How to gentle a new Muscovy to human contact??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by The Howards, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    We just got a Muscovy hen duck this morning. Of course we are going to quarantine her for 30 days, in the mean time I want to get her as used to us as possible. Any suggestions on how to gentle her to us? We have not ever had to deal with introducing a fully feathered out bird, we raised our other 4 from hatchlings. I am familiar with how to introduce her to the flock later as we have done this several times, so that part is not a concern. She is skiddish of us, which I expect because she doesn't know us. I want to help her get accustom to us and feel at ease. She seems fairly calm, she does a bit of hissing, head tossing, and the mohawk thing on her head but will let us touch her. I am pretty sure the man who had them touched and handled the ducks himself, they were his hobby and pets.
    .[​IMG]

    Also any experience with the Muscovy breed is appreciated.
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    All i own are Muscovy, honestly food? and i'll even be a bit of a stick in the mud and say you may never, we bought three 6-7mth old ducks over a year ago, the one is a total hot head to this day, you get 10inches near her she freaks, honks/quacks and leaves .. it's just her personality i guess.

    I admit this why i only by young birds or hatch my own, i found it much to hard to tame down wild birds at several months old. [​IMG]

    All this said you stated the person you bought from was involved so for now the duck will need to learn to trust you, which again goes right back to food lol peas are a good treat to try. GL!
     
  3. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the info..we will give that a try. For now she is in a pen in the house and we have gone over to her several times today to take her out and handle her. Just got finished letting her take a shower and she is actually sitting on hubby's lap preening and flapping her wings. All good signs I hope. Do you have any problems with them flying? So far she only tried to jump out the door (through the glass) needless to say it didn't work. Our Rouens just skim the ground never getting more than 2-3 inches up.
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    That sounds promising! a preening bird is usually a content one. Muscovy ducks are excellent flyers, the drakes not so much, they get pretty weighty after 1yo.

    I leave all my birds full flight but that is a personal choice, for my set-up and circumstances this is the best choice, truly depends on yours. Many will clip wings to avoid them taking off, while others do what i do and don't.
     
  5. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great, keeping fingers crossed that we are going in the right direction. I think we will wait and see if she flies or not. If so then we will have to clip. But we have a month to go before she gets to the point of being in the pen. She feels pretty solid close to the weight of our Pekin, hard to believe she could get her butt off the ground.
     
  6. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a new concern, hope someone can offer some help... She has not eaten since we got her home yesterday at 1130am. 21 hours ago... I know they could get off their food due to stress but how long can this last? I have tempted her with bread (which is a big duckie no-no to me), peas, lettuce, zucchini, and pellet/scratch mix. Nothing, she eats nothing. She does drink a bit and enjoys her showers but no eating. Starting to get a bit worried. Suggestions............
     
  7. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Find out what the seller was feeding, something totally new will take longer to get her to return to eating.
     
  8. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh dear. I am trying to recall back how my trio of my 6-7mth old ducks behaved, after that i have only brought in young(under a month) or hatched my own so i had no feed issues. I would keep trying, her drinking and behaving normally otherwise is good. What did they feed her? definitely something to keep an eye on.
     
  9. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Going Quackers and CelticOaksFarm for your help. She finally ate some watermelon yesterday and today she finished it off and dove into the pellets [​IMG]hubby was super happy to see that, he worries about his duckies. Guess 2 days of hunger caught up with her. We are still handling her a lot. We let her wander around on the floor a bit and put he on the couch with us so we can constantly touch and talk to her. She is getting better with the handling. She may never be totally accepting but so long as we can get a hold of her without her freaking out too much is fine with us. Our other 4 will try to walk away when we go after them but we know that is more from instinct of a large thing coming after me than oh my i am afraid of you. And eventually they stop and wait for us to touch them. Once we get them they are lovey and happy, happier once we let them go, but happy. So thanks again...
     

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