Skittish ducklings

SeraJoy

In the Brooder
May 22, 2017
15
7
29
Oregon
We just got three Khaki Campbell ducklings from the local co op 3 weeks ago. They live on a brooder in the garage and during the warm days we let them outside in a dog crate with no bottom so they can find bugs, splash in a little pool we made then etc. Since we first got then we have been handling them daily, feeding them by hand most days so they get used to us, talking to them and petting them as much as they will let us. But they hate it. We hoped they would be getting used to us by now but they run away quacking like we are going to murder them anytime we put our hands in their cage. I've read this breed is a little more skittish then others but will they ever come around? They seem SLIGHTLY less upset about being caught then when we first brought them home but not by much. What else can we do to make them more comfortable with us?
 

Debs Flock

Crossing the Road
Apr 28, 2015
8,071
15,301
862
Jefferson County, MO
Welcome to BYC & congrats on your ducklings!

How old are they now?

Picture yourself as a duck. Anything that appears to be swooping down towards them makes them think "predator". Getting down on their level seems to help. Try to let them come to you. If they're old enough, you can start bribing them with treats (mealworms, thawed (frozen) peas, small bits of kale). The way to a duck's heart is definitely via the tummy. ;)
 

SeraJoy

In the Brooder
May 22, 2017
15
7
29
Oregon
Honestly I'm not sure how old they are exactly, they were itty bitty little guys when we got them, I'm guessing about 4 weeks old. Just starting to get some feathers on them. When they are outside I do try to just sit next to the cage and talk to them. I'll try doing that more and hand feed them more too, thanks! Originally we were only feeding them by hand but they ended up needing so much food we couldn't keep up haha, so we will just keep trying that then and more frequently :)
 

Debs Flock

Crossing the Road
Apr 28, 2015
8,071
15,301
862
Jefferson County, MO
If you can post pics, we can get a good idea of their age.

Move slowly and speak softly. Sit where they actually can climb on you, nibble your shoelaces, etc. This will allow them to get to know & trust you. Ducks are naturally skittish. It's rare to find a duck that will seek out or even tolerate much cuddling, but you'll be rewarded when they come toward you rather than run away and you'll get to know their personalities.

Also, here's a link to a great thread about treats.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/the-ultimate-list-of-duck-treats-and-supplements.242460/
 

SeraJoy

In the Brooder
May 22, 2017
15
7
29
Oregon
If you can post pics, we can get a good idea of their age.

Move slowly and speak softly. Sit where they actually can climb on you, nibble your shoelaces, etc. This will allow them to get to know & trust you. Ducks are naturally skittish. It's rare to find a duck that will seek out or even tolerate much cuddling, but you'll be rewarded when they come toward you rather than run away and you'll get to know their personalities.

Also, here's a link to a great thread about treats.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/the-ultimate-list-of-duck-treats-and-supplements.242460/

Ok thanks for the link! Here's a pic of them today
 

SeraJoy

In the Brooder
May 22, 2017
15
7
29
Oregon
1495485803374551101290.jpg
Ok thanks for the link! Here's a pic of them today
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,660
109,091
1,647
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
To me they look around 4 weeks old...
Some Ducklings do not like to be held...At around that age they go through a stage I call Ginger Bread Man syndrome ...:lau...They run as if your going to kill them...They out grow it eventually....:frow

Best wishes
 

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