MY DUCKS ARE TERRIFIED OF ME!

DuckyBoi22

In the Brooder
Sep 28, 2020
15
5
24
how old are they? If they're under 4 weeks you should probably hold off on the treat overload, they're growing a LOT in their first 4 weeks and really need their diet to consist of proper duck food instead of filling up on treats. You can do a LITTLE bit of treats under 4 weeks, but you need to mash whatever it is up for them - bananas or scrambled eggs, mashed potato, plain yogurt.

Once they're older they can have most fruits and veggies, start by cutting them up small (like quartering a grape) until theyve reached their full adult size.

Treats should still be only about 10% of their diet - they're TREATS afterall.

When you give them treats make sure they have access to the appropriate sized grit.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/the-ultimate-list-of-duck-treats-and-supplements.242460/


As for making them like you - understand that ducks are prey animals, with a very strong instinct to fear basically everything bigger faster or louder than them. Even ducks that *know* you for years can be easily startled by you if you act like a predator (which is to say if you act completely normal)

Try not to move quickly or stomp around, try not to loom over them. If you want to get down on their level try to squat straight down instead of bending overtop them. Get on the ground with them as low as you can and just be with them for a while every day. If you need to catch them, very slowly and calmly back them into a corner where you can crouch down and pick them up, dont chase them from overhead. When you do reach out to them, try to keep your hands and arms low and come at them from below instead of overtop.

And know that ducks go through a moody teenager phase where they just dont wanna be bothered. They'll come back around with time and patience.
THANK YOU!!!!! I had no idea about grit and everything else everything here is a major help to me! THANK YOUUUU!!! (note their 1 and a half weeks old)
 

Magnolia Ducks

Crowing
Jan 24, 2018
4,066
11,515
482
Magnolia, TX
You also should get them on a duck starter or Flock raiser or all flock starter. Chicken feed doesn't have enough niacin for ducks. A little romain chopped fine would be good if you get grit. In a couple of weeks you can give them thawed frozen peas. Also, don't approach them from overhead. Looks like a big hawk claw coming to get them. Just hang you hand in the broader and leave it there.
 

DucksOhio

Crowing
Oct 17, 2016
677
1,305
261
Northeast Ohio
I raised my entire flock while wearing a baseball cap, now my ducks are terrified of me if I am not wearing it. If I have the hat on, they run right up to me with tails wagging expecting peas. If not, I wonder for a split second the reason they’re so terrified then it hits me “ah the cap”
That's so true. I usually wear pretty simple, unpatterned clothing around my ducks, but a week or so ago, it was cold and I wore a new flannel shirt. They were terrified of me! Ditto with my bright yellow rain slicker.
 

ElizH

In the Brooder
Jun 19, 2020
29
72
43
All of my ducklings have started out being terrified of me, BUT around week 4, I've generally won them over.

This is how I did it... Holding them everyday for a couple minutes and hanging around them - making sure they hear me talking and get used to me just being around. Once they're big enough - (I started around 2 weeks) anytime I came around I had a couple peas (starting with like a spoonful) in my hand. They LOVE peas. (I'd just buy a big bag of frozen peas and toss half a handful in water to let them defrost before going near the brooder) I started by putting the peas on the ground for the first two days and letting them check the out - eat them.... The third day I held the peas out in my hand and waited for what felt like 5 whole minutes before they decided they wanted them bad enough to risk taking them from my hand. Repeat everyday so now whenever they see me they go nuts, running at me, nipping at my hands looking for those peas.

One of my ducks, Nell, laid in my lap for about 2 hours while I worked on a crochet project last week - only occasionally having to be reminded yarn isn't food. 😅 Once you secure your place as "the snack lady" they can be really loving.
 

ElizH

In the Brooder
Jun 19, 2020
29
72
43
That's so true. I usually wear pretty simple, unpatterned clothing around my ducks, but a week or so ago, it was cold and I wore a new flannel shirt. They were terrified of me! Ditto with my bright yellow rain slicker.
I always try to talk to mine before I get too close and it helps some but this is so true! Mine didn't like it the first time I wore long sleeves - they wouldn't take food out of my hands until I pushed my sleeves up - as if my sleeves near my hands were somehow dangerous.
 

PatriciafromCO

Songster
Aug 17, 2016
135
166
126
this is my second set of ducks my first ducks Star hybrids all lived for 15-16 years and they were always run away from me. But they were the best behaved in the barnyard. always listening and following directions. So it wasn't too bad they had their own little world but were always listening and I loved having them.

my second group, same little freaks lol... I just rolled my eyes and let them be. When they got too big for their tub they were starving too afraid to compete with the older birds in the barn. They were so hungry they fell all over me when I finally able to herd them to an isolated area and offer them food which they took from my hand. Now I can't get rid of them lol... as soon as they hear my voice come in the barn or sit down on the ground they right there jumping in my lap..

getting them into a small area and sitting down with them with food. They always hungry lol... hope you can break the ice with them.. They kind of cute not being freaks.....
 

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