1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

how to get ducklings to bond to a human

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mustangsaguaro, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Chillin' With My Peeps

    684
    3
    161
    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    I just hatched this weekend 3 calls and 7 cayugas. The calls and 1 cayuga are under a hen. And the 6 other cayugas are in my brooder. My question is how will I be able to get at least one or two of the ducks to bond to me and want to follow me around. I am not w/ them 24/7 as I do have a regular job. I don't plan on keeping them all. I plan on keeping all 3 calls and 3 maybe four of the cayugas. So w/ the ones I do keep should I just plan on doing some one on one time w/ a couple of them? I took the ones under the hen for a first swim the other day as it was over 100 degrees where I live. They of course were supervised the whole time and only enough water in the kiddie pool where the could swim but still touch. I noticed they all stuck together and didn't want to have anything to do w/ me. But when I took 2 out and put them in the carrier I carried them in the other 2 had a fit.

    Any suggestions on the best way to get them to bond w/ me would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Flock Runner

    Flock Runner Chillin' With My Peeps

    143
    2
    93
    Nov 27, 2011
    try separating them into their own individual brooders with only one or two other ducklings. if you keep them all in one big group they will bond with each other more than you. if they are in smaller groups they recognize you as the mother and will probably imprint much better.
     
  3. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Chillin' With My Peeps

    684
    3
    161
    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    I'm really not in a situation to separate them into individual brooders. I have 4 under the broody hen which I am keeping those 4 for sure. The 6 left in the brooder I will probably only keep 3. The other 3 will go to someone that wanted some and lives very close by. They will go w/in the next week 2 at most. I figured if I spent some one on one time w/ the few I plan to keep that might help a bit.
     
  4. Ultra

    Ultra Out Of The Brooder

    34
    7
    24
    Jun 2, 2013
    Texas
    Your window of opportunity is fast closing. The 4 under the hen have already imprinted on the hen, so they will see you as "not the mama".

    You will have a higher chance of bonding with the ones in the brooder. Take the ones you want to keep out of the brooder and spend time with them every day. Hand raise them and they will see you as mama duck since no other animal has filled that role yet.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,559
    4,402
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    meal worms[dried] works wonders in getting to know your ducklings, take time each day to sit down with them and offer them meal worms, they love them and before you know it they will be eating out of your hand. mine also like to follow me when they see me bring out the shovel they put the 2 together with "Worms" fresh out of the ground yummy, and my week old ducklings were coming right over to me with mama standing at a distance waiting for hers. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. DenverDucky

    DenverDucky Chillin' With My Peeps

    605
    133
    158
    Mar 28, 2012
    Colorado
    I agree that the ducklings under the hen are already going to be imprinted to your hen, so working on imprinting/bonding will work best with one of your ducklings in the brooder. Good luck :D
     
  7. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Chillin' With My Peeps

    684
    3
    161
    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    For the 4 ducklings that were under the hen if I take them out from under her and put them in the brooder do I have somewhat of a chance of them bonding to me? Or is it to late or do I have a chance if I put them in the brooder? THis duck thing is very new to me. THese are my first. I've always only had chickens. And I'm finding w/ the ducks the seem more dependent on one another than the chickens. Is this true?
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,559
    4,402
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Just my opinion but I would feel bad taking ducklings away from a mama who was taking good care of her ducklings, She is a much better teacher and I so enjoy watching mama and babies out doing ducky things.
     
  9. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Chillin' With My Peeps

    684
    3
    161
    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    Its not like this hen is being abandoned she has 3 silkie chicks under her too.
     
  10. Nebraskagirl

    Nebraskagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    449
    22
    108
    Jul 12, 2012
    We hatched two Welsh Harlequins from an incubator in April. They only knew us as their "mother" so to speak. We handled them a lot (giving them time to sleep, eat of course) and they were very imprinted on us..or so I thought. As they aged and the weather in Nebraska got warmer, we let them out to explore and learn to forage. They spent more time outside, but I always put them in the brooder at night and when they were done "exploring" (they were never left unattended.) As the two got even older and feathered out, they spent more time outside. I then noticed they were becoming independent. They relied less on me and more on each other. They now are entirely outside and are with their mother (the actual duck who laid the egg. We have gotten rid of the Welsh Harlequin drake as he was too aggressive.) Now the ducklings do not follow me around, do not come running to me, do not cheep at me when they see me, in fact they act like ducks. My point here is ducks are ducks. Not dogs, cats or even chickens. Don't expect them to come running to you, sit on your lap, follow you or act like a "pet" as they get older. My ducks are not afraid of me; I can walk up to them. They are calm and don't go running when they see me or other humans. Just take your time, treats help, and do the best you can. Just remember ducks are prey animals, love to live in groups, and appreciate human contact, but they generally don't rely on it for survival.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by