Runner ducks - pulling out my hair!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by themarie, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. themarie

    themarie New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2016
    I've hatched out and raised 17 runner ducks-
    And I am at wits end.
    They are incredibly shy and panic constantly.
    I cannot go near them without chaos and injured ducks resulting.
    Any advice appreciated -
     
  2. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Slow movements, avoid eye contact, food food food
     
  3. themarie

    themarie New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2016
    Even food is not enough to entice them, unless I almost starve them.
    So sad, I should have done more research.
    It seems the breed is very flighty.
    I saw a video and thought how funny and cute.
    Hope I can rehome. [​IMG]
     
  4. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are they now?

    Get some Jumbo Pekins next time - like having puppies. :)
     
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  5. themarie

    themarie New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2016
    They are three months old
     
  6. SmallFarmUSA

    SmallFarmUSA Out Of The Brooder

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    A good part of the problem probably is caused by their breed, but ducklings do also go through a scared of everything stage. Don't give them free choice food, unless you won't be around all day, and don't try to get them to eat out of your hand the first time. Place the food just a little closer to you than they are comfortable with, and just sit, talk, and be patient. You may have to put the food 20 feet away the first time, but just let them slowly, over the days, get used to you being closer.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/548865/my-ducks-are-getting-afraid-of-me
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    My friend started with Runners also....Hers are just the same..totally scared of people.
    My ducks are pure breeds of five breeds. Welsh, Buff , Call, Rouen, Pekin......All great tame breeds...

    Sorry yours are not what you expected...
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not fond of Runners for that reason. They were the most hyper ducks I ever raised so I am totally over their exotic look. I like small squat ducks better, lol.
     
  9. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    3 months old is still very young... that's their 'teenage' phase... I've seen many with runners that are quite affectionate even... give them more time and just be patient... find a favorite treat and just sit nearby anytime you can... don't rush or try to reach out to them, let them come to you in their time... I've also seen complete turnarounds in behavior once ducks reach POL... I would just give them more time... :)

    @Amiga has runners, maybe she can add more specifics? :)
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I dunno, I guess I have a strange group of Runners. They are all friendly, not at all flighty or skitterish, some are huggers. But we went through a time when their development needed some patience and some advice from wise Duck Forum friends.

    At three weeks, mine suddenly became terrified of me. It was sad. From BYC DF, I learned many ducks hit a point of hypervigilance, and during that time, anything taller than they, getting cornered, entities suddenly appearing unannounced, could send them into a panic due to their self- preservation instincts kicking in.


    I learned to always sing or talk when approaching the brooder, find ways to avoid needing to pick them up or corner them, approach from as low a position as I could manage.

    I made sure that whenever I needed to get close to them to have peas ready. During brooder cleanup I put an old sheet in the hallway and let them hang out there. After cleanup, we would have a pea party, and I would sit in the hallway with them for a few minutes just talking to them. Then I would let them walk back into the brooder.

    They are just being themselves, after all.

    It took some time, patience and compassion. But by the time they were four months old or so, they had begun to relax -and now they are easy to be around.

    When I squat down and start digging for worms they press up against me, lean on me, stand on my feet. It is sweet. It took a while, but again, they are ducks and once I learned how to work with their developmental stages, that made a positive difference.
     
    1 person likes this.

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