1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

New duck owner, some questions!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kaala, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Kaala

    Kaala In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2016

    I recently hatched three baby ducks (Two Swedish Blacks and one Rouen) as of the 21st of this month. So far everything has been going well, they're growing fast, a lot faster than I had expected. However, I have some questions that seemed to be in need of answering, or maybe some helpful tips.

    I know ducks once they hatch imprint on what they think is their mama, but for some reason at five days old, they're very suspicious of me. Now this is on and off, whenever they're in their brooding box, one in particular sees to be less interested in me giving him attention, outside of the brooding box, they all love to climb all over me and aren't all that frightened. Did they not imprint, or am I approaching them wrong? Casually they sit on my shoulders from time, so I mean maybe its just because I'm a huge creature that looks nothing like a duck to them? I have no idea. I might also add that when I'm not in view they cry, but once I am they go about their business, its confusing and misleading; in short I don't want to cause them so much stress they die, but I wan't them to get used to me.

    This is my first time owning these little babies, and aside from their constant pooping (which most birds can't really help) they've been great, I'm a very overbearing mama though as I panic over them a lot. I was hoping someone here knew good types of treats to give them at five days old? So far I've gotten answers such as, Watermelon, hard boiled eggs (but really mushed up and not too much), and soft mushed up peas. Anyone have anything else that is healthy for them?

    As I mentioned before I am new to owning ducks, or poultry of any kind and other than being really confused about how they feel about my presence, I love them.

    Any advice is welcomed!


  2. Virus

    Virus Songster

    May 21, 2015
    They have imprinted on you. They cry when they can't see you because they don't know where mommy went and when you come back they feel safe to go about their day. Is the brooder on the floor? If it is then you'll be leering over them to pick them up which makes them feel like a hawk or something is after them. It's normal for ducklings to run from humans, it's a natural instinct to run from big things looming over them. It doesn't mean they don't like you. They are also too young to start recognizing faces yet, they need to be about a week old to do that, so right now they're mostly going by voice. I cut up greens very, very thin and put it in their water so they can have a floating salad and hard boiled eggs as a little treat.
    1 person likes this.
  3. jennifleur

    jennifleur Songster

    Jan 14, 2015
    Mother duck and ducklings interact differently than humans. Mommy duck doesn't pick up, hug or pet her babies ever. She stays near them, constantly. She doesn't stare love struck at her darling fluffy cuties. She watches everything else, looking for predators. On guard for signs of danger. She teaches them important duck life skills by being a duck. She eats, drinks, noodles, baths and does important duck stuff. The whole time the ducklings watch her like a hawk and mimic her. She is their rock star. If they lose her, it's the end of the world, a disaster! They will die a horrible death. The only chance they have is start peeping at the top of their lungs. Hopefully mom is still close .... When mom rushes back ready to do battle, the little duck rushes to her. It opens its mouth and make a trilling happy, omg I love you! sound while staring at her face. Mom might touch the duckling on the head briefly with her bill. That's it, that's the happy reunion. Back to duck business for both. The active relationship is often done by the duckling. If it's cold, it walks under the mom and snuggles up to the lovely warm soft ceiling that is mom. It presses or snuggles up to her. It leaves when it feels like it. If it's scared it runs to, or looks to the mom. She faces off to the danger, she doesn't run around trying to gather up chicks. She doesn't fuss over and comfort them afterwards. Her just being there is comforting and loving them.

    Monster moms do things differently. When a duckling calls us and we drop everything to go see what's wrong. We expect some hugs and snuggles. That the job isn't done until somebody is petted and kissed. That's really freaky for ducks. They can get used to it....but it's weird. Than we disappear again. We keep leaving. When the ducklings are scared we freak out and thunder around on our gianourmous tall pink legs and chase the ducklings too! What the heck?! Your scaring the crap out of me mom!
    We stare at them all the time, like they are food. What, What, what are you looking at!!!!! Maybe she is staring at danger, danger right behind me, about to eat me. It's a fox isn't it, a big drooling fox.
    It's hard to snuggle and find their soft warm ceilings. You can crawl up and up, only to end up perched someplace high with nowhere else to go, but hey! There's moms face! The best part! It's not grabby like those other things she's always shooting out at me.
    I'm a monster mom trying to learn to be more of a co-duck mom. My ducks tend to meet me in the middle. We are a blended flock. Until those hormones kick in....that's a whole different kettle of fish.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  4. Kaala

    Kaala In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2016
    Lmao I've never thought of it that way, I suppose you're right. Funny bit is, my two little Swedish Blacks are the most comfortable around me, its my Rouen that is very nervous. You made a great point, and made it interesting to read too as well as made sense of a lot of the things they tend to do. Cold truth, I'm not a duck, so this is wigging out their instincts, thank you! I'll keep this all in mind.

    Thank you! Unfortunately yes, its a brooder on the floor. Makes me wish I could get something more to their level but I have no table for it. Thank you, I'll look into giving them a small treat soon!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by