Silly ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Miss Ducky, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chirping

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Michigan
    My aunt is the proud owner of two adult ducks, a Pekin and a Indian Runner. They aren't very friendly yet. They had a kiddie pool when they were half-grown, but it didn't go with them when they graduated to the chicken coop. (The chicken coop is in the barnyard pasture where her baby alpacas are, and she didn't want them to drown) Today, we brought the pool out into the yard, and wrangled the ducks into it. They didn't stay in the pool. The weren't remotely interested in it. They liked it when I sprayed them with a hose, but they wouldn't go into or near the pool! [​IMG] In fact, later, they broke back into the chicken coop! [​IMG] Silly Ducks! How can I convince them to go swimming?


    Also-I've been trying to give them treats but they won't eat from my hand. (I literally have to chase, catch, and hold a one of them for them to get close enough to me to offer) If I leave the treats in the coop, the chickens will get it first! [​IMG] Any suggestions?

    Thanks guys!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners 8 Years

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    Southern New England
    Feeling patient?

    Somehow, the ducks need to be in a place where the chickens won't interfere, and where you will feel like spending some time, more than just a few minutes. It has taken me quite some time with some animals who have not been socialized yet, to get them to warm up.

    It's their protective instincts, and it is really good for them, considering they are prey animals. But building trust can happen. Just that the older they are, the longer it will take.

    Even with my runners, raised from day-olds, we had some rough weeks when they appeared to, overnight, decide I was doom and death incarnate.

    But today, we are getting along really well.

    Forcing the ducks to do something, no matter how gently, won't incline them to do it. So putting them in water or holding them is not likely to give them the positive motivation they would need to want to do it on their own.

    I use bribes, shamelessly. Find something they love to eat, then offer it to them. Put it several feet away from you, and wait. And wait. And wait. And be prepared for them to refuse the treats until you leave. Then do it again, and again, and again (I think you can see the picture here). Oh, and it helps if you are sitting on the ground, as low as you can make yourself. Tall things can upset them. Perhaps you can bring a book to read while you wait. But they may be afraid of books, if they have never seen one.

    Most likely, eventually, they will come closer and closer, even eating out of your hand. It will depend on how much time you put in, and how willing you are to let them progress at their own pace.

    The chickens or anything else will have to be where they cannot interfere.

    Once they know you give good treats, try placing the treats in the pool. (remember all the waiting? more of the same)
     
  3. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chirping

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Michigan
    Thanks, I will have to put aside some time and do that today! And tomorrow... Unfortunately, there is no place completely free from chickens that doesn't have ruthless dogs... They've kind of taken over the place.... [​IMG] I can take them out to the yard, where there is only a few. They won't come too close since the rooster probably won't be there. Should I continue to spray them with the hose? They seem to like it (They stop running when I get too near if the hose is on them), and it cleans them off. I was worried about them not having a pool, the pekin's (Ship) head was really dirty.
     
  4. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chirping

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    Jun 29, 2010
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    As for the chickens, I think I've just figured out a place I can put them w/o the chickens being there.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners 8 Years

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    (I was building the duck day yard - finally got online . . . .)

    If they enjoy the water spray, I would continue it. I try to see what they like (they are so obvious when they are having fun), and do more of that, as long as it's safe for them and the rest of the critters [​IMG]

    Glad you were able to find a way to get the chickens out of the picture for now. If all goes well, it will not always matter.

    You are right to be concerned about the ducks being able to wash - they need to wash their heads to prevent eye and sinus infections. Perhaps a smaller container of water would suit them. Mine often jump into their drinking water bowls, which are very large stainless steel mixing bowls.

    Wifezilla had a duck that seemed to prefer a plastic bowl over its larger pool.
     
  6. sianara

    sianara Songster

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    I agree with everything Amiga says.

    I'd like to add if you talk to them quietly and move slowly as well that goes a long way.

    Ducks are definitely different from chickens. They are much more "on guard" so patience is needed in abundance here [​IMG]

    My three 7 year old ducks still run away if I try to touch them with my hand but they will eat out of my hand (go figure!). If they are resting peacefully and I go slowly and quietly and sit in the chair near them (and don't LOOK at them) they will stay where they are and talk quietly to themselves (I usually figure they're saying something like "what the heck is she doing out here?" or something similiar). BUT if I go barreling out there (as I often do when I need to dump the pool) they scatter like crazy [​IMG]

    My four 2 month old ducks are still getting used to me. They ALWAYS scatter [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010

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