Imprinting? Are they happy?


9 Years
Oct 17, 2012
Somewhat new to ducks here, we have been given 3 call ducklings. We've had a couple call ducks before that we got young, but not quite so little, and they acted like wild ducks, couldn't seem to get them used to us. They "flew the coop" and never came back one day. So my kids have been handling these little ones every day, bringing them inside and cuddling with them, I swear these ducklings are learning to use touchscreens! They sit on shoulders, snuggle up on laps, really don't seem panicked like our old ones did.
Are they too old to really be imprinting? Is that something that just happens the first day after hatching? Are they just bonding?
I've noticed that they seem to yawn alot, is that normal? Just not familiar with calm duck behavior yet. They also stretch their necks out straight when we gently stroke their heads, do they like that?
At any rate, we're getting seriously attached to them!


Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
Enjoy getting attached! I am no expert, but ducks can become very friendly with their people.

My Runners went through a phase, though, from about 3 weeks to 7 or 8 weeks, maybe longer, during which they were very nervous around me. Broke my heart. One day they were nustling next to me, the next, they ran screaming. But it does not happen to all ducks, and after this phase, they became friendly again, and some even let me hug them. None likes to be picked up. Never did.

So I am not convinced it's exactly imprinting ... but spending time with them will help you all develop a closer relationship, that I would expect to last their entire lives.

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