Who doesn’t love little ducklings…When they begin to follow you with their cute little webbed feet they become more adorable?
Most of the time people wonder why their little ducks follow them all the time. Here is the answer for your question.
Some people may often think that ducks follow them in need of food or some other else. But the actual reason is not that.
Many pets like dogs show their gratitude and their happiness to their owners by making physical engagements.
So people relate ducks with dogs and think ducks too feel the same kind of attachment to humans. But that’s not the case among ducks.
What to Do if A Duckling Imprints on You?
If a duck accidentally imprints on a human, lead it toward the mother duck as soon as possible. Initial imprinting will be taken care of by the mother duck when the duckling reaches the mom.
But if the duckling stays longer with humans, it may start to trust only humans and not the other way around.
If you are a duck owner with a duckling accidentally imprinted on you, then don’t worry.
In this blog, we have explained duckling imprinting and what to do with ducklings thinking of humans as their mothers.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy the reading.
Why Do Ducks Imprint on You?
Most animals depend upon their mother for at least six months or a year on their mother for food, shelter, and protection. In the same way, ducklings need protection and food.
They totally depend on their mother. But the problem arises in recognizing its mother.
This is the reason in some cases why these duckling imprints on humans. When they consider you as their parent and they’ll be following you all day long.
What Happens When A Duck Imprints on You?
Imprinting is the act of a newborn animal encountering its mother. When ducks imprint, they do it with their mother ducks.
But sometimes, ducklings will imprint on their human owners. When ducks imprint on you, they will consider you as their mother duck.
Since the mother duck takes care of all the duckling needs, the small duck will be looking for you for food and water.
The duck will even start to think of itself as a fellow human and start to act like a human. This will make it difficult for the duck to join the flock and live as another duck.
But do ducks imprint only on their mothers or the first person they see?
Do Ducks Imprint on The First Person They See?
Ducks will usually imprint on their mother ducks for most time as they are the first person they witness. But sometimes, few ducklings will imprint on other animals and even humans and consider them as the provider.
It is portrayed in the Cartoon show ‘Tom and Jerry’, where the duckling imprints on the cat and thinks of it as the provider mother. It is such fun to watch.
But in real life, this is a problem. A duck imprinting on any animal will consider itself as the animal.
So, the duck imprinting on a cat will see itself as a cat and start acting like a cat. This will lead to the duck forgetting itself and moving away from the duck flocks.
If a duck imprints accidentally, then how long does the duck imprinting last on the duckling?
How Long Does Duck Imprinting Last?
Ducks will start to imprint immediately after opening their eyes. Once when the ducks hatch from eggs, ducklings will start to clean themselves and start opening their eyes.
After emerging from the egg, they will imprint on the first thing that comes in sight. This imprint window will last 12 to 36 hours after hatching.
During this time period, usually, the mother duck will start pampering and ducklings will imprint immediately on their mothers.
But if by accident a duck imprints on other animals, there is nothing to worry about. Take the duckling to its mother and move away from the place immediately.
The mother duck will invite it into the group and the ducklings will start to move as flocks.
Even if the duck has been imprinted for a longer time, the next 14 days are the crucial ones. The duck will have an unconditional bond with whom it spends the next 14 days after its birth.
So, if the duck imprints on you accidentally, make it meet its family and get the genetic memory to play its role.
Final Words on Ducks Imprinting
Summing up, Ducks will imprint immediately on the first person they encounter. Mostly, ducklings will imprint only on their mothers. But sometimes, the ducklings may imprint on others than the mother duck.
If any duck imprints accidentally on another animal, it must be taken to the mother as soon as possible.
Accidental imprinting is common and it can be reversed within the first 30 hours after hatching.
Once after imprint, the ducks will start bonding with the mother for 14 days to develop a strong bond with the provider.
During this period, the ducks will learn to drink, feed, and move safely as a flock. If accidental imprinting is not reversed, then the duck will not become a flock member ever.
So that was all about ducks imprinting and why duck owners must stay away from the duck eggs while hatching.
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See ya! Until then Quack Quack!!. 😉
Duck Imprinted on You – Related Questions
Can Ducks Imprint Twice?
Yes! Ducks can imprint many times. If they accidentally imprint on humans, ducklings can be trained to imprint on their mothers.
But if the ducks are grown only by a human, then the duck will imprint and form a bond with the human till the end.
Can Ducks Form Bonds with Humans?
Ducks can form bonds if they imprint first on humans. The bond will grow stronger for several days when the human starts to feed and nurture the bird.
Once the bond is sealed for the first 14 days, then the duckling will have a great emotional bonding and love for the owner.
But this must be done only if the ducks do not have a parent duck to take care of. Duck poultries use this technique to grow ducks from incubators.