My cayuga ducklings hate me :(

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by madelineb, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. madelineb

    madelineb Hatching

    Dec 13, 2015
    Hiii, i have hatched 2 amazing cayuga ducklings and no matter how hard a try they dont seem to like me very much!! I just want to be able to clean there tub theyre living in at the moment with out them freaking out and running around crazy and maybe a quick. One is not as bad as the other but one sees me and runs to the corner and faces the wall haha (like it cant get far enough away so it faces the wall haha)

    Also what is everyone feeding their ducklings at the moment just for ideas to change it up abit for them [​IMG]

  2. RoxysAnimals

    RoxysAnimals Chirping

    Oct 19, 2015
    California, USA

    No duckling or chick is just going to like you. You have to spend time with them, and be gentle. I have a knee board for kneeling, and I sit on it inside the brooder they live in. I wait for them to come to me. Yes, I know, it gets boring. But just sit there. Play on your phone, read, whatever. Just no sudden movement. They will get curious and move closer, not seeing you as a threat at the moment. They will hop on you sometimes, and slowly reach towards one when its near you. If you can grab it with out being fast, do it. Be slow and gentle. When I research for a project or something, I sit in there with my laptop and let them climb on me and discover me. Over time, they won't be afraid of you, and will even sit with you or on you later on. It takes days, weeks even. Give it time.

    And don't change their feed on them. That can be very stressful. Keep their feed consistent.
    1 person likes this.
  3. madelineb

    madelineb Hatching

    Dec 13, 2015
    I sit in there with them all the time, theyre only 5 days old, i think im comparing my ducks to my chicks who are a week older they have no problem with me. I didnt plan on changing there food i always give them their duck mix but i like to give them other things as well, i got a list of things from one of the threads on here, so i just wondered what others feed their ducks
  4. jofanx

    jofanx Songster

    Oct 30, 2015
    I had some 7 day old ducklings (two were cayugas) imprint on me in about two hours. I sat with them and quacked my best mallard-ese at them, nonstop for ten minutes at a time, then used my hands to "peck" at the floor and splash their water a little. In Konrad Lorenz’s animal behavior memoir, King Solomon’s Ring, he describes how his ducklings only follow/imprinted on him if he mimicked a mother mallard.

    I think though, domestic mallards are less stringent about it and sight and time is enough usually for them, but still imprint more quickly if you do it. (And remember that movie Fly Away Home? She also honked at her goslings.) It's amazing how when I first quacked, they looked wildly around for the source and then, almost as one, tilted their heads to look up at me like, "Mom? Mom? I think that's mom? Yes, that's mom." Then, once I was confident I can call them from across their brooder, I let them out, quacked while walking (well, waddling for the first few days because I was crouched) away from them, and voila! I had five little ducklings chasing after me and getting under my feet.

    Try it, it might help. (My husband thought I was crazy.)
  5. PotatoWaffles

    PotatoWaffles Songster

    Oct 10, 2014
    Northwest Ohio
    Have you tried treats? Treats are the way to a duck's heart. Yours are so young, so you can't really feed them the kind of treats that older ducks eat, but I discovered one thing that ducklings just love. I take finely chop a bit of lettuce (something like romaine or green leaf, not iceberg) and I put it in a little bowl with some water. It creates a sort of lettuce soup, and they just go nuts for it. They'll probably be scared of it at first, but they're so curious that they're bound to check it out. Once they learn that it's good to eat, you can start leaving your hand near the bowl. Once they're comfortable with that, you can pick up some of the lettuce in your hand and offer it to them. That's how I got all of my ducks used to hand feeding. Just remember to always offer chick grit if you are feeding them anything other than their regular feed.

    Another good thing to do is to have them out with you as much as possible. Whenever I would sit and be on my laptop or watch tv, I would have my ducklings on my lap. Even when I played Xbox, lol. Just make sure to put a towel down, haha!

    Another question: did you hatch these yourself or buy them from somewhere as ducklings? The ducklings I bought as 3 day olds never tamed up very well. They were always scared of me whenever I walked by or moved. But because I used the lettuce soup method above, they still would eat out of my hand. The ducklings that I hatched out myself were just the most loving little social things that would follow me everywhere around the house and outside and run to me whenever I opened the brooder. But all my ducklings, both the bought and hatched ones, went through a stage ar about 8 weeks where they became scared of me, no matter how hard I tried to work them them and socialize them as ducklings. I am currently trying to tame them back up, but it was disheartening. It's just how ducks are, though. Good luck with yours!
  6. TheDan

    TheDan In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2015
    Feeding them by hand will help a lot. When they look like they are getting sleepy hold them in your lap. If you talk softly to them like a mother duck cooing and stroke their bills and chest they should settle down for a nap. Lots of repetitions of that and you'll have them calling for you to take a nap LOL
  7. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chirping

    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    This X a million.

    Try hand offering something yummy like boiled potato or chopped cabbage leaf or chopped lettuce leaf. They're so little they wont eat much. They'll need chick grit in a small dish since they'll be getting food other than start crumbles.

    I also gently picked each of my ducklings up and held them for a few minutes each day.

    Around a week old I started supervised swimming for all of them because one of my ducklings jumped out of the box I used to move them so i could clean their brooding tub. The vet prescribed free swims for the injured duckling in warm water. I think the swimming helped us all bond together be cause we were spending so much time together.

    Around 2 months old they'll start acting afraid again but it passes quickly. Try not to loom over them or stand tall voer them . I squatted down or knelt and they calmed rigt back down. THeir instincts tell them to be afraid of anything bigger than them.

  8. madelineb

    madelineb Hatching

    Dec 13, 2015
    Thanks all [​IMG][​IMG] i have been feeding them there duck mix which i pollards (i think) they also get mashed peas which the love theyre currently covered in dry mush lol also finely chopper bok hot leaves and mashed banana and yoghurt they absolutely love all these foods!!


    I hatched these two!! My first and only atm along with 6 other chickens whick im 90% sure are all roos [​IMG] Im so attached because they were my first successful hatch so itll be sad to rehome these guys haha

    One of them is not as bad with me, and i did try quacking lol they looked at me like i was insane so glad my partner wasnt home hahaha they have had 2 swims now very short only a couple of mins but i feel bad taking them out because they take off trying to run away, but i will keep persisting [​IMG]
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    If you are feeding them anything other than their starter feed they will need chick grit to be able to "chew" it grit is very important.

    Have you tried sitting on the floor with them with your legs open and them on the inside on a towel? with crushed dried meal worms for treats? I say crushed since at 5 days a whole dried meal worm maybe a bit much.
  10. madelineb

    madelineb Hatching

    Dec 13, 2015
    @Miss Lydia
    They do have there starter feed too! I got a list of things of a post on here someone had written it was really informative, i just gove them other things as well as!! I have a few days off over xmas so im gonna to try and spend some "quality" time with them lol theyre absolutely amazing even if im not there biggest fan haha

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by