More questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by griemar, May 14, 2011.

  1. griemar

    griemar In the Brooder

    May 9, 2011
    Hello all, I'm hoping that you can help me out again. I'm curious as to how long it takes for new ducklings to stop being afraid of us. They both were store bought so there was no imprinting. I'm curious because when we do get them out of the brooder to spend time with them, they cry allot and scurry away. Usually after about 15 mins or so they will calm down and like to climb under our hair and fall asleep. Sometime if I can keep them calm long enough, they will fall asleep in my hand. However, once you put them back in the brooder, they will panic as soon as you get near them and start all over again. Should we be spending more time with them or is there a way that anyone has found to help them get over their fear of people?

    On a side note, I've read that some people have used peas as treats and that ducks love them. I thawed about a dozen frozen sweet peas and introduced them to the treat. They were scared of them at first, hiding in the corner while just staring at them. So I decided to leave just a few in their food bowl to see what would happen. They ate them, but the next time I tried, the same thing happened and they ran away from them.

    Maybe I'm in too much of a hurry, and if I am, please tell me so. I just have become so attached to them already that I hate to see them scared. Any advice that I can get is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Songster

    Jul 11, 2009
    First off [​IMG]

    As for the ducks Ive no clue. I had and have chicks now that are terrified of me. By 8 or 9 weeks they came around. Just takes time.
  3. NYRIR

    NYRIR Songster

    May 13, 2010
    I've had ducks for a little over a year now. I bought 3 mallards from TSC...they are what I would call "duck friendly".What I mean is, they don't like to be picked up....but when I go into the duck run to clean it out...they are all about the hose and could care less if I am standing there or not.If I go in with treats...they have no problem eating with me standing there or jumping into the pool to dabble for the treats.I also have some Cayugas that are just now...after a year, showing the same more relaxed behavior.They used to run peeping like mad away from me but now are not really scared.I have 7 Pekins (bought this year) that also run away from me.In my brooder i have 4 Ancona and 2 Runners....same deal, but occasionally will peck at my shiny rings [​IMG] .However, I do believe they are not all scared to death of me...I think it's more of an instinctual "run! run! The big people are coming!" reaction.I have also had them eating out of my hand (the mallards that is). I am relatively new to ducks so I can only tell you what I have experienced myself. I do know they like softer voices with slow movements.They also seem more relaxed if you are not hovering over the top of them.They all look curious when I am in the run cleaning or filling the pools...and will eventually calm down some as they get accustomed to you.As I said, i have had them eating out of my hand....they just don't like to be picked up.Personally,I am ok with that and I respect it so I only pick them up when necessary. My ducks also beg for food if the feed dish gets empty as well....they will quack nonstop while standing in the run the closest to the house until I respond. [​IMG] I'm sure there are people out there who's ducks are like my chickens (you trip over 'em before they move [​IMG] ) but mine are trusting only so far. They do however, trust me more than new things...for example, the first trips outside and into the playpen...suddenly they wanna be near the big scary person because that's not as scary as the big chickens! LOL... you have to laugh at's too cute. It's almost like they're saying.."Don't let them KNOW we like 'em...they'll wanna pick us up all the time, so act scared!"
    I personally think ducks just take more patience and time.I mean,we humans do look like scary creatures with big long claws coming at them!I did spend a lot of time with my ducks as ducklings (and still do) but they weren't as calm and still aren't as my chickens.Hopefully,someone on here can give you advice...I know there's one person on here that has house ducks....I bet hers are calm...maybe she'll see this and respond. Hope it works out the way you want... [​IMG]
    One more piece of advice...Get Storey's Guide to Raising's a must have and will help a lot [​IMG]
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    I raised 3 runners at once. I would sit with them out on the patio for about an hour each night just hanging with them - hand in the cage, face at the edge. If they came near and sat down, I'd pet their heads. Blue loved it. Ally was ok with it since Blue liked it, Cadbury would sit behind them and tolerate it, sort of.
    And that's how they grew up. Blue would let you pet her. Ally still isn't sure about it and Cadbury wishes your hands would fall off.
    I would bring them inside every day for about an hour to play in the bathroom (tile, easy clean up) and then toss them in the tub for a bit and then back out to their kennel under the heat lamp to dry off.
    But they are all friendly. They come running to me, Cad leading the pack, when I walk out the door with a dish of veggies or they think I might have something for them. Then they dance around my feet until I tell them I have nothing or give them veggies.
    They did go through a stage where they wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with me. Seems most ducks do that.

    I used to hand feed peas. I'd been slack with that and would only give peas now and then, and usually in a dish and plop it down for them, but now and again, I'd sit on the step and hand feed peas.
    Abby is still gentle. Cadbury takes your fingers off.
    I sat with them tonight to give peas by hand again. I'll have to do that more often.

    They don't run from me when it is just me, but it isn't often that I don't have a crazy dog walking next to me when I go outside.
    They do run from the dogs when they are playing or when they are just not paying attention. Otherwise, they have about a 4' range and if the dogs get closer to them than that, they move.
    They may not climb up in my lap, but they are friendly ducks.

    Next set of ducklings will likely be handled more, if we can. I wasn't working last summer. Not this summer yet either, but will probably find something until school starts again if I decide to keep working with the schools.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by