh Harlequins for the combination of meat, egg production, and broodiness. (Of course I have since learned that I would only be able to butcher a duck if my life depends on it. 😬)
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom