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Please help me!! My ducklings are terrified of me!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by afisher, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. afisher

    afisher Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2016
    I need advice. I have 5 Khaki Campbell ducklings. They around 6 weeks old and I can't get them to warm up to me. I have had them since they were a few days old. I don't know what to do. The only time they like me is when I have treats. They live in the house, out in our breezeway, so they hear our voices all the time. I take them swimming in the tub every night and feed them treats right after. I take each one out of the tub and hold them for a few minutes and talk to them. Then when I have them all in the tote (I use it to carry them back and forth) I put my hand in there and pet each one. Some of them don't mind and others act like I'm trying to kill them. It seems like I have 2 or 3 that don't mind me but when they get with the other ones they are all terrified. I have done everything I can think of. I get so frustrated because I do some much for them and I love them so much and I feel like they hate me. Any ideas on what to do or am I just stuck with ducks that are terrified of me? It upsets me so much that I don't know if I should keep them, maybe they would be happier somewhere else? I got them for pets first, layers second. And I still don't know how many females and males I have. I'll take any advice I can get. Maybe I had my hopes to high for them. Do you think it will get better when I have them in a pen outside that I can get into with them? I'm feeling hopeless right now. Its hard taking care of something and loving something and it is completely terrified when it sees you (unless you have treats). Thanks.
     
  2. fourkidsandduck

    fourkidsandduck Out Of The Brooder

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    You have to remember that ducks are natural a pray animal. They have natural instincts to be scared. Don't let it bring you down [​IMG] With that said, as my ducks grew older they became more welcoming. When they were young they were scared. Now every time I walk past my sliding door my ducks freak out and start trying to climb the fence to greet me.

    I would have treats with you all the time, every time you interact. I would associate you with treats.Over time with both treats and time I would be willing to bet they will warm up. They are still young [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. afisher

    afisher Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much. That makes me feel a lot better and gives me hope. I will definitely make sure I have treats with me every time I interact with them. I hope the older they get they will realize I'm not here to hurt them.
     
  4. AimToMisbehave

    AimToMisbehave Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had very experiences with both of my sets of ducklings; one group of seven that I got at 2 weeks old, and one trio that I got at 3 days old. Every day, I sat next to the brooder with them for hours, talked to them, fed them, gave them treats, took them for swims and dried them gently with warm towels and they were STILL terrified of me! Of course, I have Runners, which I've read tend to be more nervous than a lot of other breeds, but I was really crushed when they continued to avoid me after weeks of care. They didn't get over it until they had their adult feathers in, but now they follow me all over the yard, run up to greet my car through the fence when I pull in, and even run up to the house when they see me in a window! They're still not cuddlers, but I still outweigh them 20:1, so I can't really blame them for a little dodgeyness, and they eat out of my hands and let me pet them, so I'm happy with our relationship.

    They're in a flock, so they'll bond closer with each other than they will with you, and one particular scaredy can set the whole group scrambling (though one extra brave duck can also bring the whole group back). It's like trying to raise an entire litter of puppies; of course they'll identify more with their own kind, so it'll be harder to forge an interspecies bond. And @fourkidsandduck was spot-on about the fact that they are prey animals, so they're naturally going to be nervy, especially as babies with no mother standing over them.
     
  5. afisher

    afisher Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much. That sounds exactly like what I have been doing, and I haven't been able to figure out why they still don't like me. I feel much better now and more hopefully they will warm up to me. I had another question for both of you about leg issues. I have been having a problem with a couple of them not being able to stand for long periods of time. I gave them niacin in their water around 4 weeks, when I noticed the issue. After about a week I didn't feel like it was working. So now I have been giving them nutritional yeast in their food. About a tablespoon for every cup. They all seem to be doing better, except for one. She is always sitting by herself and cant stand for long periods of time. When she does stand for too long her legs start to shake until they just can't hold her up any longer. I don't know what else to do. She doesn't seem to be in pain, she just can't stand up for very long. I don't know if she isn't eating enough food. I also feed them treats (usually peas) and take them swimming in the tub every night. I am very worried about her and would appreciate any advice. Someone on here said she may have an infection. She does have what sounds like a little sniffle when she breathes. Should I give her some antibiotics? Can I put it in the water for all of them to drink? I have given them all Sav-A-Chick electrolytes twice last week, but I don't think that is enough. Thanks.
     
  6. NewMotherDuck7

    NewMotherDuck7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2016
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    My ducklings have became afraid of me too, but my peking is mostly okay with me. My other one (I'm not sure what breed it is) is frightened of me, he runs and peeps and hides behind my peking. I'm hoping they'll warm up to me more as they grow. My Peking likes to sit with me so far but he's a little unsure of me sometimes despite the fact that when I talk to him he turns his head and lifts his kneck up at me, it's so cute!
     
  7. arrowti

    arrowti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Strange question: what color clothes are you wearing? I usually wear blacks and greys and dark colours and the ducks are fine. The one time I put on a brightly coloured coat, the ducks were terrified of me! They went running for the hills, the females making their loud alarm call they sound when they see a predator. They may just be skittish, but I've found they're more friendly when I wear darker clothing and run away with brighter clothing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. AimToMisbehave

    AimToMisbehave Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know if it's the colors themselves or just the unexpected change, but mine got skittish for a bit after I cut and colored my hair once! Like they didn't quite recognize me anymore.




    I can't really help with very many health issue questions, since I've been lucky enough to have pretty healthy ducks so far (knock on wood). The omly trouble I've had was some wobbling and unsteadiess in one of the three-day-olds, and that eventually cleared up after a couple weeks with Brewers yeast in their food (which I did until they were old enough to go outside). One of the people who always seems to be a great help is @Amiga, so she might have advice for you?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    While much of the time, extra vitamins can help, I am wondering if this little one might have an infection - the best is to get help from a vet.

    But if there is no way, then you need to consider giving antibiotics, or perhaps a natural antimicrobial. Infections can progress rapidly, so I would not wait before looking into your options.

    Oregano is sometimes used, and colloidal silver - please do your research, natural remedies can have their risks as much as commercial antibiotics.

    You'll need a way to weigh the duckling, because dosages are given in ratios, like milligrams of medicine per kilogram of duck weight.

    Now, on a different tack - what kind of niacin did you give? Was it no-flush or timed release? Storey's Guide recommends plain niacin.

    Have you tried probiotics? I would definitely get some going with her, regardless.
     
  10. afisher

    afisher Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2016

    Thank you for all of the information!! I really appreciate it. I don't think I can get her to a vet, so I would like to try the oregano. How would I give that to her. Does she need to be seperated? I'm going to go get them so probitics in the morning. I used non flush free niacin but I didn't feel like it was dissolving in their water very well. That's why I moved on to the the yeast. She does everything the other ducks do. So just doesn't seem to have the strength to hold herself up for long periods of time.
     

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