Help with New Babies


Aug 27, 2020
Hello all,

yesterday I got 3 ducklings sold under “assorted breeds” at a store near me. They’re estimated to be about 4 weeks old. I’ve had ducks before but never this young. I have them on heat and proper food and such but I was wondering if they’d ever really warm up to me or if because they’re older they’ll always be very apprehensive. I just got them so I’ve been giving them time to adjust but they’re terrified of me and I would really like to be able to bond with them. What’re your thoughts and any tips for a newer duck owner?

I’d try to slowly walk up and give them treats and try to eventually get them to eat from your hand. Maybe try holding them if they get more comfortable. Just take baby steps with them. Also just sitting near them often to get them used to you (that’s probably the first step to take)
They can bond with time. A few of my ducks were not very social when young. Even raising them from a few days old. Overtime they have become more social. I also have one that will likely never trust us. So sometimes there is nothing you can do.

I got Muscovy ducks at 6 weeks old. They have become very friendly with time. They love to come over and see what we are doing and just hang out. They started out very wary and unsure of us. It took time with them, but you can slowly win hearts with treats.

The more time you spend with them, the less they will be afraid of you. It just takes time and patience.

Also don't lose hope when they go through what some call the axe murderer stage. There is a point, I want to say about 7-9 weeks of age, they become very unsocial. Almost all of my ducks have done this. They won't want to have anything to do with you and think you are terrifying. I find as they reach full maturity and are about to start to laying eggs, they calm down and are willing to socialize again. Don't be discouraged if this happens.
Sitting near them while reading a book or scrolling through your phone is a great way for them to get used to your presence. I usually hum or sing when I'm near them, and they get used to me and how I sound very quickly. Also, treats! (Not an excessive amount, obviously) but if you brought a few peas or a few mealworms every time you came, they warm up nicely. ❤️
Thank you everyone for your recommendations. It’s been a few days and they’re still utterly terrified of me…. Even trying to slowly give them food or water results in them panicking and scrambling like crazy. I’ve never seen animals so intent on getting away from someone. But I’ll keep slowly trying
Where are you keeping them? if they are in a brooder on the floor try moving it up onto something so you aren't coming down over top of them. And always let them know you are coming. When I have ducklings or chicks the dining table gets the brooder so they can see all that is going on around them and no one is standing over top of them. And looking like a predator is about to swoop in and eat them. lol

Pics when you can.
That makes sense. They’re in my bedroom currently on a small table. They were on the floor before and I moved them up to a table. The table has them about 2ft off the ground now.
I’m wondering if maybe they weren’t treated well at the store and so they’re terrified of people. I’m wondering if I should rehome them to someone who isn’t looking for necessarily friendly birds and hatch some eggs instead… any thoughts?

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