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Please help me!! My ducklings are terrified of me!! - Page 2

post #11 of 18
I don't know if nutritional yeast is the same as Brewers yeast? I used Brewers yeast for niacin supplement, just a powdered form that I sprinkled over their food
"Be like a duck; calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath."
 
~Michael Caine
 
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"Be like a duck; calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath."
 
~Michael Caine
 
Reply
post #12 of 18

Hello, I wanted to add a bit if I may?  I have 80 ducks. 70 are Golden Hybrids that I raised from day olds that are 22 weeks old, 7 adopted khakis that are about 8 months old, 1 adopted Indian Runner that is 8 months old and 2, 3 week old rescued Indian Runners.  I also have 1300 chickens.  I have an egg farm.

 

I totally agree with fourkidsandaduck when she said that ducks are prey animals.  They are naturally fearful and are extremely responsive to each other.  If one is upset, they all are.  You see this considerably more, probably, in the numbers that I have.  If one quacks, they all do.  If one runs, they all do.  I am extremely hands on with my ducks (and chickens).  Some will eat out of my hand and some wouldn't even consider it.  I have learned that moving slowly with them is important.  Routine is EXTREMELY important to ducks.  They like one person to let them out, feed them, handle duties, put them in at night.  If you are their person you are lucky.  This doesn't mean they will jump up on your lap, some may, but most probably won't.  It means they trust you to take care of their needs.

 

Let me explain further.  I am my duck's person.  This doesn't mean they don't get spooked if I move to quickly, nor does it mean they don't run when I come toward them.  What this means is that when I show up, they come running.  My ducks are free range, so when I go out to feed them, I have to wait for every one of them to assemble in the pen before I feed.  If anyone is outside the pen, they are upset. I guess we have built a mutual respect and understand the routine.  Every night at bedtime, they stand there and wait for me to come and put them to bed.  In contrast, if my husband goes out to their pen to work on things, they run to the back corner or the pasture and stay there until he walks away.  He can feed them but they are wary.  They come running at snack time which he provides.

 

Anyway, I'm trying to show you that it isn't that they don't like you.  It is just their instinct to control as much of their environment as they can I think, since really they are terribly vulnerable.  What else do they have but to run?  Just move slowly with them and respect their space.  Offer food from your hand and enjoy if any will come up and take it.  If they don't, don't feel sad.  Keep trying and understand they are a very weak animal with very big fears.

 

Now, onto the standing problem.  Are they growing too fast because you are feeding free choice still?  Ducks will overeat like crazy.  They are sure they are hungry and have no memory of eating  minutes ago.  This could cause them to struggle to stand if their legs are not developed enough.  I had a duck that walked on her tippy toes.  I thought she had problems with her back and discovered later that her legs were underdeveloped.  They since caught up and she walks normally.  I would restrict feed.  The math that I found to set your ducks up for optimum health and best egg production was to limit their feed starting at 3 weeks of age and until laying, to .35 pounds of food per day.  Since you have 5 ducks, that would work out to 1 3/4 pound of food each day.  I have a lot more ducks then you so I separated mine when they were little into 4 feedings per day (27 pounds).  I currently feed my ducks 10 pounds in the morning, 7.5 pounds in the morning and 10 pounds at night.  They are chubby but started laying eggs right on schedule and all are healthy.  Every now and again, one jumps down wrong and her leg hurts her a little but controlling their weight really seems to help with their healing.

 

I doubt probiotics would help with this problem and I don't know about the niacin.  If you are feeding a proper food, there should be enough.  I'd start controlling the feed immediately if you don't already to slow down weight gain and see how it goes. 

Mom to a son and two beautiful daughters.  Wife to a man as chicken crazy as me!

 

Just love my chickens!

Reply

Mom to a son and two beautiful daughters.  Wife to a man as chicken crazy as me!

 

Just love my chickens!

Reply
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaThistle View Post

Hello, I wanted to add a bit if I may?  I have 80 ducks. 70 are Golden Hybrids that I raised from day olds that are 22 weeks old, 7 adopted khakis that are about 8 months old, 1 adopted Indian Runner that is 8 months old and 2, 3 week old rescued Indian Runners.  I also have 1300 chickens.  I have an egg farm.

I totally agree with fourkidsandaduck when she said that ducks are prey animals.  They are naturally fearful and are extremely responsive to each other.  If one is upset, they all are.  You see this considerably more, probably, in the numbers that I have.  If one quacks, they all do.  If one runs, they all do.  I am extremely hands on with my ducks (and chickens).  Some will eat out of my hand and some wouldn't even consider it.  I have learned that moving slowly with them is important.  Routine is EXTREMELY important to ducks.  They like one person to let them out, feed them, handle duties, put them in at night.  If you are their person you are lucky.  This doesn't mean they will jump up on your lap, some may, but most probably won't.  It means they trust you to take care of their needs.

Let me explain further.  I am my duck's person.  This doesn't mean they don't get spooked if I move to quickly, nor does it mean they don't run when I come toward them.  What this means is that when I show up, they come running.  My ducks are free range, so when I go out to feed them, I have to wait for every one of them to assemble in the pen before I feed.  If anyone is outside the pen, they are upset. I guess we have built a mutual respect and understand the routine.  Every night at bedtime, they stand there and wait for me to come and put them to bed.  In contrast, if my husband goes out to their pen to work on things, they run to the back corner or the pasture and stay there until he walks away.  He can feed them but they are wary.  They come running at snack time which he provides.

Anyway, I'm trying to show you that it isn't that they don't like you.  It is just their instinct to control as much of their environment as they can I think, since really they are terribly vulnerable.  What else do they have but to run?  Just move slowly with them and respect their space.  Offer food from your hand and enjoy if any will come up and take it.  If they don't, don't feel sad.  Keep trying and understand they are a very weak animal with very big fears.

Now, onto the standing problem.  Are they growing too fast because you are feeding free choice still?  Ducks will overeat like crazy.  They are sure they are hungry and have no memory of eating  minutes ago.  This could cause them to struggle to stand if their legs are not developed enough.  I had a duck that walked on her tippy toes.  I thought she had problems with her back and discovered later that her legs were underdeveloped.  They since caught up and she walks normally.  I would restrict feed.  The math that I found to set your ducks up for optimum health and best egg production was to limit their feed starting at 3 weeks of age and until laying, to .35 pounds of food per day.  Since you have 5 ducks, that would work out to 1 3/4 pound of food each day.  I have a lot more ducks then you so I separated mine when they were little into 4 feedings per day (27 pounds).  I currently feed my ducks 10 pounds in the morning, 7.5 pounds in the morning and 10 pounds at night.  They are chubby but started laying eggs right on schedule and all are healthy.  Every now and again, one jumps down wrong and her leg hurts her a little but controlling their weight really seems to help with their healing.

I doubt probiotics would help with this problem and I don't know about the niacin.  If you are feeding a proper food, there should be enough.  I'd start controlling the feed immediately if you don't already to slow down weight gain and see how it goes. 

Thank you. I really appreciate all the information. I am giving them about 4 to 5 cups of food per day for them all the eat. I have not started restricting food yet, but I know I need to start taking it away at night. I did kind of wonder if her body is to big for her legs. Their bodies have been growing so fast I don't know if her legs have been able to catch up. Do you think I should feed them less? Or just take away food for a certain period of time?
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by afisher View Post


Thank you. I really appreciate all the information. I am giving them about 4 to 5 cups of food per day for them all the eat. I have not started restricting food yet, but I know I need to start taking it away at night. I did kind of wonder if her body is to big for her legs. Their bodies have been growing so fast I don't know if her legs have been able to catch up. Do you think I should feed them less? Or just take away food for a certain period of time?

Hmm.  That doesn't sound like it should be too much.  Do you feel that all at once or split it into separate feedings throughout the day?  Do they have enough room to move about to get exercise and build their muscles?  What is your bedding material?  Is the surface slippery?

Mom to a son and two beautiful daughters.  Wife to a man as chicken crazy as me!

 

Just love my chickens!

Reply

Mom to a son and two beautiful daughters.  Wife to a man as chicken crazy as me!

 

Just love my chickens!

Reply
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaThistle View Post

Hmm.  That doesn't sound like it should be too much.  Do you feel that all at once or split it into separate feedings throughout the day?  Do they have enough room to move about to get exercise and build their muscles?  What is your bedding material?  Is the surface slippery?
I feed it all at once. Now that they are getting bigger they don't really get to run around much in their inside pen. I just started taking them outside since it's just now warming up where I live. And we are building them a pen to live in next weekend with a big run. But they haven't really been able to get out and run. Also, I use pine shavings for their bedding. It seems like all the other ducklings have strong thick legs and the one with the problem has skinnier legs.
post #16 of 18

This thread gives me hope. :)
I've had my ducklings since they were a couple of days old, and they are about a month old now.  The first two weeks, they LOVED me.  I mean, they didn't like my hand coming for them, but I could pull them out and they would lay on my lap and fall asleep.  Whenever they became 3 weeks old, and placed them outside, they got really skiddish.  It has been very discouraging.  It's nice to know that once they are out of this awkward growing up stage, that they will love me again. :) 
I know I didn't post this thread, but thank you for the encouragement.  It makes us newbies feel better. ;)

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by afisher View Post


I feed it all at once. Now that they are getting bigger they don't really get to run around much in their inside pen. I just started taking them outside since it's just now warming up where I live. And we are building them a pen to live in next weekend with a big run. But they haven't really been able to get out and run. Also, I use pine shavings for their bedding. It seems like all the other ducklings have strong thick legs and the one with the problem has skinnier legs.

Okay.  I suspect that your description of the skinny legs is similar to the problem my duck had.  Does she walk on tip toes?  If she doesn't now, don't be alarmed if she does in the coming weeks.  I think my duck was about 14-16 weeks when I noticed her walking on her toes and her legs were at least half the width of the normal walking ducks.  However, monitoring 75 ducklings is way harder than 5 and I could have missed it earlier.  I truly think it was just a developmental delay of her legs.  Having a swimming pond really helped her because it took the pressure off of her body.  She is 22 weeks now and her legs have caught up with her growth and she walks normally.

 

Do they eat all of the food at one sitting when you feed them?  If they do, I'd split it into 2-3 feedings, if you can.  If they don't, I'm shocked.  Mine are like piranha.  I'd also take them outside as much as possible for exercise.  I wouldn't coddle the delayed duck, just monitor closely and encourage exercise.  I kept my duck in the house for a week racking my brain on what to do for her.  She was happier outside with the rest of her group in the end.  She was just cranky in the house.  Then she recovered on her own.  Ducks are amazingly resilient.  Way better at healing than chickens!!

 

So I can't guarantee that I am correct in my assumption or suggestions as I am not there to see for myself.  I hope that I am right though and her growth catches up like mine did and all is well.  If any other strange symptoms show up, you may want to share those and ask for additional help.

Mom to a son and two beautiful daughters.  Wife to a man as chicken crazy as me!

 

Just love my chickens!

Reply

Mom to a son and two beautiful daughters.  Wife to a man as chicken crazy as me!

 

Just love my chickens!

Reply
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaThistle View Post

Okay.  I suspect that your description of the skinny legs is similar to the problem my duck had.  Does she walk on tip toes?  If she doesn't now, don't be alarmed if she does in the coming weeks.  I think my duck was about 14-16 weeks when I noticed her walking on her toes and her legs were at least half the width of the normal walking ducks.  However, monitoring 75 ducklings is way harder than 5 and I could have missed it earlier.  I truly think it was just a developmental delay of her legs.  Having a swimming pond really helped her because it took the pressure off of her body.  She is 22 weeks now and her legs have caught up with her growth and she walks normally.

Do they eat all of the food at one sitting when you feed them?  If they do, I'd split it into 2-3 feedings, if you can.  If they don't, I'm shocked.  Mine are like piranha.  I'd also take them outside as much as possible for exercise.  I wouldn't coddle the delayed duck, just monitor closely and encourage exercise.  I kept my duck in the house for a week racking my brain on what to do for her.  She was happier outside with the rest of her group in the end.  She was just cranky in the house.  Then she recovered on her own.  Ducks are amazingly resilient.  Way better at healing than chickens!!

So I can't guarantee that I am correct in my assumption or suggestions as I am not there to see for myself.  I hope that I am right though and her growth catches up like mine did and all is well.  If any other strange symptoms show up, you may want to share those and ask for additional help.

Thank you so much. I really hope that's what it is. She seems fine in every other way, just can't run around as long as the others. I'll start getting them outside more to run and make sure to keep having them swim. They actually don't eat all the food in one sitting surprisingly. I'll keep a close eye on her in case anything changes. Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
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