Spend Time With Your Duck, A Lot Of Time
Sometimes you get lucky with a duck that is super friendly, calm, and even bonded with you, like Smokey, without any training. Sometimes you get ducks that are crazy, and if that is the case, you are in luck, or should I say, duck! That is why I wrote this post!
When you want your duck to be friendly, calm, and trusting, the most important thing is to spend a lot of time with them. I highly recommend you buy a duckling to hand-raise, as they grow up being much friendlier than ducks who aren't. Spend a lot of time with your duckling, and as they grow, if you continue to spend time with them, they will grow up being very calm. You should spend at least 3 hours a day with them if you want them to be friendly as adults. Sit them in your lap and pet them, hold them, and show them to family members. Try to include your duck in everything possible.
Food, Food, And More Food!!!
Give your duck lots of treats and feed, sit beside their feeder while they eat, and offer some by hand. Soon, they will be eating out of your hand! It is a very rewarding experience when your duck trusts you enough to eat from your hands. Give them spinach, lettuce, kale, and other greens as treats, and spoil them with their favorite foods so they look at you as a friend instead of a predator.
TAKE IT SLOWLY!
One step at a time. Don't do anything to quick, and don't try to make your duck tame in one day. It is a process of building trust over a long period of time. The magic doesn't happen overnight. Make sure to tell your kids to be calm and relaxed around their ducks. A crazy and over excited kid running around and chasing the duck is the last thing that will make your duck become calm and tame. You need to be calm, relaxed, and most importantly, patient, with your bird. For them to be calm, you must be calm. If you try to pick them up, but they run, give them a break and try again later. Once you do catch them, do not put them down until they have relaxed and are calm. After they have become calm, set them down as a reward for becoming relaxed instead of scared and uptight.
Tone Of Your Voice
Talking loudly, laughing loudly, sudden movements, and shouting are all ways to lower the trust between you and your duck. Talk in a soothing, lower tone, like if you were singing a lullaby to a baby. When you pick them up, pet them slowly and talk to them in a slow, soothing, and quiet voice. Breathe slowly, and don't be scared of your duck at all. Ducks will likely not bite you, and if they do, it won't hurt as near as much as you may assume. If you are fearful or nervous in any way, your duck will sense it and become fearful and nervous as well. You must be in a completely relaxed and calm state.
Get Down At Their Level
Getting down at their level will help because you don't look as big and scary as you do when you are standing. Get down on your knees and feed them out of your hands. If they won't eat out of your hands yet, slowly sprinkle some food around yourself so they get comfortable eating near you before eating from you. Stay crouched down or on your knees. Only get up when you are leaving their pen. To get your ducks comfortable around your presence, spend some time sitting in their run. If they are scared of you at first, don't worry, they will calm down and keep going about their business.