My ducks run away from us now and I don't know why!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Andora, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I recently got some ducklings from TSC--two mallards and four pekins. The first week or so they were extremely friendly. We took them out every day and hand fed them and played with them, and they would follow us around the yard anywhere we went. We even took them for walks down the sidewalk and they would follow right along!

    Then one day they stopped following and started running away. [​IMG] Now it's all we can do to catch them, the mallards especially are very fast and flighty. They won't come and eat food from our hands anymore or anything. I'm so sad! They are about a month old now, and at night when it's time to go into the coop we spend forever chasing them down and putting them up. I've tried luring them in with food but it doesn't work. Will they ever go into the coop on their own at night? Spending 45 minutes chasing ducks every evening at dusk is getting a bit tiring!

    Any advice on how to make them friendly again would be appreciated!

    Also, is there anything we can do about their sharp toenails? The pekins especially keep cutting my toddler with their nails, ouch! I never realized ducks had nails...
  2. vickie2133

    vickie2133 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2009
    I had hatched off some Mallards and when it was time for them to go outside, I was kind of leary of them being the babies out in a yard, with no protection. so I took the day off work LOL and went to a auction and bought two grown female ducks, and they are kind of teaching my ducks the ropes.

    I was spending all night also, but now I quack (yes I said I am quacking now LOL), and put their feed in and quack some more and tonight they went right in. My daughter just thought I had totally lost it LOL.
  3. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    becoming more skittish and running away is normal. My ducks live inside and think they are people and i still have to use a herding stick and chase after them.

    I would not let your toddlers pick up or play too much with the ducks. the scratches can be paintful and can get infected. I've had one get infected, and i have two bad permanant scars... You can clips their nails or use a pedipaws but it's very hard to hold them down, they freak out, oh and when your done you've either hurt their toes and made them bleed, or you cut just enough but you still get scratches anyways, lol.....
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I am soaking all this up as I await the arrival of my duck babies. Nettie I have been considering one of those petipaw thingys for the dogs, cats, chickens and ducks...are they any good?

    When I had a chick with a overbite, I used the dremel tool and it was really quick.
  5. headred

    headred Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2009
    Haha on the quacking, but that seems to be what I would think would work too. I am glad to see this post as my ducks have done the same thing. Friendly at first and now just run! They are 6 weeks old and I have not let them out of the pen yet to run the yard. Wanting to do that soon but I'm also worried about getting them back in at night. They still eat out of my hand in the pen and warm up after I talk to them a bit and they realize its me. I started a website for the ducks and already have a future vision of my DH photographing me running all over the yard to catch them!
  6. baldie

    baldie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2008
    Douglas, MA
    Quote:That doesn't mean you lost it!! [​IMG] You have just reached in touch with your inner duck!! I think its cool!! I have ducks due soon, I am very nervous. But I will have no problem quacking at them, so thanks for the advice!! [​IMG]
  7. allaboutdemchicks

    allaboutdemchicks Chapel Farms

    Sep 13, 2008
    Jemison, AL
    I've own ducks off and on beginning about 18 years ago. The group I currently have were hand raised and did the exact same as you were discribing. These are the first that I've ever keep inside a coop, (the others where Mallards that lived on a pond) this is normal behavior for them to be fearful, I just don't push myself on them but rather allow them to come to me on their own by learning that I AM the treat-giver. I taught them by dropping the treats in their direction and over time getting the treats closer and closer and always keeping my hand out with a bit on there so they become use to the outstretched hand. They are always curious with treats but this does take time. And I still have a couple that just show no interest in eating out of my hand. You know, I'm fine with this relationship...ducks are never going to be the cuddly lap puppy or kitten that you invision them to be. (Okay, Nettie's are the exception)

    I began letting mine free-range when they were around around 2 months old. I had to chase them out of the pen! And then chase them back in. They never go further than say 20 feet from their pen, and for the first time last week, they went back in on their own! I was so proud of them. Still, last night, they just sat around the pen and I had to walk behind them but they squrried right in like sweet little ducks. It has gotten much easier to get them back in at dusk but that first week....whew!

  8. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Yeah, mine would follow me for weeks... now they're all full grown and forget it..... they run so fast I can't catch them. They only come close when they know I have food, and even that is always at least 3 feet away at all time.

    Real bummer!
  9. Picklestix7866

    Picklestix7866 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2009
    Thawing Minnesota
    I had four Mallard ducks. Three of them hated people because they were used for dog training (not by me!) and the last one was the only one that hatched out of my incubator. He was so friendly until I took him outside to live with his duck friends. Then he became just like them. They would walk in a straight line around the yard looking for bugs and stuff and when it was time to go in I had to walk behind with my arms out like an airplane and herd them back in. If they started to wander to the right I had to start drifting to the right and wave my right arm. Pretty soon the got it figured out and it was easy to herd them in. Especially if you have two people, one to do the herding and one to stand on the other side of the door to make sure they don't overshoot it and do another circle around the coop. I had to sell them though. They had a major issue with picking on ducks smaller then them so I'm pretty sure they would kill my Call ducklings. [​IMG]
  10. rlhbond

    rlhbond Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2009
    Mocksville, NC
    Quote:My cats and dogs FREAKED when I tried to use a pedipaws on them. Maybe you'll have better luck though. I believe they gave valium to the animals in the commercial. Hey, maybe if I gave my cats and dogs valium it would work for them too![​IMG]

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