I have 6 kahli Campbells ~5 weeks old that are really wild. They run away from me as far as they can every time I come near to feed or water them. Any thought on how I might be able to help calm them down? Thanks!
I have 3 breeds of ducks: a cayuga, two blue Swedish, and two Welsh harlequins, and all are the same way. Once I come up to them, they run. My Welsh harlequins aren't so bad, because they imprinted on me right after hatching and we had a symbiotic relationship for several weeks. Now, though they still love cuddling, they are moving further away socially. And they all have an instinct to run to safety whenever something big looms at them, trying to get to them. Even the imprinted ones run from me if I'm walking after them or standing over them.
Harlequins are supposed to be the calmest of all the breeds, so it's no surprise that yours are flightier than that.
But they also recognize me as the bearer of food. Particular treats are peas (the kind from the freezer section, thawed out) and torn-up lettuce. So squatting down with a handful of peas will usually bring them long enough to gobble up the peas, then they will leave again.
Mine are penned, so can't run too far, but I go in & sit on the floor of the run or at the gate on the ground & most of mine will come over to see me within a couple minutes. It just takes time for them to get themselves together & decide to check me out. Once they do I can usually scoop them up fairly easily & cuddle them for a while before they decide they want down. Just have to watch those sharp toenails.
I have 5 that are about 1 year old. They will eat out of my hand and come when they hear a whistle. They however want no part of being touched or held. They are friendly enough. I have dogs and cats if I want to pet something. They love peas and chopped lettuce. Treats are the way to friendlier birds. Also they are much better out of their pen than in it.