Scared ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by naturemom, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. naturemom

    naturemom Songster

    May 28, 2007
    northern IL
    I know in the past there have been other posts about ducks being scared, but those mostly focused on being afraid of people. Well, my ducks are not only afraid of people, they are afraid of everything but each other. They stay in their house all day and won't come out. Even if I move their food and water outside they just go without until I put in at night. I wanted them to eventually free-range, but right now they don't even use their little fenced-in yard. Needless to say, it gets stinky and disgusting in there very quickly, and they freak out when I clean their house, but still sill not come out.
    What can I do to encourage them? It's getting to the point where I'm starting to wish I hadn't gotten ducks in the first place. They are not fun and they don't seem happy with me either.
  2. birdnutz

    birdnutz Songster

    Mar 6, 2007
    How wierd! How old are your ducks? Maybe put a tarp over and behind the run? My ducks are extremely entertaining. Don't give up yet. Let's play ducky shrink(can't spell psycyatrist??) for awhile first. Hopefully someone else will pipe in with some more ideas.
  3. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    What type of ducks do you have and how old are they? Do you have any other poultry living with them?

    Their food and water doesn't need to be in their shelter at night. They will spend all night playing in the water and making a mess just for something to do. You can help keep things more clean by feeding and watering them outside of the pen. If they don't eat during the day, pen them up at night and then let them out again the next day.

    If they still haven't eaten then scoot them out and make them stay in the yard area. Ducks are naturally high strung, but not many of them have the energy to freak out all day. They'll mellow out after a while.

    Are there any treats they really like? You can also try to not give them free feed. Only give them enough feed for a single day and make them look forward to seeing you again for more food. Before giving them the food you can toss down a few treats. That way they look forward to seeing you.

    Good luck with them. Even though ducks can be crazy what you have _isn't_ the norm. Don't let these guys sour you on ducks everywhere. If you want to go with something extremely mellow you may want to try a couple muscovies. I swore off other ducks once I got muscovies. Once you get over their faces they are really, really worth having. Really, really.

  4. xke4

    xke4 Songster

    Feb 3, 2007
    Despite my lamenting about how messy they are, I will always have ducks. I find them so much more rewarding than chickens. As a matter of fact, I will not be replacing my chickens as they die off, instead welcoming more wildlife rehab centre misfit ducks. C
  5. chantecler

    chantecler Songster

    Aug 25, 2008
    Moncton New Brunswick
    Great post omniskies!!
    I was starting to get alittle disouraged with my ducklings, although not as bad as Naturemom's.....
    I've had my ducks for 2 weeks now and they mostly just eat, drink and huddle together.... They will be moving in with the chickens soon so I hope they will becoming more exciting and less freaked out....

    good luck!!![​IMG]
  6. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    I don't have ducks and don't know a whole lot about them. One thing I do know from reading is that they don't really need extensive sheltering .... if you can close it off for a few days, forcing them to stay outdoors, that might help.
  7. naturemom

    naturemom Songster

    May 28, 2007
    northern IL
    The oldest one is a Welsh Harlequin. He's almost 4 months old. Then I have a Khaki Campbell/Pekin mix that's maybe a bit over 2 months old and 1 unknown mix (probably khaki/something) that's a bit younger than the other mix.
    The Welsh Harlequin was a single hatchling and was terrified of people from day 1. We got the other 2 to be friends with him and they were very friendly until they moved out of the house and into the ducky house with the first one.
    My original plan was to give them food as a way to get them to go in at night. They have a little wire-floored "porch" where I put the food and water at night to keep the house clean. They still poop in their house, though.
    A couple times my dd has gone in and herded them out and them they've stayed out and needed to be herded back in at night. They do try to stay away from us when they're out, but they don't keep freaking out for hours. Then they need to be herded back in at dusk, so I'm thinking maybe I should just quit giving food and water at night since it doesn't get them to go in anyway. They need to be in at night because their yard is not predator-proof.

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