My ducklings hate me!


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 10, 2008
New Mexico
We got 3 Khacki campbell ducklings on Monday, they are 3 weeks old. They were hatched and raised to that point by their mom and dad. We have them in the garage in a "brooder" with a little bowl to swim and their food, water, straw, etc. Everytime I go out into the garage they freak out and nearly mall each other just trying to get further away. It's Wedensday now and they haven't shown any signs of trusting me at all.
Any suggestions? I understand that it could be more difficult for them because we took them away from their parents but I didn't anticipate such a dramatic respsonse everytime I opened the garage door. I'm also brooding chicks in the garage so the ducklings aren't alone, they can see the chicks.
It takes time.

I got mine as day olds, and they are now about a month and a half old. As babies they were handled every day and given treats. They still don't like me. They are just now getting to the point where they don't run away when they see me walking toward their coop.
Thanks! Today I have to change the hay and I'm almost dreading stirring them up that much...but it must be done! Yesterday I just sat in the garage and read just so that my presence was there and they could realize that I wasn't going to do anything to them.
Hi Tiffany!

We're in NM, too. (We also have two nigerian dwarf goats!)

We brooded our ducklings in the house and they got used to us and all of our noise quickly. They are messy, but I just kept chanting, "This stage will soon pass" under my breath. I set my eyes on a not too distant day when they'd be put outside and pretty soon they and their mess were out of the house.

None of our ducks like to be held, but we did have four that would come around every day and quack at the door wanting us to bring them food. It got so we'd let them inside for a snack by themselves (talk about a MESS!) because the others were picking on them. It was actually fun.

We have six kids and while they think their parents are strange, they love all of the kookiness!

Enjoy your ducklings, they'll get used to you!

Nearly every duck owner on here (including me) has posted this same complaint/concern. We got our 3 as day olds and they were sweet up to a point. Then all of a sudden they would run in fear. Don't worry, it's just their nature. They'll probably never be cuddly critters, but the are so cute and funny it makes up for it.

One of ours did "fall in love" with us when she hit puberty and would let us pet and hold her. Now she's back to keep just out of arm's reach.

I noticed, and this helped me to understand, that the duck's prey instinct is much, much higher than the chickens. They hear and see more and become much more attentive when something isn't right than the chickens do. This is one of the reasons they are so skittish around humans.

Just wait until you put them in the pool for the first time. You will laugh so hard you'll forget all about not being able to hold them!

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