Ducks can make wonderful pets because of their highly social nature and ability to bond with humans. With this social nature, however, often comes aggression. Ducks may learn to react aggressively to humans or other animals, and an aggressive duck can inflict substantial damage. Most aggressive ducks, however, can be socialized to be friendly. Aggression is usually a result of fear, so it's important to approach your duck calmly and never punish your duck for biting.
Things You'll Need
- Duck treats
Take your duck to an avian veterinarian. Potential health issues should be ruled out before you begin attempting to tame your duck. Ducks may become aggressive during breeding season or if they are in pain, and these are problems that only a vet can solve.
Sit near your duck without approaching it or making eye contact. Aggressive ducks typically have a particular distance from humans they need to maintain in order to feel comfortable. When a human gets closer than this distance, they bite. Sit just outside this distance. Pick at grass and dirt on the ground. This mimics the duck's own behavior and can help to soothe your duck.
Place duck treats in a circle around the area where you are sitting. Make sure your duck does not have to get too close to you to get to the treats. This helps your duck to begin to associate you with food. Repeat this routine every day, gradually placing the treats closer to yourself so the duck has to get closer to you to eat.
Feed your duck by hand. Avoid making any sudden movements, and speak calmly and sweetly to your duck. Don't try to pick your duck up. This can cause your duck to become even more fearful and aggressive than before.
Place a treat in your lap after your duck has allowed you to feed it by hand for several days. Your duck may not be willing to climb into your lap at first, but keep trying every day until it does. If your duck is very resistant to climbing in your lap, place a trail of treats leading to your lap. This can help to ease your duck into getting into your lap. Do not pet your duck when it gets into your lap until your duck has been doing so for several weeks.
Tips & Warnings
- Never try to tame a wild duck. Wild ducks need to be fearful of humans in order to remain safe.
- "The Duck Handbook"; Julie R. Mancini, Heinz-Sigurd Rathel; 2005
- "Backyard Ducks and Geese"; J.C. Jeremy Hobson; 2010
- "Keeping Pet Ducks"; Liz Wright; 2010
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images