Vibrating head - what are they doing?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BigBlock, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. BigBlock

    BigBlock Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2012
    I have 2 female ducks about 7 months old. Recently when I try to pet them they have been vibrating their head and neck and then hitting my hand with their head as hard as they can. They will do it over and over if I let them. What the heck are they doing? This is really odd especially for one of them, she would normally stay away from my hands. I'm not sure if they're happy to see me or telling me to go away?
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I think they are looking for treats. My ducks shove their heads into mud or duff and vibrate their heads. This sometimes makes worms come up from underground.

    Wait till you see them stomp their feet!
  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    Looking for food when they're going nose deep into muck. But when their head is up and aimed at you, and the vibrating starts, it's aggression. After watching boys do it to each other, and girls ganging up on new girls, and me getting bit, the dog getting bit, it's not a friendly action.

    When they're on the ground, they'll vibrate the head, snake the head out, and attempt to climb over and bite who ever they are directing it too. It's like they want to wrestle or something.

    It's way cuter when they stomp their feet when looking for food. Not sure how the foot stomping helps.
  4. QuackerJen

    QuackerJen New Egg

    Sep 21, 2012
    I was wondering about the climbing thing too. Of my five female ducks (one Cayuga, one Harlequin, two Buffs and a Golden 300 Hybrid Layer), two of them (the Cayuga and Hybrid) will do the vibrating head thing and then suddenly try to climb up my arm. They do it even when I am in the midst of unearthing treats for them by lifting rocks or boards. The other three ducks are either affectionate towards me or are in the background. The two Buffs are the most affectionate where they come up to me and, for lack of a better term, coo softly as they forage around where I am. They are also the only ones who will let me pet them to any degree. The Harlequin prefers to hang back and will only come up to me if I have a goodie in my hand but she is not aggressive at all.

    I took the head vibrate and attempt to climb on me as a sign that they were trying to tell me they were the dominate ones. I ignore it for the most part. Perhaps it means that they have "accepted" you, but they think they are higher up the list than you. If they didn't accept you they wouldn't come near you at all, maybe.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by