My Pekin Ducks don't like me!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ellie97, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2011
    I have hand-raised my Pekin ducks since they were little babies but they are still terrified of me! I thought these ducks were supposed to be really people-friendly...
  2. gertiie

    gertiie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2011
    Warsaw, Indiana
    Are ducks like chickens ? Can you win them over with food and treats ?
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    ellie97, it's heart breaking when ducks don't respond to our friendliness. But it's not hopeless. I found it took hours and hours and loads of effort, but we got through their adolescence (when they acted as if I were the runner duck axe murderer) and some time later several of them began to let me easily pet them and pick them up, and all of my ten runners are very sweet and friendly and cooperative, though some of them are still a little shy.

    Peas (thawed from frozen, or fresh) helped quite a bit. So did recognizing the things that scare them. For a while, anything coming at them from above sent them into panic. Singing lullabies every night can help (I'm not the only one who does that), routines, and just time near them. I mean, serious time. Like, at least half an hour three times a day - if you can spend an hour sitting with them - just sitting with them - it will help. You might try sitting in a safe space (no other people or animals, no loud music or TV, just you and the ducks), with a cup of peas. Roll a few peas toward them. Wait. They may take them, or not at first, but most ducks (not all) love peas. Perhaps say a special word while you're giving them peas.

    Each time you give them peas, place the peas a little closer to you. Eventually, put the peas on your legs or right next to you, put some in your open hand on the floor. Resist the urge to reach for the ducks for the first few times you do this.

    I used to sit in the brooder pen after cleaning it out and just let the ducks pull on my clothes or sit on my legs or pull my hair. When they were about three weeks old, they became terrified of me. So I had to start all over again socializing them. But it worked, and now I have the best flock of runners ever (IMHO).
  4. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    From my limited experience they tend to go through phases....I can get my mallards and Pekins to eat out of my hand but if they think I am going to pick them up? They panic and RUN! Ducks are prey....we look like predators...we act strange wanting to "cuddle" with them.They think that big hands and big faces are trying to EAT them.It's natural instinct.I think people have the impression that ducks as a rule will be as friendly as a dog or a cat.Not true in my experience.I am constantly paying( too much )attention to my birds...and they STILL act afraid at times.It depends on what I am doing...if I am walking towards their pen with a hose? They get happy....if I have tomatoes in my hand or grass...they flip! They Jump up to grab them from me.If I walk in there looking to catch one for whatever reason...they know....and they panic...I'm sure there are people on here who have friendlier ducks...and I think some even have house ducks that are probably downright bold [​IMG] but as for me? They are brooded in the house...and once they go outside,I try NOT to have to pick them up....they DON"T like it! I try to respect their wishes as much as possible.I am sure there are ducks out there that are much more mellow than mine but I haven't personally met one ...yet [​IMG] I will continue trying though...and if they stay the way they are now? That's ok too...
    ETA I think AMIGA is right...getting them to that level? Takes a LOT of time and patience...also consistency [​IMG] Good luck [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  5. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    My ducks were hand raised as well, and I spent quite a bit of time with them. I have mallards, pekins and campbells.....they all think I am the devil. I am slowly winning them over with treats though. They love peas and fresh chopped greens. They run over and quack at me when they see me with the pan now.
  6. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2011
    Thanks so much for all of your advice! I'm so glad I'm not the only one whose ducks are terrified of them! I thought maybe I had done something wrong in raising them. I'll get some treats for them and start bribing them! [​IMG] I at least need them to allow me to pick them up, because I have to move them to a cage every night to protect them from the coyotes. Thanks again! [​IMG]
  7. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh they wont be like that forever. Wait till they are a bit older. The boys will want to be your boyfriend and do the deed with your leg!! Then you can have all the loving you want from them [​IMG]
  8. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada

    er, not sure if OP is looking for that kinda "friendly"
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    try peas. I have a routine, every night after we move them... right now we lack a proper 'duck house' so there hanging out in my horse trailer [​IMG] i kneel down with a bowl of peas.. i make them come to me.. i won't reach out to touch them or anything just talk.. but it makes them have to trust me if they want the peas.. my biggest which i swear has to be a drake as he has that 'i'm the boss attitude' still sorta hesitates but the food wins it over especially seeing the other gobbling them down [​IMG]

    I am pretty realistic though, they are prey animals, i don't really expect them to be cats or dogs.. i have plenty of those anyways.. i'd just be happy with them not thinking i am a coon and will be eating them at any moment.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

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