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How to care for your Khaki Campbell Duck

Updated on June 1, 2014
floppy about a month old
floppy about a month old

Loving your Khaki Campbell Duck

All ducks require a lot of attention and all the love you can give them. They can be pretty skittish and are often shy. You can help them get over this by being there for them in any way possible. Khaki Campbells love to be with you at all times but it is much more prominent if you keep them inside with you 24/7. Ducks imprint on their parent/care giver and it is important for them to be with that guardian at all times when they are uncomfortable. Floppy (my Khaki Campbell) is a little over 2 months old and he always needs to have me in his sight or he squawks in distress. I got him when he was around a week old and spent as much time as I could with him everyday since. It wasn't long before he started following me around and jumping on my lap so he could take naps. Imprinting is basically the bond that ensures your duck or goose loves you and will always want to be around you. Ducks are very much like any other animal in the love department. They like to have their heads stroked and enjoy cuddling. Floppy loves it when we take walks. He'll follow me right on my heels quacking happily. If I leave his line of sight it doesn't take 5 seconds before he starts his alarm. So I do my best to keep him where I can see him and, in turn, he can see me. This helps reduce his stress and I've found that once he isn't stressed anymore he relaxes and will walk/run through the house without needing me beside him all the time. A big part of loving your Khaki Campbell is reducing their stress anyway you can.

floppy at 2 mnths and a week on a leash
floppy at 2 mnths and a week on a leash

Harnessing your Khaki Campbell

Once your duck has imprinted on you it will pretty much follow you anywhere. So you might be wondering what the point of a harness is. To be honest I did too until I started taking Floppy outside where other people were. He doesn't take to other people immediately and, actually, they really scare him the first time he meets them. Since ducks are naturally skittish and they are considerably faster than we are when running it's just overall safer for them and for you if they are attached to you. A harness prevents them from being able to run far and getting lost. Also, Floppy likes to walk with us up the Thousand Steps. He has so much energy; he can hop, skip, and run faster than I can but as much energy as he has he's also really clumsy. He trips, stumbles, and slides just as much as he walks/runs. A harness is a safe way to ensure he doesn't fall down the steps or slide into a rock. I'm in the process of actually buying him a harness/diaper combo so she makes less of a mess in the house but in the meantime I make do with a leash that's looped around her. It doesn't hurt him and he's still free enough to flap his wings if he wants. A leash isn't a fool-proof solution though as it easily comes loose. A harness is much more secure and that much safer for your Khaki Campbell. I'd only use a leash as a quick fix and then only temporarily.

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    • profile image

      LynnieB61 

      2 years ago

      Hi! My K.C. Duckling is about a month. I've had him since he was under a week old. He is MUCH more skittish than the Pekin Ducks I'm familiar with. I can't hold him all day long but hold him probably 5x per day, roughly 15 min each time. That'd be plenty for a Pekin to imprint. Not this lil guy. He's terrified of me and tries like mad to escape. I'm shocked. Disappointed too. I will love and care for him always but wanted a love bug like my 3 mo old Pekin. Any suggestions? Other than holding more?

      Thanks!

    • Em Shawver profile imageAUTHOR

      Em Shawver 

      3 years ago

      The above is me sorry for any confusion. Also, you can feed them treats every time you let them out. I'd be careful about hand feeding since that can inadvertantly teach them to bite. I will warn against trying to get them more bonded to you if you aren't going to be around them much. They depend on the bonds they've made and, if you have a male, it can lead to a struggle you don't want to have. Recently I've had to put Floppy and his new mate Clover outside. I was sick and couldn't go see them. My fiancé took excellent care of them but Floppy made it a point of telling me I was still his female. To do that he would nip me anytime I got more than a foot away. Essentially it was his way of telling me never to leave his side.

    • profile image

      emily.shawver@yahoo.com 

      3 years ago

      Holding them would be a good start. I realize cuddling with ducklings can get a little messy but it is well worth it for results. If these two are going to be primarily outside I would say that an hour a day each will be sufficient to ensure that they bond with you as well. I generally keep my new ducklings for 2-3 weeks in a bin in the house. That gives us time to bond to each other and lets them grow their real feathers. How old are your ducklings? Each week of a ducklings life they can withstand temps ten degrees lower. Their first week they need 90 degrees to survive. So ideally you wait until they are about a month or two depending on their feathers and the weather before putting them outside.

    • profile image

      Linda L Greene 

      3 years ago

      We just got 2 khaki duckling they are bonded to each other but how can I get them to bond with myself and my husband we got them on Monday and today is Saturday we take them out of their 4x5' pen in our house at the very least once a day and let them swim in our extra large bathtub what else can we do to bond with them

    • Em Shawver profile imageAUTHOR

      Em Shawver 

      4 years ago

      Avina363,

      Floppy used to do that all the time and, to tell the truth, he still does. That's part of why I recommend keeping them on leash or buying them a harness. Once a duckling is bound to humans and thinks he/she is also a human they will follow just about anyone. If you have the time to spend with him/her then I'd suggest spending more one on one time with your baby as well. I hope this helps. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask.

      Em Shawver

    • profile image

      Avina363 

      4 years ago

      i have a single khaki campbell duck and he is always following other people . how do i stop him from doing that???

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