I Think Our Ducks Hate Me 7

Khaki Campbell Ducks

So, I’m pretty sure the ducks think I’m the worst.

I tried my best to get them to love me. When they were little, I would hang out with them as long as I could and sing songs or read aloud to them. While I was busy on the farm, I’d play an interview I did (on the Farmer to Farmer podcast) so they’d get used to my voice (full disclaimer, I’ve never listened to the podcast myself….I hate hearing myself speak!).


I looked for treats around the farm for them to make sure they didn’t miss out on anything delicious (well, not always delicious to me….although I guess I’ve never given slugs a fair shot).

I avoided direct eye contact with them when I read that it might make me seem like a predator.

When they were traumatized from an overnight raccoon visit, I added Rescue Remedy flower essence and homeopathic arnica to their drinking water to help them get over the shock. (yes, I’m a hippie)

I tried being extra smiley every time I passed by them after reading that some animals can tell when humans are smiling (like pigeons).

I bought them only the best local and organic grains and turn it into an oatmeal –like paste by adding water (they will no longer touch their food while it’s dry).

I make sure their rotating forage area includes fresh grass and other plants, low shrubs, and trees so they have exactly the type of habitat they want in any given moment.

But still they hate me.

organic ducks

They run away and hide every time they see me.

They only eat the treats I leave them when they know I’m good and gone (if they even eat them at all….sometimes they leave them untouched just to spite me).

Some of them will always veer off while I’m herding them just to let me know how much I suck at it.

And then, when I’m gone, they have a nice, loud laugh at my expense. So I can hear just how happy they are when I’m not there.

Khaki Campbell ducks

But still.

I do adore them and am so happy they live on this farm with me.


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7 thoughts on “I Think Our Ducks Hate Me

  • Delanie

    What kind are they? We’ve thought about getting ducks (we have a lake on the farm) but we have a problem with Canadian Geese and not sure what would happen, I suppose I would need a separate pen/fence for the ducks. Just heard the podcast from Permaculture Voices yesterday – Diego had put it up as a “replay” on his site. I now have your website saved as a favorite!

    • broadforkfarm Post author

      Our ducks are Khaki Campbells. I’m so glad you enjoyed the podcast and our website Delanie. I’ll keep my eye on updates from your website too.

  • James Boosey


    Maybe you already know this, but Khaki Campbell’s are notoriously nervous ducks.

    I raise ducks for eggs in southwest Missouri. I had to learn quickly that they spook easily and crave consistency. I was once told my a more experience gentleman that a duck can get used to a freight train traveling within inches of it everyday, but a sudden unexpected twig snapping will send it into terror!

    I have found that adding Welsh Harlequin’s and muscovys to my flock has helped. They are much calmer. I also run geese which helps protect and makes them feel more secure when they’re out and about during daylight hours.


    • broadforkfarm Post author

      Thanks for the great tips!…we’re interested in adding other duck breeds and geese. Any geese tips? Are they nice to you?

      • James Boosey

        Geese are very good natured if raised right. Get them as day old goslings and they will grow up to follow you around like a dog! Geese have a strong imprint psychology. That is to say if you raise them from day old they will think of you as Mum! If you get pairs or trios, a goose and gander or two goose and one gander then they will pair up as they mature, but they will never forget the bond with you. You should know though that geese can live for over 30 years so it can be quite the commitment. Unless of course you plan to eat them!

        All our geese are raised for eggs, we don’t raise meat geese. They are very seasonal layers, we’re we are located they lay an egg a day from late December through early June. There eggs are very large, as much as twice the size of a duck egg. And they’re delicious.

        Breed wise we raise three varieties at present. White Chinese, Brown Chinese and Toulouse. The Chinese are noisey and honk loudly at anything that displeases them! We are in a rural area so it is fine and it does bother us, you get used to it like a cockeral crowing. They are also superb watch animals. We have lots of large birds of prey, but have no attacks on our flocks due to the presence of the geese. If neighbours are a consideration then I would recommend the Toulouse goose. They are large, quite and calm. And they lay a reasonable amount of eggs.

        Geese can be aggressive to strangers. They are certainly intimidating, but it is largely bluster, but if you have lots of people visiting your farm then yiu might prefer to contain them with electonetting. There bill is razor sharp though, serrated like a saw. They are grazers and they use their bill to tear of grass. They make excellent orchard managers. They can also be trained to eat pest weeds, but make sure you introduce them to the weeds as food when they are young.

        Because of their diet preference they are cheap to keep. Ours will eat layer mash like our ducks and chickens, but they don’t need much except when they’re laying.

        The three breeds that I mentioned can fly and particulaly when young. So depending on the environment that you are in you might consider trimming their flight feathers.

        They are also extremely hardy. Ours have access to shelter at night, but prefer to sleep out in the open of our protected yard.

        We still raise chickens for eggs for a couple of our restaurant clients, but honestly if I could I would stop and focus entirely on ducks and geese. They are easier, more enjoyable to work with, they lay more eggs and more reliable than even a production variety hen. And ducks can lay for at least 5 years without decline. And their eggs taste better!