An expectant mother is living in fear of her own pet ducks, who have taken to chasing her down and pecking at her ever since she became pregnant, the Gold Coast woman says.
Isabelle Borkiewicz believes a hormone imbalance could be the possible cause behind the birds’ bad behaviour.
“As soon as they hear me they just chase after me,” she said.
“They won’t let me pass and aggressively peck at my toes.”
Mrs Borkiewicz said she sometimes felt like a prisoner in her own home because her pet male ducks, Doris and Anna, patrol the backyard.
“The dominant duck gets everything that he wants and will go for anything he wants,” she said.
A lone female duck, named Whinger, prefers to be passive rather than aggressive.
The expectant mother said her problems started when the alpha male died last year, leaving Doris and Anna to lead the small flock of three.
It’s probably a learned behaviour: vet
The unusual behaviour has piqued the interest of Gold Coast veterinarian, Dr Richard Seymour, who specialises in animal behaviour.
“It’s pretty unusual for any pet really to be seen to attack or chase their owners around like this,” he said.
Dr Seymour said while Mrs Borkiewicz believed the problem started when she became pregnant, he thought it has “probably become a learned behaviour”.
His advice to the wary duck owner was to protect herself and be patient.
“If you wear some long pants and some closed shoes, and try to ignore them, and just see,” he suggested.
“I’ll think you’ll find over time, potentially it will change.”
Mrs Borkiewicz said a new backyard fence had stopped the feathers from flying any further.
“Now that my father-in-law has built that fence, I will feed them over the fence,” she said.
Despite the standoff between the angry birds, and their owner, the animal lover said she had no plans to part with her pets.
“I do hope that their behaviour will change,” she said. “I will just have to wear tougher shoes,” she add