Scared duckling

aaroncoolio

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 9, 2014
46
1
34
i got 2 mallard ducklings about 1 week old-2 weeks currently raising them with some chicks (let me know if you shouldn't do this) and the ducks seem to be pretty attached to the chickens. However the ducks are afraid of me! Like even if I have feed in my hand or something. The chicks will come but ducks won't. Should I just handle them daily? Or should I let them like my hand before trying to grab them? Thoughts?
 

BigWeenMachine

Chirping
May 6, 2015
304
32
91
Ducks are weird like that. Most will always be skittish to some degree. Try feeding them from your hand and holding them but other than that I dunno what else to do. I have been feeding my new ducklings treats like nightcrawlers, fruit, mealworms, noodles etc from my hand. Seems to get them to run to me but they still act like I'm gonna eat them when I reach for them. The only duck I've ever had that was really friendly and tame was one that I saved from being killed by a dog when it was a chick. He was in the house for a week recovering and after all his attention and trauma he became attached to my hip.
 

localife

Chirping
Mar 13, 2015
99
17
51
Try picking them both up at the same time and settling them on your lap, then gently stroke their beaks. Doesn't work every time, but when it does, it's like magic -- they get relaxed, and eventually they don't think you plan to eat them every single time. That said, when you are a creature with virtually no defense again anything that DOES want to eat you, it's not a bad thing to be a little flighty....
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,818
551
Southern New England
My ducklings at three weeks of age went into a phase of being frightened by anything over their heads, or being cornered.

So, with help from BYC Duck folk, I started entering the brooder room low, avoiding cornering them, and just being patient. I spent much time near them, and we started having pea parties (they need to have had chick grit before peas - just a teaspoon each day in their food once a day for a few days).

And it took weeks, but they are now friendly and lovely and sometimes a few of them even like to be hugged. But not picked up. Nope. No one likes being picked up.
 

aaroncoolio

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 9, 2014
46
1
34
For grit, do I need to buy real grit? Or can I use play sand or something. Today, I picked them all up and let them play in the grass for a while (using a c&c) cage to keep them from running away, the ducks WILL NOT touch my hands. They usually only go near when the chicks flick food off my hand to the ground. Lol. Hopefully they mellow down a bit. I really wish my silkie liked me more haha. So far the only one who likes to relax with me is my buff orphinton
 

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