How ducks react to people question?

Baymule

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What you say makes a lot of sense. Each animal is useful in its own right. It’s figuring out which animal fits what purpose, not all fit the farm. Need to make a garden from brush and saplings mess? Turn in the goats or sheep. Got stumps and roots? Turn in the pigs.
 

Nommie Bringeruvda Noms

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Some of my livestock, I really do want to love me, or at least trust me and be happy to see me. It doesn't just make being outside with them more fun, it also give me a better chance to check them for health issues and, where needed, groom or harvest from them. So, we divide our herds/flocks. Those we want to breed, or as long term producers, we want to befriend. Those we plan to eat, we try to maintain a firm emotional distance from and they only need to trust us enough to come for a feed bucket - it makes catching them so much easier, whether it's to harvest them, check health/ development, or catch escapees.

I think chickens can be very affectionate, and we can imprint them, if we catch them early. Ducks... I'm not really sure. So far, the ducks have been more like barn cats. Not afraid of us, but even in being happy to see us - after all, we let them out, in the mornings, bring da noms, and close the predators out, at night - they want their autonomy.
 

KaleIAm

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So often I wonder, how do you tell if your ducks like you?

Its hard to know right?

Mine act afraid to be grabbed, and will run away. But they will chatter like crazy when they see me coming with the food.

It makes you wonder if they are really tamed or not? what do you think?

But I also had a new way to look at this question recently. And it seemed interesting to talk about with others;

Is the way ducks act around people similar to the way they act around other predators? Or is how they act towards us (the boss) like how they act towards each other more?
My ducks are not imprinted on me, but they like me and see me as their protector. They want to touch me, and do everyday, but they don't want me to pick them up.

I can tell that my ducks like me because they come when I call them, when they hear my voice they call me in the same way they call a missing flock member, they head bob at me when they see me coming, they eat from my hands, they hop into my lap, and when they see a scary hawk they run to my feet.

My ducks clearly don't see me as a predator, but they don't treat me as a duck either. We jokingly say they are calling for their, "provider of resources," and that's probably about right.

My ducks are absolutely tame. However, 2 of my ducks were terrified of me, and all people, when I adopted them 5.5 years ago. If you are interested I can share with you how I helped my ducks form positive associations with me. It did take a lot of time and patience, and is probably best done in warmer weather.
 

Nao57

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My ducks are not imprinted on me, but they like me and see me as their protector. They want to touch me, and do everyday, but they don't want me to pick them up.

I can tell that my ducks like me because they come when I call them, when they hear my voice they call me in the same way they call a missing flock member, they head bob at me when they see me coming, they eat from my hands, they hop into my lap, and when they see a scary hawk they run to my feet.

My ducks clearly don't see me as a predator, but they don't treat me as a duck either. We jokingly say they are calling for their, "provider of resources," and that's probably about right.

My ducks are absolutely tame. However, 2 of my ducks were terrified of me, and all people, when I adopted them 5.5 years ago. If you are interested I can share with you how I helped my ducks form positive associations with me. It did take a lot of time and patience, and is probably best done in warmer weather.
Very much so, I would like to hear about it. Thanks.

Its exciting to try something.
 

Nao57

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Some of my livestock, I really do want to love me, or at least trust me and be happy to see me. It doesn't just make being outside with them more fun, it also give me a better chance to check them for health issues and, where needed, groom or harvest from them. So, we divide our herds/flocks. Those we want to breed, or as long term producers, we want to befriend. Those we plan to eat, we try to maintain a firm emotional distance from and they only need to trust us enough to come for a feed bucket - it makes catching them so much easier, whether it's to harvest them, check health/ development, or catch escapees.

I think chickens can be very affectionate, and we can imprint them, if we catch them early. Ducks... I'm not really sure. So far, the ducks have been more like barn cats. Not afraid of us, but even in being happy to see us - after all, we let them out, in the mornings, bring da noms, and close the predators out, at night - they want their autonomy.
Barn cats are fun too hahaha.
 

KaleIAm

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Very much so, I would like to hear about it. Thanks.

Its exciting to try something.
1) I stopped doing everything scary. My ducks didn't like it when I walked fast, walked directly at them, made direct eye contact, or did anything else that made me seem like a predator. So I walked slowly in big arcs around them and looked next to them instead of at them. I noted anything that made them behave afraid and avoided it. They didn't like being surprised, so I spoke well in advance as I approached their aviary. They even felt afraid when I stood near them so I actually crawled several feet away before standing. I know it seems ridiculous, but I wanted them to not see me as scary and I was willing to do whatever it took.

2) Everytime they saw me I made it a positive experience. I wanted them to think, "yay that human is coming!" So even if I was just passing to grab a wrench from the shop I threw them some mealworms. If they caught a glimpse of me they would get some of their favorite snack.

3) Spend crazy amounts of time being still with them. I put a blanket in their aviary and brought a book, my knitting, my lunch, and of course a little jar of mealworms. I hung out with them being quiet and still for as much time as possible. Periodically I threw mealworms to them. As they became comfortable eating the mealworms I threw them closer and closer to me. Eventually they were eating from my hands and lap. It usually took a week or more for them to get comfortable eating mealworms 20 feet away from me, and then I would throw them 15 feet away. They would be very nervous at first, so I would ignore them and read while they ate. As they got comfortable I would look next to them. I was very patient, worked at their pace, and moved as slowly as they needed.

As they got comfortable I quietly said the same phrase while they ate mealworms, "come here ducks." It has been extremely useful. I can call my ducks off our pond!

It took about 2-3 months of dedicated positive association training for my ducks to respond differently to me. Over the years they have continued to bond with me. Can you believe these ducks were ever terrified of me?
B1761ADB-9071-45CE-BE8F-CD4D939E9F0D.jpeg
 

Nao57

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1) I stopped doing everything scary. My ducks didn't like it when I walked fast, walked directly at them, made direct eye contact, or did anything else that made me seem like a predator. So I walked slowly in big arcs around them and looked next to them instead of at them. I noted anything that made them behave afraid and avoided it. They didn't like being surprised, so I spoke well in advance as I approached their aviary. They even felt afraid when I stood near them so I actually crawled several feet away before standing. I know it seems ridiculous, but I wanted them to not see me as scary and I was willing to do whatever it took.

2) Everytime they saw me I made it a positive experience. I wanted them to think, "yay that human is coming!" So even if I was just passing to grab a wrench from the shop I threw them some mealworms. If they caught a glimpse of me they would get some of their favorite snack.

3) Spend crazy amounts of time being still with them. I put a blanket in their aviary and brought a book, my knitting, my lunch, and of course a little jar of mealworms. I hung out with them being quiet and still for as much time as possible. Periodically I threw mealworms to them. As they became comfortable eating the mealworms I threw them closer and closer to me. Eventually they were eating from my hands and lap. It usually took a week or more for them to get comfortable eating mealworms 20 feet away from me, and then I would throw them 15 feet away. They would be very nervous at first, so I would ignore them and read while they ate. As they got comfortable I would look next to them. I was very patient, worked at their pace, and moved as slowly as they needed.

As they got comfortable I quietly said the same phrase while they ate mealworms, "come here ducks." It has been extremely useful. I can call my ducks off our pond!

It took about 2-3 months of dedicated positive association training for my ducks to respond differently to me. Over the years they have continued to bond with me. Can you believe these ducks were ever terrified of me?
View attachment 79086
Wow. Excellent guide.

Thank you.

(And that one on the right, possibly a Welsh Harley?)
 

Nao57

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Yes! She's my welshie! I've had her since she was a day old, the others are my rescues. :-D

And my pleasure. I adore ducks.
I think the welsh harleys are the prettiest duck breed out of all of them. They are just so amazing.
 
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