Too Late To Imprint

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kimhinojos, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. kimhinojos

    kimhinojos Out Of The Brooder

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    I heard that a duckling can only imprint if its 24-48 hours old. If I were to order a duck online it would be 2-3 days old when it gets to me, would it still be able to imprint on me?
     
  2. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Unlikely.
    It is true that ducklings only can imprint during the first two days after hatching. Two years ago I had a hatch of five ducklings which a friend of mine had incubated for me. When I could finally get them, they did not imprint on me and distrusted me at first but became tame when they learned that I brought food.
    I once got two ducklings at the age of three weeks. Their behaviour towards me was a little odd. Although way too old to imprint on me, they acceppted me as part-time nanny - When I had them in my room for the night, they became very attached to me and called for me when I went out of the room or turned off the light. During the day when I let them run around in the backyard they became very independend.

    Your ducklings might be shy at first but soon will become very tame.
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is nowhere that you can order "a duck" online. Shipping small orders is not as safe as larger orders and I don't know of anywhere that would send 1. Ducklings need companionship and do best with other ducks. They don't need to "imprint" on a human in order for them to become a friendly pet. Breed and how you raise them will make them a good pet. Ducks can live 10-15 years so, for most people, being the only companion to a flock animal for that time period is impractical. Another duckling will be a friend and companion to both you and another duck.
     
  4. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    It is also much more fun to watch two or more ducks interacting with each other than having one bird.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree 100%.

    I used to live in the suburbs and now I'm in the country. I used to have just a kiddie pool (still do) but now they have a creek to play in and all kinds of area to forage. Nothing makes me happier than to see my ducks being ducks.

    I have known a number of people that have stirctly "pet" ducks that live inside. I know that those ducks are well loved but I think that mine, even though mine are not pets but a food source, have a better life, for them, not for me.

    Adding
    Living in the country is not a possibility for everyone but I think my backyard ducks were still happier, living a duck life than a single, indoor duck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  6. DenverDucky

    DenverDucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some will say ducks can only imprint in the first 24-48 hours, but as someone with an imprinted duck I can only tell you from my own experience. I ordered my duck online and she was a few days old when she arrived. She imprinted to me right away. I think the fact they go from brooder to mail with little duck/human interactions helped as she thought I was Mommy right away. Even now, a year later she wants to be right next to me all the time. I don't recommend imprinting unless you are able to be with the ducky 24/7 like me, I'm disabled and unable to work. I'm able to take her to my doctor appointments as they adore her and I'm also starting to clicker train her with a professional so she can help me more than provide me the love and cuddles that she does now :) Good luck :)
     
  7. DeckDuck

    DeckDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Imrinted or no, I think an only duckling is bound to become extremely attached to its people. My Pekin drake was an only duckling and he still acts like he's part human. He will run across the yard to see his people. The thing is though, all of what Jdywntr and DenverDucky have said is true. Getting an only duck is not something to be taken lightly.

    I also have two one-month-old ducklings that I ordered through the mail from Metzer Farms sitting next to me right now. I've been raising them by my computer desk so they spend a lot of time with me and have been letting everybody hold them as much as they want. It has made them quite tame. If it's a couple of pet ducks you want, I think it would be just fine for them to not be imprinted. Just get a calm breed, like a Pekin, and feed them lots of peas when you handle them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  8. duckman4450

    duckman4450 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again, as stated before, you shouldn't get just 1 duckling. Not only is it not as fun, but it is truly not fair at all to the single duck having to rely on a human 24/7 and never having any interaction time with another duck. It's just not right. As for imprinting, I think anything from 1-3 days will imprint, if you are the first "big" sized form of life that interacts with it for a reasonable amount of time.
     
  9. DeckDuck

    DeckDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if being handled for sexing at the hatchery counts. Though that might not be a good first impression! [​IMG]
     
  10. duckman4450

    duckman4450 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL! I dont think that counts!!!
     

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