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Why Do Ducks Hiss? (5 Reasons Why)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

The other day I was very surprised when walking by my ducks coop I heard a hissing sound coming from them.

I was surprised because I had never heard them hissing before and I did not know what to make of it.

Why do ducks hiss? Ducks hiss as a means to communicate when they are in danger and want to defend themselves, their eggs or their young ones. It is simply a means of telling you to stay away and do not come any closer. Ducks will viciously protect their eggs, themselves and their young ones if they find they are in danger.

Why do ducks hiss?

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Now we know that it is perfectly normal for ducks to hiss and there is nothing to be scared about, here are some of the reasons why ducks hiss.

1. Ducks will hiss as a warning shot

First one thing you need to know is that most animals will hiss as a warning to another person or animal and ducks are not left out.

Think of it this way, most animals are very protective of their space – themselves, their partners and their young ones

Same goes for ducks and the only way they can communicate that defensive strategy to potential threats is by hissing.

It is their way of telling them to back off or they will be forced to attack or do something to protect themselves.

Ducks are generally fun loving birds and want to avoid confrontation at all cost, so think of this as a warning shot to tell all predators and threats to stay back.

You may see them doing this if another duck is on their turf, trying to take their partner, if their eggs or young ones are in danger or if there is any threat to them.

2. Ducks will hiss if they are in pain

Another reason why your ducks may hiss is if they are in pain and trying to let you know.

All animals especially if you keep them as pets have a unique way to let humans know when they are in pain and they need help, and in the case of ducks they will usually hiss when they are experiencing pain.

3. Ducks will hiss when they are in unfamiliar territory

If you have ever watched your ducks play and splash around in the pool, you will notice that they tend to like surroundings they are familiar with.

They want a place where they are comfortable and can feel at home

So because of this, your ducks hissing might be as a result of them being in a place where they are scared and uncomfortable.

If you think about it, it really makes sense. If as a human you get to find yourself in a place that is uncomfortable, the first thing that comes to mind is to get out of there.

So ducks will generally sound the alarm and hiss if they find they are in unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations.

4. Ducks will hiss if they are stressed out

Ever seen a duck stressed out? It is not a pretty sight

Most times ducks are stressed out when they are naturally afraid and this might be as a result of the presence of a predator or potential harm to their eggs or young ones.

And when they are stressed, the one thing they do is to hiss

It’s normal and there is nothing you can do about it

What you want to do is ensure that whatever is stressing them out is taken care off and they are placed in familiar surroundings.

5. Ducks hiss when you are bugging them

Yes it happens a lot of time. I know ducks are fun animals, they make good pets and they love hugging and cuddling but there might come a time when they just want to be alone

And if you keep bugging them out this period trying to hug them, they are going to bare their fangs and tell you to bug off (Just kidding).

They may not want to be picked up, petted or hugged and at that time you just want to leave them alone.

It’s best to monitor them and know when they want to be alone and when they are happy and want to come around.

Basically ducks will hiss as a way to communicate and let you know what they are feeling

It is perfectly normal and should not be a cause of alarm.

What causes my ducks to hiss?

All ducks will hiss as part of their natural conversation so you should not take it seriously.

But you want to take note because when they hiss, they can bite and their bite is actually painful.

Muscovy ducks are the main types that constantly hiss especially among the male

The female ducks do not hiss as much or as loud as the males but both males and females will make a loud hissing sound with that of the female sounding a bit louder.

What should I do if my ducks are hissing at me?

First and foremost, if your ducks are hissing at you, you want to give them space and allow them to calm down

As mentioned above, a ducks bite is quite painful and they will bite you if you come to close when they hiss at you

Make sure you keep a close eye on the body language and behaviour of your birds so you know how they are feeling if and when you want to pet them.

Also if you have kids and young ones at home, you want to teach them how to pet your ducks and how to stay away if they spot any aggressive behaviour.

Finally make sure your ducks have their own coop, so they can easily move in there and relax if they are stressed out or feeling uncomfortable.


Ducks will hiss as a way to communicate when they are in danger, threatened or feeling uncomfortable.

It is a normal behavior among ducks and if you notice your ducks hissing you want to give them some time to relax and calm down

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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