We all know that cats and dogs, especially kittens and puppies, love to play. But what about ducks? Do ducks like to play too?
I have had pet ducks now for almost a decade. My first, Maggie, grew up in my house, along with my kitten Gigi. Like all kittens, Gigi loved to play. (Still does to this day.) And she taught Maggie how to as well.
They shared a love of one particular toy – Mouse on a string. This was a furry shaped ‘mouse’ that was attached to a stretchy cord. This in turn was attached to a stick. You hung the mouse out like you were fishing. And inevitable it was pounced upon. Sometimes by Gigi, sometimes Maggie. Sometimes both.
Gigi was of the rush and bat it in passing mode. She loved this because it stretched the string and then the mouse would bounce all over the place, causing more mayhem.
Maggie’s preferred method of attack was to sneak in close and poke it with her beak. It would bounce away and back to her for another poke. This could go on for ages and she would get up a good rhythm. Most of the time she was successful in hitting it. The few times she wasn’t were always hilarious because the missed mouse would inevitably pass her and then come back to bop her on the head.
Another toy that ducks like to play with is a ball with a bell in it. Actually any ball will do, preferably colourful. They like to push it around the floor and chase after it. Though note, like a puppy they can also easily forget about it if it rolls under the sofa.
Okay sure, that’s when they are young. But what about when they grow to be adults? Do ducks still play? Yes, they do. Very like we adult humans still do. They still like to chase and push balls around. But added to that now is our hands and feet.
Once hormones kick in (about 6 months old) is when feet and hands become fascinating to them. And in addition shoes and gloves. Ducks can really develop a shoe fetish, both to hang out with, but also to play with. My favourite is Dean, Crowley and Marv on Instagram. Marv is the Captain of play when it comes to slippers.
Ducks also love to check out feet, nibble them, bite them, and sometimes even just sit on them. When they are nibbling at feet or hands, if in play mode it rarely hurts unless they catch your skin just so. But if they are in hormone mode, they can peck hard. It’s easy to know the difference at the time by their sounds and mannerisms.
Hands are great for tickling them and gently pushing them back. I played this game with Gabby all the time. He loved to come up to me to be pushed back, so he slid back over the linoleum floor. He then would run forward to do it again. And again, and again. Like cats and dogs they could go on for hours if you are willing.
Ducks also make very joyous sounds when playing. Sometimes almost like a giggle, other times truly like a belly laugh. You start to recognise certain sounds when you play certain games with them.
So yes, ducks are playful. And so much fun to play with. They make me laugh every time.
For More Duck 101 Tails:
More Duck Stuff
And should you be on the lookout for duck and other animal inspired gifts – you’ll find quite a few in my shops, from vintage and antiques to new items actually designed by me.
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