They shrink from me!!!

Duck Lady1

Songster
Mar 26, 2020
133
134
106
About 20 miles NE of Charleston, SC
So my cute little baby ducks are 6 weeks old now, and I really thought by now they'd settle down and realize we're not going to eat them! Since I got them at 4 days old and they came in the mail, they didn't imprint on us and they NEVER followed us around. I thought, no problem, they'll warm up. We'll just keep feeding them by hand and being gentle with them.

I feel like we've done everything - feeding them by hand, always approaching them carefully before picking them up. Still, though... they huddle together and shriek and runwhen we approach them!!!

I don't take it personally, but I had ducks when I was a teenager and I don't recall them recoiling from me so much! We always refresh their pool and handle them gently and keep them well fed.

And I've checked my armpits.- they don't smell!

What is it? Beginning to wonder if I should bring them to friends I have in the country who would gladly take them. Sigh, they don't look happy and I don't want unhappy ducks!
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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Mountains of Western N.C.
Up to you on giving them to friends. Even though my ducks don’t run from me they sure don’t want me Pick them up or to pet them and I don’t if I don’t have to. I have a few that don’t mind me picking up for a snuggle but the other 18 say no thank you. I am okay with it since I knew they wouldn’t be like one of my dogs. The key is spending time with them with out picking them up. Hand feed and just be near them. Every once in a while I get out the shovel and we go worn digging that’s always exciting and the rest of the time I just sit out with them.
 

Duck Lady1

Songster
Mar 26, 2020
133
134
106
About 20 miles NE of Charleston, SC
My 3 college boys were real excited about them at first. It broke up the monotony since they were stuck at home. But since it was my idea I agreed that I'll deal with the duck mess as long as they handle all their household chores. They are great about that - but now my boys seem real uncomfortable with the duck poop - so they don't handle the ducks much. Still love to watch them - they just don't sit with them as much as I thought they would.
They are big enough for the duck harness/diapers now so I'm going to try letting them rom the house and see if that helps.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
3,030
5,791
391
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
Beginning to wonder if I should bring them to friends I have in the country who would gladly take them. Sigh, they don't look happy and I don't want unhappy ducks!

I am not at all trying to come off as rude but I know it may sound that ways, but you should never ever get any kind of farm poultry with the expectation that they will be a cuddly pet. They MIGHT be a cuddly pet, but that's not why they were bred. You can look for breeds known for being friendly, but even among the friendly breeds, aloofness is common. With that said, with chickens, I had some that were friendly as chicks and aloof as adults, and others that were aloof as chicks, and friendly as adults. Sexual maturity will change poultry for the better, or the worse. Of my flock of 19 chickens, only one lets me pick her up. I hand reared four ducks also years ago and while I could sit among them and they would carry on about their business, being petted wasn't in their agenda. As long as you are providing them with adequate space, food, and perhaps a small kiddie pull or water to play in, they shouldn't be unhappy. Is there some other indicator that makes you feel they are unhappy?
 
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