How Much Should I Handle My Pekin Duckling

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by farmgirlsomeday, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. farmgirlsomeday

    farmgirlsomeday Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2014
    My approximately 10-12 day old Pekin duckling is being raised (very well) by a broody Silkie (chicken) hen, along with 3 other baby chicks. She seems happy and is eating and drinking well. She is definitely very bonded to her Silkie adoptive mama. My question is how often I should handle her at this point. She doesn't like to be separated from her "mother" and "siblings," and I don't want her to be stressed or unhappy. On the other hand, I'm raising her as a pet, and so I want her to know who I am and even like me. What do you think? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  2. toowoombapekins

    toowoombapekins Out Of The Brooder

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    Toowoomba, Australia
    I found my 2 pekins really seemed to enjoy being handled up until about 3 weeks old.
    After that they seemed to resent being handled and the more we handled them (necessary at that age/size to move them in and out of their coop and pool), the more they seemed to fear us.

    So I put steps near the pool and herded them back into the coop rather than try to carry them. Within a week or two they started to come back to us and now they are very close and comfortable around us again. They nibble my feet and preen my legs, go to sleep on top of my foot lol. But it's got to be their choice in regards to any contact. They will lean up against my leg, go to sleep on my foot, but if I go to pick them up I get a very loud objection - QUACK!!!!!! And they will take off like I'm trying to eat them!

    So yeah, from my experience, handling them isn't overly important in keeping the bond (in my case the lack of handling has brought them closer). I think it's more important just to spend lots of time with them. My pekins just love being around us. When we approach their coop, they rush to the door and go nuts waiting for us to let them out. And once they are out, we just set up our chairs and watch them play. They will play for a bit but won't take long before they plant themselves at our feet and start nibbling our toes or digging around in the grass. If we try to walk away they get very vocal and will chase after us lol.
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    On, Canada
    I'd go the food route personally, even if it;s just the staple stuff.. if they learn you are the food bringer, they like you.. basically the way to a ducks heart is through it's stomach.

    I admit when i have a "mama" handling the babies.. i back off, to me i feel she is way more capable than I am so leave things to be, but i understand for pet quality that will lessen it, however when she starts to wean them, you will have a chance again then. If the mama trusts you that helps loads! they follow mama's guiding, so fostering your relationship with her will help too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014

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