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When to remove ducklings from mother?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Feathered Wings, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Feathered Wings

    Feathered Wings Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    My 7 call ducklings are now 3 weeks old and very independant from their mom.
    I tried to hold one this past week and she attacked me biting my hand.

    The duckling was beside himself squeaking and flailing so i walked away from the pen.
    Mom was running up and down the wire and the duckling was even more panicked.
    So i reluctantly put him back and now they no longer run to the door to greet me [​IMG]
    Up until this point i had never picked them up as i didn't want to cause them any stress.

    Did i make a mistake should i have picked them up and held them before now?

    When should i remove mom to ensure i can form a bond with them?

    I really want them to be people friendly as i will be selling them when they get older.

  2. Duck Keeper

    Duck Keeper Songster

    Mar 18, 2009
    Out in the Boonies
    You should have been holding them from the day they were born! Now they don't have ANY socialization from humans, so they think you're going to kill them, as being handled is very unnatural for them. If you had begun early (it's that same for puppies and kittens etc) they would be used to human interaction.

    They're going to take A LOT OF WORK to get anywhere near 'people friendly'. Lots of time spent one on one, and still, they will probably never come to trust humans because you didn't spend the time with them as babies.

    And I thought the mom kicked out her babies when they were ready like any other animal?? :hmm;

    Hope all goes well though.
  3. Feathered Wings

    Feathered Wings Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    So i did make a mistake [​IMG]
    These are my first baby ducks and i did not know you were supposed to handle them so soon.
    Now i'm just sad that they are so indifferent to me and may never be close

    I did not know they kicked them out the mom really loves her babys
    I wish i had of known i didn't know they thought i was going to kill them when i pick them up.

    Oh dear so they may never trust humans [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  4. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I have some 12 week old muscovies. I certainly never handled them when they were babies, because, like you said, their mother would have bitten my fingers off.

    That doesn't mean they aren't friendly, though. They run up to the gate when they see me coming, they take treats from my hands, etc. They aren't lap ducks, and never will be. (Who would want a lap muscovy?) But they aren't afraid of me either.

    My advice to you is to make friends with them using treats. Also, go into their pen and just hang out with them. Don't make any sudden moves toward them, just sit there and talk to them. (And toss treaties.) Soon enough they will forgive you for scaring them that one time.

  5. Feathered Wings

    Feathered Wings Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Quote:Thank you [​IMG]

    I had not touched them because the mother duck would get so nervous and defensive.

    Didn't want to stress the little ones into thinking i was going to hurt them.
    They have been coming up to the door when i would come to fill their pool and being excited to see me.
    I would move slowly and talk to them and mom aproved she would call them over when i served breakfast.
    So i thought this approach was the best to let them see i was not going to harm them and i was bringing water for the pool.
    Things were going good till i picked up the one now they stand back when i come to the pen.
    I hope i can get them to trust me again.

    I was wondering how long to leave mom with them she really loves her baby's
    But i know sooner or later i would have to remove her to get them use to being on their own.

    These are my first ducklings raised by a mother duck and it has been a big learning experience and i have really loved every minute of it.

    Thanks for your advice it made me feel better about how i have done things [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I don't think you made a big mistake. If you want a pet duck that will crawl in your lap, you probably need to incubate and hand raise a couple yourself. But personally, I don't expect my ducks to be pals with me. As long as they tolerate my presence and respond in useful ways (like going into their pen at night and staying close to home when free ranging), I don't worry about them being friendly. I would be delighted to let a broody hen do all the work of raising the babies! lol

    Anyway, you've gotten good advice on how to make these as friendly as possible. If you plan to sell them, I wouldn't worry too much about it--lots of folks aren't going to care if they are tame or not. If you want a pet, I would take a couple eggs and incubate them in the house or, the next time she has a batch, "steal" a couple as soon as they hatch and hand raise them in the house.

    Good luck with them. You're doing great. No one gets things exactly the way they wanted them the first time. At least, no one I personally know. [​IMG]
    Mammamullis likes this.
  7. Feathered Wings

    Feathered Wings Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Thanks curiosity cat if you think i'm nervous about this you should have seen me while she was brooding.
    I was nervous the whole way thru and checked every 30 minutes when they were hatching.
    My DH said i was going to worry them out of the eggs. (i was even out at 2 am with a flashlight)

    But things have turned out so well and "yes" i have enjoyed mom doing all the work for me.

    Thanks for your advice [​IMG]

  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Is the mama duck friendly to you? Was she friendly before she went broody & hatched the chicks?

    My ducks aren't friendly at all. We did handle them some when they were young, maybe not as much as would have been necessary to make them people-friendly. I don't know how much that would be, it seems you'd almost have to carry them around in your pocket all day long.

    And I haven't yet found a treat that makes them come running to me, the way my chickens & geese come running when I shake the corn can.

    But I'm content that they are so good at foraging for much of their food all day long, they probably don't have much of an appetite for anything else I could give them. And I'm really happy that they just lay tasty eggs almost every day. They're beautiful to look at and enjoyable to watch & hear going about their ducky business, they don't have to be lap dogs in addition to all that.
  9. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    Quote:Now that was well said. I agree.
  10. Feathered Wings

    Feathered Wings Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Quote:Now that was well said. I agree.

    Yes the mother is very friendly she was raised as a show duck so she is very use to being with people.
    Oh [​IMG] I never expected them to be lap dogs i know ducks are not as friendly as chickens.
    I just wanted them to acknowledge that people are "okay" and weren't going to harm them.

    My original post above was supposed to be concerning when to remove them from their mother.
    Hoping someone will give me and answer on this

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