Do Ducks Cry? (What It Sounds Like & What It Means)

I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like ducks. Watching them at the local lake; their synergy, small quacks, and playfulness bring us a sense of calm. 

If you’re raising ducks as poultry or pets, you may see things get a bit more chaotic or quirky.

You’ll see ducks have a full range of emotions, capable of happy, playful emotions, and also those of distress. You may have even heard strange little quacks, and thought to yourself: is my duck crying?

If you think your ducks crying or you’re merely curious, here’s whether ducks can cry, what it sounds like, and whether ducks can cry tears. 

Do Ducks Cry?

Most animals are capable of expressing their feelings. From dogs whining, chickens trilling, or a cat’s meow.

Ducks do cry, but they do so by quacking rather than shedding tears.

Ducks will cry for various different reasons, from a protective mama duck trying to rally her babies, to communicating that they are in pain, to quacking at night from being lonely or scared.  

The common trend? A duck will cry out when they are distressed.

If you hear your ducks crying out, the best thing to do is try to determine why. They could be wanting food or water, panicked from a recent predator interaction, or are simply wanting attention.

If you can’t figure out why your duck is crying, you can comfort and calm them down by being close and gently petting them. Ducks respond well to human comfort, especially if they’ve imprinted on them as ducklings. The same can be said with chickens imprinting on their owners.

Do Ducklings Cry?

Just like many baby animals, ducklings don’t have any ways to defend themselves. They are also a little bit hopeless if you ask me!

So, ducklings will actually use their cry to attract the attention of their mama duck, or human owner if they’ve imprinted on them!

A duckling’s cry sounds like a high-pitched and constant quacking, usually much quicker between quacks than normal.

If your ducklings are crying out it’s best to try to find out what’s upsetting them! It can be for food, if they think they’re in danger, or even if they’re stuck somewhere!

What Does A Ducks Cry Sound Like?

So, how can you tell a duck’s cry from its many other quacks?

Well, it can vary depending on the situation. A cry in pain will sound like a low, consistent, and repeating quack. A quack for food or attention will tend to be more rapid and loud. A duck crying in response to a potential predator will almost sound like they are panicking!

So, the easiest way to tell if your duck’s quacks are because they are crying is because it will sound different from their normal, harmonious quacks. 

You can also look at their behavior. A crying duck will normally look visually distressed.

Do Ducks Cry Tears?

Although ducks do have tear ducts, they are not effective in producing tears. This is one of the reasons why ducks will use water to rehydrate and clean their eyes.

Because of this, ducks do not cry tears. Well, not from sadness anyway. 

If you’ve seen any fluids coming from your duck’s eye or tear duct, it may be a sign of a blocked tear duct. This will usually present as foamy or a bubbly liquid in your duck’s eye.

This should not be confused with a duck simply crying, and you should seek advice from a qualified veterinarian about how you can help your duck!

What Does It Mean If Ducks Cry Tears?

Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that ducks will cry actual tears on any normal basis.

So, if you do visually see your ducks crying, or their eyes full of water, then you should contact your veterinarian as this could be an indication of possible illness.

This could be a sign of infection from dirt, debris, rough mating, or scratches. Bear in mind that a duck’s sinuses run down the back of their heads, so eye-related issues may also be accompanied by respiratory or sinus problems.

Symptoms of infected eyes in ducks include redness, tearing, bubbling eyes, and closed eyes.

Consult your veterinarian if your ducks have any of the symptoms above. 

Do Ducks Have Emotions?

The longer you spend with your ducks, the more you will understand that they truly do a full range of emotions.

It’s hilarious to sit back and watch your ducks interact, showing emotions like anxiety, playfulness, and even jealousy!

Sure, they may not be able to grasp the most complex thoughts or emotions, but they are able to express all the basic emotions. This is evolutionary so that your ducks can communicate with one another, and to other animals to tell them to back off or to alert their flock!

Do Ducks Get Sad

I don’t care what others say, ducks are capable of feeling sadness. Ask anyone who has raised ducks before, and they’ll attest that sometimes ducks aren’t always their happy-go-lucky selves.

However, a duck won’t typically get sad for the reasons you might think. In fact, a duck’s sadness is normally observed when they are timid, unmoving, and lethargic. This can be caused by many factors, ranging from health, loneliness, and stress. Ducks don’t tend to get sad for no reason, but they may get sad when a flockmate dies, just like in chickens.

In Short

Ducks are highly emotional creatures, well some of them are anyways!

Just like most animals, they act on their emotions, showing their feelings to their flock or to other animals.

Although ducks do cry when they are distressed or require attention, they will do so with their quacking rather than shedding actually tears.

If you hear some strange consistent quacking going on, different from their normal quacks, then they may be crying for a particular reason. Try to find out what’s going on so you can cheer up your ducks!

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