Taming Ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by duckncover, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. duckncover

    duckncover Duck Obsessed

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    Jan 17, 2009
    North Eastern PA
    Hey guys! I could really use some advice from some of the experienced duck people. I'm trying my best to tame Ferdinand and Webster the mallard ducklings. I've been giving them pieces of mealworm and laying with them and talking a lot. They sort of follow me if I walk away from them but run if I try to pick them up. I just want to know some ways I can strengthen out bonds. They are great little guys. Not too noise.


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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  2. emilyrose

    emilyrose Out Of The Brooder

    Hi duckncover! First things first, be slowwwww. I only got my month old muscovies just over a week ago. Thry hadn't had much human interaction as they were bred to be eaten but they're now my pets. I started out with slowly putting lettuce near them and they've graduadlly realised I won't hurt them. That was a week ago, now whenever I go outside they try to follow me around even though they're confined to their pen until they're older and they wag their tails and bob their heads when they hear me talking. They now eat out of my hand but don't like being touched. Don't try to pet them until they are coming right next to you without having to entice them over with food. It may take awhile but after a week of doing this, my babies seem much more attached to me.

    Good luck and keep us posted! :D
     
  3. duckncover

    duckncover Duck Obsessed

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    Jan 17, 2009
    North Eastern PA
    That is good advice thank you!

    I've been handfeeding them mealworms but I'd like to give them other stuff too. They don't anything that is "wet" like apple pieces or blueberries. Any ideas?
     
  4. emilyrose

    emilyrose Out Of The Brooder

    Hmmm... Maybe some lettuce? They can have iceberg lettuce but I find the water content can be too high for them which can make them have a runny tummy. Mine like green oak lettuce, spinach and asian lettuces such as wom bok and bok choy. My babies also love diving for peas in their clamshell. Its hot where I live so I buy frozen peas and throw them in their water for a cool treat and lots of fun! Because your babies are so young, they might not be able to swallow whole peas so chopping them in half might help. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  5. duckncover

    duckncover Duck Obsessed

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    North Eastern PA
    They barely attempt to eat anything new. [​IMG] I'm going to try peas and some kind of lettuce. I just wish they would take something besides mealworms because that makes their poo smell terrible.
     
  6. duckncover

    duckncover Duck Obsessed

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    North Eastern PA
    Can someone please give me some advice how to prevent a behavior? Now they are biting at my lips, nose, and eyelids. It hurts and I'm worried they won't grow out of it and will be doing this as adult ducks, which can be dangerous. I tried making sounds when they bite me but it hasn't really stopped them. I really would like to correct this before it becomes a big problem.
     
  7. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LP Michigan

    Don't put your face near your ducks?
     
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  8. duckncover

    duckncover Duck Obsessed

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    I try not to but they run up my shoulder while on my lap. I'm going to keep making that "Ssss" noise when they do it and moving them away from my face and hope it helps.
     
  9. Littlesplashers

    Littlesplashers Out Of The Brooder

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    I like to think of my baby and toddler ducks as little dinosaurs. They will try and eat anything- so keep them away from your face. Lips, eye lashes, noses are all just too interesting to pass up. It's nothing personal they are exploring without the benefit of hands. Kind of like human babies who enjoy mouthing any new thing. Making noises might help but the best thing is to keep them away from your face. I find that my ducks like to hop up and take the spot on my lap but very few like a puppy style snuggle. As for picking them up- start out with a little chest scratch (very gentle) whenever you great them and get them used to you touching them. Don't hover over them- try sitting with them. I find scooping low instead of coming in from above works best. Trust is tough when you arent the first thing they see out of the egg. A lot of small steps and patience and you'll have them sitting in your lap. :) ***little bits of tomatoes can be a great encourager. ;)
     
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  10. duckncover

    duckncover Duck Obsessed

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    North Eastern PA
    Thanks for the advice. I can see what your saying. The one has calmed down a lot. Can you give me any advice on how to get them to try different kinds of treats? They won't touch anything except mealworms. I tried blue berries, collard greens, banana, crushed cereal, and tomatoes. All in little pieces. They won't eat it. They play with it for a second and then move on.
     

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