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Need input as this is my first winter with ducks. Ducks seem to be 'searching' do they need something more to eat?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Here is what I've been seeing the past few days: ducks will march all over the yard stopping to dibble any exposed grass patches.  They were messing around with (eating?) the branches of our old christmas tree, they are exploring the dried leaves of any plants left outside.  They seem very restless like they are looking for something specific and this morning didn't even stop to look at the fresh water and fermented food, just took off into the property doing the above.  I gave them some green peas which they gobbled up, which is not unusual.  I put some fermented feed and some dry feed closer to the house where they've been congregating but they didn't do more that look at it.

 

I couldn't shake the feeling that they wanted something to eat that they aren't getting so I chopped up some lettuce and they really gobbled that up.  Then they walked back to their pen area, ate some fermented food and drank some water and now they are calmly cleaning their feathers and have stopped the marching around business.

 

So.  Are they starving for greens and do I need to provide some to them every day?  I feel bad if this is what they wanted, poor things.  It's only been a couple of days that I've seen this behavior, though.

 

We're up in Wisconsin, everything is frozen and snow covered including my ducks beloved river :(

 

Does anyone have an insight on this behavior and what I'm doing wrong?

post #2 of 11

They're hunting for goodies :)

 

Goodies could be greens, scratch grain, seeds, worms, etc.

 

Tossing down some scratch grain can go a long way to helping them  have a job to do & fulfill a natural behavior.

 

I offer dabbling greens even in the winter.  Even on our below zero days they dabble enough to  keep it from freezing while there are greens in there.

 

For bonus fun you can put some whole scratch grain like barley or millet (no cracked corn)  on the bottom of the pan.  My girls really seem to enjoy spelunking for that.


Edited by cayugaducklady - 2/2/16 at 6:43am
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Of course, duh.  How could I forget about their behavior needs?  I threw some scratch around by their house and tomorrow they will have some fun stuff to dabble for!

 

Thank you

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Update: now have the happiest ducks ever.  They had a nice bowl of warm-ish water with floating bits of lettuce and some oats and millet this morning.  After bobbing and dipping and gobbling a little, several of them had to waddle away to talk about their good fortune!  It was evident that was the topic of their conversation. 

 

Super. Happy. Ducks. 

 

Great idea, thank you!

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedles View Post
 

Update: now have the happiest ducks ever.  They had a nice bowl of warm-ish water with floating bits of lettuce and some oats and millet this morning.  After bobbing and dipping and gobbling a little, several of them had to waddle away to talk about their good fortune!  It was evident that was the topic of their conversation. 

 

Super. Happy. Ducks. 

 

Great idea, thank you!

:thumbsup

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

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 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

Reply
post #6 of 11

I give my girls whole cabbages to  rip leaves off of, too.  They will freeze, though, so if you  are going to have freezing temps while the cabbage is out for them it is best to quarter or halve them.

 

I only give cabbage about once a week. I can get a few days out of a whole cabbage.  If i cut it I get about a day to day and a half out of it.

 

Purple cabbage makes funky colored staining poos so beware if you dont want soemthing stained.

 

Napa cabbage, bok choy, green cabbage, red cabbage all work.  I offer whatever is on sale or I can pick up cheaply from a produce wholesaler.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedles View Post
 

Update: now have the happiest ducks ever.  They had a nice bowl of warm-ish water with floating bits of lettuce and some oats and millet this morning.  After bobbing and dipping and gobbling a little, several of them had to waddle away to talk about their good fortune!  It was evident that was the topic of their conversation. 

 

Super. Happy. Ducks. 

 

Great idea, thank you!

I think I might try this.  :cool:

Bordering on insanity alongside my Border collies and Indian runners.
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Bordering on insanity alongside my Border collies and Indian runners.
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

When you do it you'll see.... prepare to become the most awesomest biped in the world of ducks!

 

They do like the napa cabbage as well.  And radish leaves!

post #9 of 11

oo i forgot about radish leaves.  They love beet tops, too, but we usually eat those :D

 

Romaine and spring mix type lettuce is a fun treat, too.  but I try not to give too often because lettuce goes right trough them.

post #10 of 11

My ducks found their own entertainment.  They lay under the suet feeder and wait for seed to drop.  Then they scramble for it and dig around in case they missed any.  :lau

They've also started climbing the steps to my deck in the hopes they can reach the feeder from there.  Now I know why their is duck **** on my deck.  :gig

Bordering on insanity alongside my Border collies and Indian runners.
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Bordering on insanity alongside my Border collies and Indian runners.
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