How to care for your Khaki Campbell Duck
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.
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.