Petting Ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Angelsoft, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Angelsoft

    Angelsoft New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2012
    So we've gotten two little Mallard ducklings. Not really sure how old they are but here's a pic we took of them yesterday:
    [​IMG]

    We've never raised ducks before but I think we're doing ok. They're currently staying in a sectioned off are of the pen we keep our chicks in, in the chicken coop. Getting fed Flock Raiser with grit, heat lamp and daily baths in the bathroom (or outside, weather permitting). Anyway my main question is, we've had them for a week and they're still terrified of us. The freak out when we go to get them from the pen or out of the water. I'm worried we're stressing them out because they get really scared. As in frantically trying to escape by diving or climbing up the sides of the tub. I've tried to pet them while I hold them to make the experience nicer, but I'm not sure if I'm helping or making things worse. I'll scratch the back of their necks and stroke the top of their heads and they'll sometimes quiet down but they tremble a lot. So is there any specific spot ducks really like being petted? Ways I can make their bath times less terrifying? It's when they get their 'treats' (mostly bok choy lately) and they seem to love it but..I feel bad :( Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    [​IMG] . It just takes some time for them to warm up to you. I'd consider adding treats when your petting them such as peas.
     
  3. Lovely Emily

    Lovely Emily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2012
    Down the front of the neck and the breast seems to calm waterfowl down for me. Essentially, you'd do best getting them as day olds so the ducklings actually imprint on you (imprinting means that they believe you are mama because you are the first big thing they remember seeing) Elder ducklings like these, I find, don't warm up to me like ducklings that have been coddled from day olds. Try and spend at least an hour with them each day, holding them, getting them used to you, letting them learn your voice, and always be calm around them. All the ducklings I've ever had hate the top of there heads petted, but that might be just me. I hope this helps your ducklings become less afraid of you!

    Emily
     
  4. ducklover700

    ducklover700 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had my ducklings for a little over a week now, and they're still pretty skittish as well. Some of it is their own personality, but a lot of patience goes into ducks as well. I noticed that if I bring treats, they're a lot more happy to see me! [​IMG]

    Also, if you try just letting them out of their pen, and sitting on the ground with them they may eventually come up to you, looking for attention. My babies have been pretty shy, but when I sit down for a few minutes they calm down, and my male will actually jump right into my lap, looking for somewhere warm to snuggle-usually the crook of my arm. Just let them come to you! :) ( I find that mine LOVE kale.)
     
  5. Amy S

    Amy S Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are darlings!!! [​IMG]

    Ducklover700 said exactly what I was about to say..... treats and getting down closer to their level. I don't get them out as much as other family members, but they do recognize me as the lady who brings the lettuce in the morning. They LUV lettuce. I chop some up into little bits and float it in a small dish. Leave in for about 5-10 mins, then pick up dish and anything they haven't devoured so as to not have it spoil under the brooder heat. I've noticed that free-time on the floor with any one of us really helps to calm them down, too.
     
  6. DeCanard

    DeCanard Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with the previous posts. My ducklings don't like to be held, but will run to me when I offer treats (and will even jump onto my lap). Sometimes it is hard to calm them down, but talking to them usually helps. [​IMG]
     

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