Say hello to the “puppy ducks”.
We rehomed our adult Muscovy ducks in an effort to replace them with ducks not so obsessed with being inside our stall barn. Our old Muscovy flock had become convinced they needed to be inside that barn 24/7 after I made the mistakes of rehabbing a hurt one in there and he told the rest of the flock what a wonderful world he found—deep straw, food of all kinds (oh how they loved stealing the cat food) and no other poultry to bother them. It was duck heaven. 😒
Despite my best efforts, I absolutely could not keep them out…and oh, how we battled. They could fly over fences, sneak through holes and sat outside the door waiting to run inside. It was driving me insane. Having a barn aisle covered in slimey duck poo saw me slip in it one too many times so I finally found them a new home with a friend, where they did not yet know all the ways inside the barn. 🤨
But because I highly value Muscovy for their insect eating abilities, I was determined to start a new flock and be sure they NEVER learned bad habit. So I obtained replacements a few weeks ago—four adorable little babies.
Shunned by our other ducks (Muscovy are entirely separate species than other barnyard ducks), the babies became interested in the human family. It didn’t take long for Evie to make them hand tame—because what is better than wee ducks that eat out of your hand? I mean, awwwwwwwww.
And so began a series of unfortunate decisions…
Baby ducks learned to sit on laps and be fed.
Baby ducks got picked up and carted everywhere, thus learning to be fearless about all human activity.
Baby ducks began to follow closely at the heels of all humans, in hopes of food or attention.
Baby ducks figured out where the humans lived when they weren’t outside to be followed.
And so you can now figure out what stage we have come to. I have managed to trade in my “I want to live in the barn” ducks for a flock of “I want to live in the house” ducks.