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Taming the duck!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by inputoutput, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. inputoutput

    inputoutput Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2011
    Cumberland, MD
    Have any of you got a duck that was not socialized to humans? Were you able to tame it?

    I had three pekin ducks a friend gave me from a straight run she got. These weren't little babies when she got them and hey all ended up being males. They were so scared of me from day one they'd literally hurt themselves to keep away from me so it got to a point where I gave up trying to give them tractor time because it was too much for them (plus it made the chickens riled up and they'd turn around and attack them which was hilarious but not if you're a duck). It made coop-life very difficult and despite two months of daily treats, showers, tub time they never settled in. They were less afraid of my dog than me. I just "got rid of" (its late, can't think of a nicer way to say it) two of them. I have one left. I think its a male, though it doesn't have the curly drake tail.

    Anyway, once the other two were gone I put him in the tractor with the chicken and.. He immediately calmed down. I have them on the porch sleeping in a dog crate at night because I'm still working on "coop 2.0" and the hen and duck are sleeping together, side by side. When my SO came home the duck didn't go on a fear-induced rampage. Do you think now with the other ducks gone I could ever get him to a point where I could actually walk up to him without him shivering and bashing himself into walls? I don't want to hold him on my lap and cuddle with him (hen would get jealous anyway [​IMG] ) I just want him to have a good life, and I'd like to keep him as a "watch-duck" because if nothing else they were great at sounding the alarm.
     
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    5,583
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    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    Kind of like sheep...once one duck turns and runs- they all tend to do so in a flock each one spurring on the next to " run for there life" With only one duck you would have a better chance of making him realise you arent trying to kill him every time you work near. It may take a while- and I am talking weeks and months not days- but it may calm down a lot now the others are gone.
    I have a few in my flock that I did not hand raise myself ( when they arrived they were very wild having never being handled. ) and now they will all come and eat out of my hands when I have food. Integrating timid shy ducks into a very flock can also help, but since you only have the one- food can still be a good way of winning him over. For a while- remove the food at night if you leave it out - and in the morning when he is hungry sit down and throw out some food near him- over time making it closer and closer to you- eventually he will learn its ok to eat from your hand- and at that stage you should be able to start picking him up without chasing him into a corner.
     
  3. inputoutput

    inputoutput Out Of The Brooder

    64
    0
    39
    Sep 5, 2011
    Cumberland, MD
    Good idea with the food... He watches when I sit with the hen and pet her and she comes up to me and chases me around- I'm hoping that will show him I'm not a threat in some way. I won't say they didn't improve from the day I got the bunch, at this point they would come near when I had the hose out because they loved getting sprinkled with water while I was filling their tub and it was hilarious to feed them treats because they'd huddle together all uneasy then one would finally give in to temptation and come forward. But the way I had my coop set up I had to be able to kinda "herd" them back and forth which just wasn't happening. At least now with my new coop the grass is just a doggy-door away, so if he is still too afraid to be let out in the yard he'll still get to be a mud bug. In fact I think that is what I will name him. Mud bug.
     

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