My ducks don’t like me anymore and won’t swim

GcandJdinMe

Hatching
Apr 7, 2020
6
1
8
I have ducks for the first time. I Raised three ducklings (pekin, Swedish grey, buff) and it was awesome. I did all the things they liked and needed. They got field trips outside, I Gave them regular and supervised baths since about 2 weeks old. They are treats from my hand daily. I handled them regularly and would carry them across the yard when they got tired. I even nursed my handicapped pekin back to full health (niacin deficiency is VERY sad and happens super quick. Bless this community for the advice on how to act fast and help them!)

They followed me around and would come when called at the sound of my voice.it was adorable.

Then at about 7 weeks old they outgrew the brooder and went to live in the coop+tractor with chickens of the same age.

Ever since then, they HATE ME!!! I don’t know what happened?? They run away and scream in terror any time I come near. As if I do anything but bring them the expensive dried meals worms from TSC. 🙄

I also got them a kiddie pool for the yard to swim in and they don’t like it. They never get in on their own. Every 5-6 days they get so dirty that I put them in the kiddie pool and they seem to enjoy it a bit (splashing, head dunking, underwater zooms) but then they get out again after ... 6 minutes?? What is happening here.
 

dazza1965

Songster
Dec 29, 2013
67
15
101
They dont hate you. Its normal. I raised 2 ducklings last year. Both fully grown, 1 died sadly earlier this year. Dont know why possibly ate some rat poison somehow or something else.
Both ducklings would take food out of our hands. I could pet one of them than as they got older, started doing their own thing. The remaining duckling still eats out of my hand. But not every time. I do have 2 other ducks so she's not alone😉 I'm sure your ducklings will come back to you.
 

cheezenkwackers

Crowing
Aug 28, 2016
1,142
1,761
262
Memphis, TN
They go through a scaredy-cat phase, it will pass. Are you sure they can easily get in and out of the pool? Did something scare them when they were in it? You might try floating some of those expensive meal worms in the pool, leaf lettuce too. My ducks love to eat while swimming.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
1,032
2,463
231
Western Washington
They go through a scaredy-cat phase, it will pass. Are you sure they can easily get in and out of the pool? Did something scare them when they were in it? You might try floating some of those expensive meal worms in the pool, leaf lettuce too. My ducks love to eat while swimming.
Or peas? Have you tried those? Mine love only peas. Once they mature the will settle down. You should come visit the daily with treats and sit on the ground so you don’t tower over them and just sit with them
 

DukesDucks

Chirping
Oct 6, 2019
94
182
79
Eastern Ontario, Canada
When my ducks were young I put a series of rocks around the kiddie pool so they could get in easily. Noticed they had difficulty getting out so put more rocks inside pool to help them. It is a bit of a nuisance when it comes to dumping the water but they didn't need this help very long. I have Muscovy ducks. They never spend very long in the pool but they sure enjoy a good splashing session.
 

GcandJdinMe

Hatching
Apr 7, 2020
6
1
8
Thanks everyone!! Glad to know this is somewhat normal. The ducks are about 3 months now. I hope this is the “scaredy cat” phase and it passes. I really love those little flappers and it really bums me out when they run away. I have been quietly hand feeding the treats every day while crouching low. They have been coming over (and leaving as soon as the treats are gone!) I tried peas in the pool but they didn’t float so now I have a pea-bottom pool 🤷🏻‍♀️ Oh well. I’m going to do a pool assessment soon and try to make it more appealing anyways. Great idea about the rocks inside and out. The pool has also gotten a bit dirty so I’ll change the water too ... maybe they will appreciate that.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
1,032
2,463
231
Western Washington
Thanks everyone!! Glad to know this is somewhat normal. The ducks are about 3 months now. I hope this is the “scaredy cat” phase and it passes. I really love those little flappers and it really bums me out when they run away. I have been quietly hand feeding the treats every day while crouching low. They have been coming over (and leaving as soon as the treats are gone!) I tried peas in the pool but they didn’t float so now I have a pea-bottom pool 🤷🏻‍♀️ Oh well. I’m going to do a pool assessment soon and try to make it more appealing anyways. Great idea about the rocks inside and out. The pool has also gotten a bit dirty so I’ll change the water too ... maybe they will appreciate that.
😂leaving once the treats are gone? Mine do that too, brats
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 13, 2015
883
1,607
281
Carnation, Wa
My ducks like me a lot. They hear my car pull up and they shout quack at me to come to their aviary. They head bob at me when they see me coming. They come when I call. They put their heads in my lap and gaze up at me adoringly. But... When the treats are gone they usually go drink water and start to forage nearby. I'm not offended. They are busy and have stuff to do. They are very serious about foraging. But when they are tired they nap at my feet.

I tamed 3 ducks who were absolutely terrified of me. The following method worked very well for me. I paid close attention to anything that made my ducks feel anxious and avoided doing it. I wanted them to not associate me with scary things. So I walked slowly. I announced that I was arriving so I didn't startle them. I didn't stare at them like a predator. I didn't walk in a direct line toward them, but walked in big circles around them. Then I tried to get them to associate me with possitive experiences. Everytime they saw me I gave them a favorite food. I wanted them to think, "I hope that human with the food comes soon." Instead of, "oh my goodness here comes the scary human!" And I spent lots of time around them being still, reading a book, knitting, napping, stuff like that.
 

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