imprinting

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kaciebig, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. kaciebig

    kaciebig Out Of The Brooder

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    hello, i'm new to the duck world. if i have two ducklings and they imprint on me, how long will they stay imprinted and think i'm their mother?
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Hope some of the duck owners will show up with experienced opinions.

    But wonder how old were the ducklings when you got them - I think the imprinting only occurs within 2 days of hatching. Ducks and Geese imprint quite soon after hatching - a survival necessity. And unless you hatched those babies maybe they have just bonded with you as their caretaker?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  3. kaciebig

    kaciebig Out Of The Brooder

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    I am hatching them! [​IMG]
     
  4. The Duck Ladie

    The Duck Ladie Duck Addict

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    That's very cool! Imprinting doesn't happen to often as far as I know but when ducklings do I think it's for their lifetime, I'm not 100% sure as I've never had one of my ducklings imprint.
     
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    That's what I read as well.

    @kaciebig looks like you're gonna have to teach them what a real mom would.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I have a Muscovy drake 5 yrs old who still thinks I am his mother. Lets me pick him up snuggle, smooch and he follows me around. Brought him inside at hatch his mom rejected him.
     
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Duck Smooches [​IMG]
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Yep duck smooches love them. lol I am not sure if Opie thinks he is a duck well he hangs out with his females outside but when he is in the house he has his own bed and might think he's one of the dogs since he hung out with them when younger. Never heard him bark though. [​IMG]
     
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  9. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We never sell ducklings under 3 days old because we want our ducks to be socialized to people but imprinted on other ducks and we require a 4 duckling minimum. I have seen too many situations where people accidently or purposefully have an imprinted duckling because they love the attention the duckling gives them but they are not prepared to give the duck the same level of attention.

    If you want an imprinted duck it will need to see and hear you 24/7 and ducks do not sleep all night like people do. You will not be able to put the duck outside because it will sit right outside the door and cry until you return. Usually this results in complaints from neighbors and the duck ends up needing to be rehomed or butchered. The duck will need to be by your side at all times and if you leave to go to the store for groceries or anything else that requires brief periods of separation the duck will become traumatized and neurotic in a short time.

    Keeping ducklings together allows them to imprint on each other and they will be free to be ducks when you have people things you need to do. Spending time socializing them is important but if you allow the ducks to train you to cater to them 24/7 they can become too vocal when demanding food or attention. We want our ducks to know us but we also want them to forage in the yard for bugs and slugs without screaming for treats everytime we step outside. Ducks are very intelligent and yet they do not take direction the way dogs do so there is no teaching them manners once they have become your boss.

    I believe ducks make excellent pets but we prefer ours to be more like cats where they have an attachment to us but they are content on their own as long as their basic daily needs are met. I do not want to be surrounded by birds when I have chores to do but some people like to have their flock follow them around everywhere they go. You basically have to decide how much time every day you want to be accountable to your ducks and then let them spend the rest of their time in the company of other ducks where they can be free to take care of their own duck business without you present.
     

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