New duck going crazy

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by duckman4450, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. duckman4450

    duckman4450 Chirping

    Aug 1, 2012
    Earlier today I picked up a hen mallard for my current hen mallard bubbles so she had a friend. I bought her from the same person i got bubbles and i was told she is around 8 weeks old. When I got home I opened the crate I used to transport her and she started quaking and running away. I tried to catch her for over an hour because I knew if I left her alone she would run away. I managed to get her into the garage after she nearly flew across the street. Then she got stuck under my refrigerator and it took me and my family another hour+ to get her out. Then we put her in bubbles cage and let her be for a few hours. I recently got her out to take a bath and she was going crazy as I was trying to get her out of the cage. I got her in the bath and every time I would move she would go nuts quacking a diving under water. Then I wrapped her in a blanket and I'm currently holding her. No matter what I do or if I say anything or stand up she will not move a muscle. It looks like she's frozen. Her pupils are gigantic also. If I set her on the ground she immediately starts quacking loud and running. She's obviously in shock and scared, but should I return her and get a younger one, or give her time? Also I put her with bubbles and they were both drinking and the new duck started attacking her. What should I do? :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012

  2. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Songster

    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    You are right that the new duck is very frightened. That's understandable, since her old flock has disappeared and everything is new and unknown. I would avoid too much pressure on her at this point (so, no more picking her up and holding her for a while). Can you divide your duck pen so that the two ducks are side by side but separated by a barrier (like some wire or plastic mesh)? This would allow them to get to know each other safely and gradually. Try to avoid things that the duck may find threatening, like being stared at. Give her some space (just change food and water and leave treats in the pen). She needs to learn that you are non-threatening and a source of good things. At 8 weeks she is just a baby :) She is probably a bit young to go in with an adult. Maybe try again in a couple of weeks if they seem to be getting on ok through the mesh barrier.

    I'm sure that all this is not the way you pictured it though.... Let us know how things are going. I'm sure that others will have advice and ideas too :)
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    If it helps, we are in the process of introducing new buffs to the runner/Romy flock.

    The idea is that to have a few other buffs like herself might be some kind of small comfort, or at least a distraction, for Romy after losing her bff.

    Einz still yells, sometimes Fünf yells, we have had some sumo wrestling, a couple of runners chasing Romy, or other runners, Carmella and Hazel (new buffs) wrestling, lots of edgy energy.

    It is not pretty.

    And, it is normal and healthy - duck relationships are sophisticated and complex. Really. I am not trying to be funny. And they have to work it out, and that takes time.

    I keep asking myself, "are we there yet??" We will get there. But in the meantime I am sad and a little tense because it is not fun for me. A number of runners, and the new drake, Bean, and Romy mostly, hang back and don't get involved in the agida. For that I am eternally grateful.

    So. Have some nice herbal tea, talk to the ducks quietly from a distance, do as 70%cocoa suggests. And remember you are doing a good thing. [​IMG]Bubbles needs company. And eight week old ducks tend to be extremely hypervigilant. It is their survival mechanism.
  4. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Songster

    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    When I added my two Old Ladies (as we affectionally call them!) to our flock, they acted peculiarly. The first evening, they both ran straight from the crate directly into the pen. Based on my quick observation the next morning, the flock looked really together, but as soon as I opened the gate allow free range time, total chaos broke out. The Old Ladies took off South and I literally chased them around the field for at least an hour. What worked very well for us was setting up a temporary fence (just the 3' tall green garden stuff) complete with food and water, and the Old Ladies got to meet the flock thru the fence. My ducks were super curious about the newcomers, but it worked really well here. My neighbor told me to be prepared to do this for a month or longer, however I think it took no longer than 2 weeks. Ymmv. I say biggest message is be patient.

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