How do you get ducks to stop running away/eating out of your hand

AflactheDuck

Chirping
Jul 17, 2018
91
182
91
Columbiana, Ohio
I have 6 ducks and they were traumatized after Aflac died. They dont really care anymore but they runaway/not eat out of my hand. The closest they'll get to me is when I feed them and they eat out of the bowl. Only for a few seconds. My 2 oldests ducks 2yr old Rouen and 2-4yr old khaki campbell will only eat out of my hand if i hold it very far away from me and its a tomatoe. help?
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Sep 2, 2018
7,882
30,042
1,347
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
You don't say where you are located, so i don't if it is cold outside where you are.
What i would do is:
  • Buy a package of meal-worms - those are irresistible for ducks
  • sit down on the ground, make yourself as small as possible
  • wait until the ducks come looking at you. They will come! Ducks are curious.
  • flick a meal-worm in from of a duck and wait until its eaten
  • flick another worm closer to you
  • repeat until your ducks are hooked (you're their dealer now!)
  • try if they will eat the meal-worms out of your hand
That's how i tamed my Runner-Ducks. Good luck!
 

AflactheDuck

Chirping
Jul 17, 2018
91
182
91
Columbiana, Ohio
You don't say where you are located, so i don't if it is cold outside where you are.
What i would do is:
  • Buy a package of meal-worms - those are irresistible for ducks
  • sit down on the ground, make yourself as small as possible
  • wait until the ducks come looking at you. They will come! Ducks are curious.
  • flick a meal-worm in from of a duck and wait until its eaten
  • flick another worm closer to you
  • repeat until your ducks are hooked (you're their dealer now!)
  • try if they will eat the meal-worms out of your hand
That's how i tamed my Runner-Ducks. Good luck!

i live in ohio but they like running in snow for some reason
 

Jpat

Life’s a garden: dig it.
Apr 30, 2018
4,491
20,538
832
Nova scotia
You don't say where you are located, so i don't if it is cold outside where you are.
What i would do is:
  • Buy a package of meal-worms - those are irresistible for ducks
  • sit down on the ground, make yourself as small as possible
  • wait until the ducks come looking at you. They will come! Ducks are curious.
  • flick a meal-worm in from of a duck and wait until its eaten
  • flick another worm closer to you
  • repeat until your ducks are hooked (you're their dealer now!)
  • try if they will eat the meal-worms out of your hand
That's how i tamed my Runner-Ducks. Good luck!
Hardest thing for me was time. Take your time! I rush evveerytthhiinngg
 

Callender Girl

Free Ranging
Sep 18, 2018
2,423
13,569
686
North Central Iowa
I have nine Indian runners. The three originals -- two years old -- will always eat out of my hand, probably just to nudge out the others. Two of my newer hens will NEVER eat out of my hand, and the rest can be hand fed, if and when they feel like it.
I have tried every strategy I can imagine, and neither Claire nor Blair (not intentionally rhyming names; latecomer Blair is simply the LOUDEST duck ever) will ever let me even touch them in passing.

I don't understand the minds of ducks, but I still adore them.

Trauma seems to affect birds in unusual ways. After her coop mates were murdered by a mink, my Buff Orp suddenly craved my attention, was fine with being held and still loves grapes out of my hand. But, in the last couple of months, Honey has decided that she prefers to NEVER be picked up. Hey, my birds rule the roost; I just live here.

Good luck with all the good advice from others. I hope you get them eating out of your hand again. I don't know why people use the phrase "pecked to death by ducks." The sensation of their little bills scooping food out of my hand always makes me happy.
 

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