"wild" duckling- taming suggestions???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by gateship85, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. gateship85

    gateship85 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2009
    Yesterday, I went out and bought 3 Khaki Campbell ducklings. They are probably 4 days old today. They were with their mom in a large yard and we had to chase them and catch them with a net (sounds a lot worse than it actually was!). They were/are basically wild as they were not handled before this point and their mom was also only simi-tame. Two of the ducklings while obviously not tame don't mind being held too much. The other one is the problem maker. She bites whenever I pick her up and will even assume a defensive position hissing and bitting at me when I put my hand into the brooder. While her bites don't hurt right now, I don't want her to bite one of my children and freak them out (especially since the ducklings were meant as a surprise and a homeschooling project for them!). Nor do I want her to grow up with the habit of bitting. Any ideas?
    I have started holding her and talking to her softly. I plan on doing this quite often over the next week (or more!) with the hope of taming her down a bit. Even if she is never a duck that likes to be held I need her not to bite people.
  2. MysticalMom

    MysticalMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Patience. Plenty of patience. And when it gets a little older... lots of thawed out frozen peas. [​IMG]
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Quote:Yup... and don't give up.
  4. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Ditto on the patience and time. Lots of treats. It could take a while too.
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I agree with others, be patient and spend a lot of time with these ducklings. And, when they're old enough, lots of yummy treats. Eventually, with lots of work, they will forget about biting you.
  6. gateship85

    gateship85 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2009
    LOL, I kind of figured that might be the answer. I was hoping for a quick fix but I did not really think it was going to be quick. Thanks all for your help! And for the idea about the peas (when they are older of course!).
  7. tia

    tia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Valdez, Alaska
    I don't have much experience, but when my big Indian Runner Drake gets out of line chasing one particular female. I grab him and turn him up side down for a while - He is pretty wild and does not really like me to pick him up, but has never offered to bite me. That might make your little guy more afraid I don't know - might also show him who is in charge.
  8. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    By the way, why should ducklings be over 4 weeks old to eat peas? I've been tossing some in an area where there is a 1 week old duckling and I think he ate some and liked them. Mostly the mom got them, though. Is there something harmful in them or is it a matter of just being able to swallow them? If there's something harmful about them, I won't throw any in the area where he's at until he's older.

    I forgot that you have to be careful what you feed ducklings, all of them have grown except this one, so I didn't think to check up on what I should feed them.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  9. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    i recently picked up a duckling who was also about 4 days and it wasn't to exposed to humans. after a few days the duckling has started following me and not peeping and running away when i pick it up. im sure in a few days yours will be a lot better too [​IMG]
  10. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I give mine peas when they are 4 days old. Pureed that is and only small amounts. They really love the taste of it. Try using a bowl and have them eat out of it while you hold it. That way they gain trust in you. You can give them hole peas when they over a week old. Again have them take one at a time out of your hand. Do not toss them peas, because then they try to garble them up fast and they can choke. Give them outdoor time when they are 2 weeks old and make them follow you with a bowl of peas in the hand. Try to use the same bowl each time so they associated it with treats. That can later help you rounding them up when older. BTW ducks love routines, teach them early on and they will be a breeze to handle once older. Routines like to get out of the duck house and walk over to their daytime area, or to walk into the duck house for night time. In my case they have to cross the parking lot in front of our warehouse. That is about 120 feet. Mine got it down so well that I don't even need treats anymore.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by