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how to avoid imprinting?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SedonaSunset, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. SedonaSunset

    SedonaSunset Just Hatched

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    Sep 3, 2016
    Virginia
    We have one abandoned baby duck about to emerge from his egg and we don't want it to imprint on us. Any suggestions? We are looking for another local baby duck to buy or acquire but not sure if we will be successful. Is it safe to place it near the parents soon after it emerges to see if she shows interest?
     
  2. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    The way I understand imprinting, the first living thing a newly hatched chick sees it automatically assumes is mama. Since that first thing is usually the duck that is sitting on it this usually works fine. May I assume that you are intending to return this duckling to the wild? If so then maybe the best thing is probably to find some kind of wildlife organization nearby that can hatch and raise it, as they have all the training and equipment to do this properly. I'm not sure how receptive ducks are to orphans, especially if they themselves are not sitting at the time.

    If you intend to do this yourself the most important thing is to make sure it only sees things that looks like a duck. Otherwise it can take to thinking that humans are all good and kind providers of protection and vittles. Feeding it using a duck-like puppet while you are shielded from view is one way to avoid human contact.

    If you plan on keeping it as a pet or releasing it to the local public park than it really doesn't matter if it imprints on you or not. In my experience with ducks (domestic breeds) is that imprinting tends to fade as the bird matures and is less dependent on mommy for food and protection and is ready to start finding a mate of his/her own.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  3. SedonaSunset

    SedonaSunset Just Hatched

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    Sep 3, 2016
    Virginia
    We bought two week-old baby ducks to keep ours company and so it will see them and think he's a duck. This is what I've read to do. We will see how it works. Baby is out of the egg now and drying off.
     
  4. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2014
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    I think that those two week old ducks will pick on the baby and he will be hurt. Hopefully those two older ducklings don't pick on the new hatch and he can see and learn where they eat and drink so he can survive. Good luck.
     
  5. SedonaSunset

    SedonaSunset Just Hatched

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    Sep 3, 2016
    Virginia
    The week-old ducks aren't much bigger than him and they're actually getting along quite well. Thanks for that feedback though. He is definitely learning from them how to be a duck. [​IMG]
     

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