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I need help making friends with my ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Miss Dottie, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Miss Dottie

    Miss Dottie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    Riverside, Ca
    Hi!

    I have 4 cayuga/pekin cross ducks that are about 10-12 weeks old. I adopted them from a lady who could not keep them. These ducks were raised by a chicken; the mother duck laid the eggs, and the chicken sat them, hatched them, raised them and then kicked them to the curb. When I got them, they had had very little to no interaction with people. I got them about 3 weeks ago, and they wanted nothing to do with me at first. Their big permanent pen was completed 1 week ago, and I have been spending a lot of time with them. They started eating out of my hands, and coming up to me. I want them to be friendly, and I want them to like being around me. It would have been easier if I got them a little younger, but I don't think its a lost cause. All my chickens and ducks in the past were hatched in my incubator, and that was easy. But at this age, it is a little harder.

    I'm hoping you all have some ideas about how I can make friends with them now. I sit with them and feed them by hand, and I'm being patient letting them come to me and not grabbing them and trying to hold them. They ambush me for food every time they see me, and they call me when they hear me talk in the house. But I want them to be okay being petted and eventually held. I'd like for them to follow me around. Any ideas?

    I hope I'm not being too optimistic. But I don't think its too late.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Beer... that is the secret.
     
  3. pookiethebear

    pookiethebear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2008
    BEER??!! Why didn't I think of that??[​IMG]

    I have 2 pekins and 1 rouen. Mine do not come to me. They stay just out of reach. I have been working with them for 11 weeks and still the same reaction.... AHHHH A MONSTER!!!! [​IMG] from them.

    Good luck with yours.
     
  4. jandmeg07

    jandmeg07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2008
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    Sounds like we are in sort of the same boat. I don't have any advice, but I can certainly understand where you're coming from. I have a Rouen and a Pekin that we got at the feed store at 10 days old and neither one of them really enjoy human company unless it comes with food and water. LOL Even then they are not real big fans. They are sweet little things and the kids and I are enjoying having them and watching them play, but watching is about all we can do. When we have them outside in the pool, they will eat grass right out of our hands and our Rouen will then let us pet her head and bill. Other than that, they run away if we try to touch them...especially the Pekin. He is sooo skiddish. I didn't know anything about duck behavior when we got them, but I've received a lot of info on here that tells me this is very common. Luckily, we have our dogs and cats for snuggling and our pullets and little roo put up with all the handling and seem to enjoy hanging out with us. I really hope that you get them to be more comfortable with human touch...keep us updated! Maybe we'll be able to use some of the same tactics if you get some good ideas. Good luck!!! [​IMG]
     
  5. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    You will need patience.
    Ducks are suspicious creatures and it will take time for them to realize you are not going to eat them.

    Offer treats and spend time with them in a non threatening way. They will learn that you are not going to hurt them.

    Ducks are not attention hounds like dogs or cats. If they eat out of your hand, , then you are doing well. If one lets you pick them up, you are a rock star. I have about 40 ducks and only about 10 will eat from my hand and only two will allow me to pick them up voluntarily and one of those is crippled. I count myself as fortunate.

    My muscovies don't count, of course. They are so very laid back. One crawls into my lap if I sit on the ground.
     
  6. Miss Dottie

    Miss Dottie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    elderoo-
    Beer?.... Offer it in your hand and they will drink it? Small amounts I assume.

    terrielacy-
    They are very suspicious! Thanks for reminding me to be patient. I guess I am doing the right thing. I go in their pen and offer them food from my hand every time I feed them. I also offer them water from my hand. I sit down in their pen and let them come to me, and that seems to work. They are getting closer and closer to me by their own choice everyday. But I'm not trying to rush them into it. Should I just keep letting them set the pace, and allow them to determine how close they want to be?

    I eventually want them to allow me to pet them and hold them. Do you all think thats too much to ask?

    Any other suggestions for treats? They went nuts over corn tortillas. I won't over do it on the treats, but I think small amounts of treats would be okay.

    Pookie, jandmeg-
    We should keep in touch and share ideas and experiences. I am determined to make friends with my ducks. Patience, patience, patience. [​IMG]

    At least now I don't feel like they are plotting against me like when I first got them.
     
  7. L&Schickens

    L&Schickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    Washington State
    I raised my ducks from day old chicks. I fed them, played with them, let them swim in the tub. They hate me. [​IMG]
     
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Drunken ducks, like sotted people, are a real pain. SO yes small quanities are in order.


    Seriously, I was joking . Dont give them beer....well, go ahead and see what happens.

    DO accept that they are ducks and not people. Let them be themselves and dont try forcing them to be your "friend."
     
  9. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Washington State
    Aww, come on. Ducks are People, too. [​IMG]
     
  10. dragonshiner

    dragonshiner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed, patience patience patience is the name of the game. Even then though don't be surprised if nothing ever comes of it. I raised my babies from day old chicks and they still don't trust me too much. But they do follow me to the garden and everything that gets tossed from my hand is immediately investigated and devoured.
     

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