How to make adult ducks not afraid of me and stay through winter

May 27, 2019
683
1,101
292
Smithville, MO
I made the mistake of not imprinting on my ducks when they were ducklings. What can I do to get them to trust me and not hurt themselves every time I come in the area? I want to move them into the chickens run/coop before winter but I don't want to traumatize them more. I leave the gate open on there current area so they can free range but they never leave. Except for the naught mallard that escaped for 18 hours but came back on his own. My husband keeps telling me they are all going to fly away this winter. How do I keep them here and happy and not terrified of me.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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What breed? All Mallards? Did you buy from a hatchery? In other words are they domestic Mallards? Best you can do is offer treats do that by sitting quietly out with them toss something they love out to them. Eventually they will see you as treat lady not threat lady. But you still may have to go into their pen and catch each one an transfer to where you want to keep them. Yes they will be traumatized but they will get over it. Most of my ducks herd really well but you need to have them contained in a fenced in are to get them use to being herded.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
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I'm not sure what breeds of ducks you have, but most domestic ducks cannot really fly and certainly will not "fly south for winter."

Always move slowly around your ducks, and speak calmly. Essentially try not to be scary. Do things around them, random things, like read a book, yard work, anything where you are nearby and in their space, but not interacting with them directly. The ducks will get used to having you around and start to realize you aren't scary and you aren't a threat.

Bring them snacks. Call to them to point it out, sprinkle it in the grass, walk away and let them enjoy. Eventually they will be coming to you for snacks.

It doesn't matter that they didn't imprint on you. Don't be discouraged. I got my first 4 ducks when they were almost 2 years old. They come running to the gate when they see me now, hoping I have snacks. They trust me, but it still takes effort to catch them at times.
 
May 27, 2019
683
1,101
292
Smithville, MO
Hatchery. The came by mail from California to Missouri. 2 mallards, 1 black Swedish, 2 blue Swedish, 3 buff, 1 Cayuga, 2 Rouen, 2 welsh harlequin. Right on they are in a cattle leanto that has a heavy wire gate door to keep them safe at night. I just bought a bunch of blueberries and mixed vegies I can use for treats.
 
May 27, 2019
683
1,101
292
Smithville, MO
I'm not sure what breeds of ducks you have, but most domestic ducks cannot really fly and certainly will not "fly south for winter."

Always move slowly around your ducks, and speak calmly. Essentially try not to be scary. Do things around them, random things, like read a book, yard work, anything where you are nearby and in their space, but not interacting with them directly. The ducks will get used to having you around and start to realize you aren't scary and you aren't a threat.

Bring them snacks. Call to them to point it out, sprinkle it in the grass, walk away and let them enjoy. Eventually they will be coming to you for snacks.

It doesn't matter that they didn't imprint on you. Don't be discouraged. I got my first 4 ducks when they were almost 2 years old. They come running to the gate when they see me now, hoping I have snacks. They trust me, but it still takes effort to catch them at times.
Thank you for your support
 
May 27, 2019
683
1,101
292
Smithville, MO
What breed? All Mallards? Did you buy from a hatchery? In other words are they domestic Mallards? Best you can do is offer treats do that by sitting quietly out with them toss something they love out to them. Eventually they will see you as treat lady not threat lady. But you still may have to go into their pen and catch each one an transfer to where you want to keep them. Yes they will be traumatized but they will get over it. Most of my ducks herd really well but you need to have them contained in a fenced in are to get them use to being herded.
Thank you for your support!
 
Sep 2, 2018
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Big Chimney, WV
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Domestic ducks can't really fly away, yes they can »jump a fence« and won't drop to the ground like a rock, but they will not fly away south.
Do you offer duck-food and water for them? If not, start now. Place a feeder in their area and move it into the direction of the chicken run every day a bit. Hand out treats, meal-worms and peas are my ducks favorites.
For the winter: Duck are much harder than chickens, if they have a spot where they stay dry and out of the wind they will be fine.
Chickens and Ducks in the same coop requires some thinking: Ducks don't perch, chickens do, so if the ducks sleep under the roosts they will be pooped on over night and they won't like it. Also ducks release a lot of moisture during their sleep which may makes the chickens feel uncomfortable.
 
May 27, 2019
683
1,101
292
Smithville, MO
Domestic ducks can't really fly away, yes they can »jump a fence« and won't drop to the ground like a rock, but they will not fly away south.
Do you offer duck-food and water for them? If not, start now. Place a feeder in their area and move it into the direction of the chicken run every day a bit. Hand out treats, meal-worms and peas are my ducks favorites.
For the winter: Duck are much harder than chickens, if they have a spot where they stay dry and out of the wind they will be fine.
Chickens and Ducks in the same coop requires some thinking: Ducks don't perch, chickens do, so if the ducks sleep under the roosts they will be pooped on over night and they won't like it. Also ducks release a lot of moisture during their sleep which may makes the chickens feel uncomfortable.
They have access to duck food and water 24/7. They also have 2- 4' kiddie pools that are filled and cleaned every other day. They also have new bedding regularly. Plus a igloo doghouse inside their coop just incase they want extra security.
 

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