New ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wncmtns, May 5, 2017.

  1. wncmtns

    wncmtns New Egg

    May 5, 2017
    Hello, I have 5 juvenile ducks, 1 Pekin and 2 Rouen about 8 weeks we think and 2 Cayuga at about 6 weeks old.

    No problems, I have used this site for info and it has been very helpful! I have a couple of questions.

    They all currently live indoors in our house (it's a studio so one big room) in a baby pool we converted to a "pen" of sorts. They all seem happy. Lots of fresh water, food, treats, heat lamp, nice pine shavings bed and a view out the patio window. But even though we (my husband and I) spend as much time as we can interacting with them they still do not seem to like it when we first walk over to them or even walk past them (just getting up off the couch seems to rile them up) - they get loud and almost sound upset. Once we sit and give them treats they calm down. When it's bath time, we put them in the bath - literally - they seem to HATE us picking them up to take them to the tub. Sometimes we let them walk but sometimes it's easier to carry them because they haven't learned that when we take them out it's bathtime. They kick and squack (skwalk? Spelling?) when picked up. They squack and quack loudly and try and get away from us even though we hand feed them treats and have been trying to get them used to us. We got them at about 2-3 days old. I would have thought they knew us by now but they seem to be getting more stressed than domesticated if that makes sense. I would have thought they would be getting friendlier - they are a little spoiled haha. Just don't understand they still seem so wary of us.

    Also we haven't been able to sex them yet. I'm most curious about our Rouen's - which I know look alike as juveniles but neither of them have the white ring of feathers around their neck which is leading me to think they could both be female. They still look identical other than one is slightly bigger than the other. No idea on the Pekin but based on the deepness of it's quack we think possibly female. And no way to even tell the Cayuga's apart! They have a very pretty chirp when relaxed! They are slightly friendlier than the others. We don't want to have ended up with more males than females. We are in the process of building them an outdoor duck house but from everything I've read and heard from the local farm shop where we purchase supplies they are still too young to live outdoors full time. None of them are 100% feathered.

    Thank you for your help and I look forward to being part of this community!

    Bridger Davis likes this.
  2. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    Welcome to BYC!!!


    it sounds like you are doing everything very well!
    at this point they should not need a heat lamp esp inside
    and they should have most of their feathers and be able to go outside at least during the day and brought in at night

    keep up the good work!
    Bridger Davis likes this.
  3. jeroger2

    jeroger2 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2017
    Austin, TX
    How did your ducks turn out? Sexes? And temperament as adults?
  4. CarleeAnn

    CarleeAnn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2017
    Sounds like because you have so many they imprinted on each other and not you and your husband. I’m sure they alnowledge your existence but I don’t believe they will be too comfortable with being handled now. Perhaps you can sit with them in your lap (on a towel) in pairs so they don’t get scared not to be without the other one? I raised my two ducks in a very similar way, studio apartment with my husband, till two months and everything. Like DwaneNLiz said, no need for the heat lamp anymore. My ducks bin was also beside my bed, so I think that helped encourage them to imprint on us, but yours are older now so I am unsure it that would make a difference. When my two ducks were days old I had to sleep with one hand in their coop so they wouldn’t cry all night- they were such babies! And they did imprint on each other, they aren’t too fond of being held now (6 months) but they tolerate it. Keep up the hand feeding and when you’re relaxing just sit close to them! Good luck!
    DwayneNLiz likes this.
  5. CayugaJana

    CayugaJana Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 2, 2017
    Your ducks sound pretty normal to me. They may not ever like being picked up. It's in their nature. If they do come to like being picked up, they would be considered exceptions, not what generally happens. None of mine like to be picked up, but some tolerate it. And some sqwauk their heads off. I find the alpha has a lot of influence on the others. If the alpha is flighty then they will all be flighty. If you can get the alpha to be comfortable with you, then the others are likely to follow suit. I do a lot of petting when I give treats. When the others watch me pet their friend and the friend doesn't freak out and I didn't hurt them, they are a lot more inclined to let me touch them too. Also I never try to physically interact with them while standing up. I always crouch down or sit. If my neighbors would watch me, I'd bet they are laughing their heads off. Having a grown woman waddling around the yard like her ducks. :lau

    One more thing. If you have a safe place for them to go outside during the day, I would do it. They will love it.
    CarleeAnn likes this.

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