Possibly being too concerned about duck behaviour?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jemima Duck, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Jemima Duck

    Jemima Duck Chirping

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    I have gotten a pair of male and female Runner ducks about a week ago (9 weeks old), that I have been letting have run of my garden (probably about 15x20 meters?). The first couple of days the ducks were very fearful and refused to come out of their coop (an important thing to note is that the coop is on our patio, near the sliding glass backdoor) . From then, they seemed happy to leave their coop, and walk the length of the patio, but have refused to go into the grassy area of the garden (where there is ample places to forage, and also a pool that I had bought for them).

    My first question is basically, do you think the ducks will happily go into the garden over time? I mean I have had them only a week haha. And the one time they did go down the garden (out of fright, mind you, because I was cleaning their coop) they found the pool and loved it... But haven't seemed to have the courage to cross the garden and go back.


    My second question is regarding their behaviour currently. I am concerned about the fact that the ducks seem to be stood by the sliding glass door quite often. If they are not resting in the coop, drinking, eating or splashing about/washing in their smaller water tub, they will be stood outside the glass door looking in. I have tried opening the door, but they just waddle back into their coop (they are still very skittish when approached, but relax when you sit down). I'm not sure what this behaviour indicates? I clean their coop once a day, put fresh water out every day, and make sure they always have food to eat, but seeing them stand at the door makes me feel guilty, as though I'm failing them somehow as I don't know what they're trying to ask me for.

    Any input would be very much appreciated, thank you!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Welcome to BYC. Fowl of all sorts I (as prey species) are apprehensive of change and take a while to adapt to changes in all things including environment. They will be fine. You might try tempting them with treats. Let them come to you rather than forcing yourself upon them.
     
  3. Jemima Duck

    Jemima Duck Chirping

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    Thanks! -and thank you for the reassurance! There's always someone in the back room with a view of the ducks, so perhaps they're observing us haha?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Sizing you up for sure.
     
  5. Jemima Duck

    Jemima Duck Chirping

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    Hahahaha yeah, probably
     
  6. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    They are planning a coup for sure!

    I can tell you when my ducks really want/need something I know because they are extremely vocal about it. When they are upset they are vocal. A car pulls in the driveway or they run out of food or spill their water they raise a ruckus. If your ducks are just standing there calmly looking in, I think they are likely fine, a bit curious, maybe confused by the glass, but probably don't "need" anything.

    Good luck with your new ducks. Once they figure out the garden thing they are going to be soooo happy.
     
  7. Jemima Duck

    Jemima Duck Chirping

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    Thank you for your input too! I'm glad to hear about your ducks, it's nice to hear advice from someone else's experiences. :)
     
  8. Duckworth

    Duckworth Songster

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    They are probably wondering who those other ducks are in the glass. We once watched an adult roadrunner try to confront its own reflection in our sliding glass door. It was quite entertaining.

    You have a nice, big space for your ducks, which is great, but with them still being young and the only ducks there, venturing out probably feels unsafe. Their main goal in life is survival and right now, that seems best assured by sticking close to their coop. The reality is that at this size, they are easy targets for any birds of prey in your area and staying close to cover is a good survival strategy. Consider whether there are other good cover options for them as they move out into your garden—especially on the way to and near your pond. Depending on the conditions in which they were kept before you got them, your garden may be much more unfamiliar to them than it seems.

    I expect that your ducks will acclimate in time and also feel safer as they grow larger, though depending on the types of predators you have in your area, they will always need protection, especially from dusk to dawn.
     
  9. Duckworth

    Duckworth Songster

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    And you are in good company here. Lots of us have worried about our new ducks and their behavior, me included. It’s part of being a good duck keeper to notice and wonder about these things. It’s great that you are asking questions and learning more about duck behavior.
     
  10. quackiemama

    quackiemama Crowing

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    Very true, you are not alone! And I agree you are in very good company here. :welcome
     

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