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How do you imprint? Plz someone help??!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AnDrEw&Cole, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. AnDrEw&Cole

    AnDrEw&Cole In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2011
    I need someone to give me full info on how to imprint my ducklings i want to do this right so they will like me in the future someone plz help [​IMG] [​IMG]

  2. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    I researched this before I got my ducklings and decided that ultimately a totally imprinted bird isn't really that great.

    Think about it: a duck or goose that thinks you're its mom and that it is a human isn't ever going to be happy with other ducks or geese. It isn't going to be happy living outside away from you.

    Unless you are prepared to make this duckling a houseduck for the rest of its life, it's better to just bond with them and build a nice relationship with them. Let them out for a swim. Bring them food (often!). Talk to them. Put the brooder somewhere where you spend a lot of time (I keep mine right here by my computer) so they get used to the sight of you and your natural movements.

    Try not to scare them, chase them, or pick them up any more than necessary. Most grown ducks don't crave being held even if you held them every day as a baby. I like to let my ducks walk places on their own if at all possible, and I designed the brooder so I can open it and they can walk in and out without my having to catch them.

    You will have great pets that still realize they are ducks. [​IMG]

    If you want to Google around for this, I believe the technical term for it is "filial imprinting."
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I don't have a technical, scientific answer, but I can tell you that with my runners, I just spend loads of time with them. They have each other when I am not around, but they call for me when they know I'm around (not constantly, but if I haven't visited in an hour or so they call).

    We hang out together and enjoy each others' company, go on walks together, and have a good human/duck relationship.

    I got them as day-olds, and so it was natural for them to get used to me. They did go through the awful phase of being afraid of me for weeks, from the time they were about three weeks old. But with treats and patience, they got through that.
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Lovesgliders said it well. Imprinting is not something to try lightly. An imprinted duck is a lifetime commitment, and requires a great deal of sacrifice. And if at some point you're not willing to make the sacrifice, it will be the duck who does.

    Ducks are intensely social creatures. They must be with others of their own kind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An alone duck (even for five minutes) is a lonely and scared duck. Often they will simply pine to death from loneliness. An imprinted duck will never realize it is a duck, and so people must take the place of its flock. This means that you must be ready to bring it indoors (and change its diapers every three to four hours, rinsing & washing duck poop diapers every single day), and be home with it all day every day. And no one else is going to want your imprinted duck, so if you ever move somewhere, you'll have to be sure you can have pets there.

    Before doing research on imprinting, make sure you know everything there is to know about duck care. Read Holderread's book, Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, and talk to some of the folks on this board who have indoor ducks (nettie comes to mind). And keep in mind that you don't have to imprint a duck in order for it to want to be around you and to be a good pet.
  5. ChickyChickyBaby

    ChickyChickyBaby Barefoot Bantams

    AnDrEw&Cole :

    I need someone to give me full info on how to imprint my ducklings i want to do this right so they will like me in the future someone plz help [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Imprinting on a human is not always a good thing for the duck. Ours was totally trusting of things he would not have been if he had been raised with other ducks.

    I totally agree with iamcuriositycat's statement above.​
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  6. Speceider

    Speceider Songster

    Apr 4, 2011
    Imprinting occurs at hatch. It refers to the hatchling assuming the first thing it sees is it's parent. You cannot imprint after the first few hours after hatch. Yes, they are tamer as young, but you'll have alot more problems later. They will be more aggressive to you during breeding because they believe you are part of and a competitor. Females may well decide to "chose you as a mate" and avoid potential mates (I'm dealing with that now with a white-fronted goose female I bought). If you hatched them so they are imprintedkeep them in a group, spend time with them (just be around them, don't worry about handling them), they will grow up to be sociable ducklings that minimize your problems in the future.

  7. AnDrEw&Cole

    AnDrEw&Cole In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2011
    Thankyou everyone i was going to imprint my F/W runner when i get her tommorow! [​IMG] but i guess i'll just hold her a lot and give her treats and she won't be alone because i have plenty of ducks and chickens [​IMG]


    2 white pekins, 2 mallards, 15 chickens, 1 Black Swedish, 2 chow dogs, 1 Teacup chihauhau

  8. manybirds

    manybirds Songster

    Jul 4, 2011
    I've had imprinted ducks up to 2 weeks of age. Just spend lots of time with the and take them around with you.
  9. Speceider

    Speceider Songster

    Apr 4, 2011
    I've had imprinted ducks up to 2 weeks of age.

    You tamed them, didn't imprint them. Imprinting, by definition occurs immediately after hatching (The best-known form of imprinting is filial imprinting, in which a young animal acquires several of its behavioral characteristics from its parent.).


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