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New Ducks Won't Eat - Help Needed Please!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 



I live in NSW, Australia. I just bought a couple of adult ducks from a guy I only know slightly. He seemed to love his ducks, but when I went to pick them up the conditions they were kept in were pretty dire. Anyway he told me he'd been feeding them on wheat and cracked maize and poultry pellets. I bought what he told me to get, but they won't eat any of it! I've had them a couple of weeks now, and they haven't touched it at all. I've tried various containers, I've put it in a pail of water, but whatever I do, they won't eat it. I gave them some chopped veggies which they ate, and in the end I resorted to giving them some bread, which I know isn't recommended but I have been so worried about them not eating anything and they dived into the bread. I just figure he'd been feeding them on bread and not much else. They are quite thin but there was no way I was going to leave them there once I saw how they were kept. Please can anyone advise me? Thank you in advance.

post #2 of 9

Until you can get them to eat feed them veggies, like a lot of veggies since their eating that. They need some protein to get some weight on so mash up some hard boiled eggs and see if they will eat that. You can also mix egg yolk into their water to give them some protein if they don't eat the eggs. You've probably tried this but I mix water in with their food to make a sort of soup and place it next to their water if a duck won't eat. You can also throw scratch grain and/or dried meeleworms int o their pen and put it in their water. Live, plump meeleworms might also give them an appetite.

post #3 of 9

Try and get them some poultry vitamins to put in the water.  That might make their appetite increase.  My ducks will not eat the layer food unless I mix it with a little scratch.  It's not good for them but at least it might tempt them to eat their food.  


Like Virus said the mixed vegetables chopped up and boiled eggs is my ducks favorite food.  They love frozen peas and corn cooked in the microwave.  Romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce they also love.  


Good luck with them.  

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Virus, Pattyhen, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I will take your advice - as soon as the shops open (I'm in Oz and it's only 6.30am!) I'll be out to get some vitamins. I'm about to boil some eggs, and I'll raid my freezer for some peas and corn and have a cook up. Luckily I grow a lot of my own veggies so I can certainly easily add more veggies. I did add some grain to water in a bowl but on reflection it's probably not a wide enough bowl so I'll remedy that today. I really appreciate your encouragement! Thank you!

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Another thought on veggies - I sprout a lot of seeds, beans, grains etc for my aviary birds, mung beans sprouted being their favourite which is great because it increases the protein. Would it be ok to feed sprouted beans, seeds and grains to my ducks? Thank you in advance for any opinion you may have!

post #6 of 9

Now the seeds and sprouts should be fine for them.  I've always heard tho the beans have got to be cooked for them to eat.  Not raw beans.  


Your very welcome I'm glad I could help you.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you again, Pattyhen. I've found a bit more about beans vis a vis sprouting and seems it is the same as it is with my various aviary birds - provided the beans are actually sprouted, they are fine. I have been giving my aviary and indoor birds sprouted beans, grains and seeds for years, so I'll try introducing them slowly.


Meanwhile - thanks you to you and Virus, my two had a HUGE meal today of peas, corn and various chopped up veggies, and I mixed in a couple of hard-boiled eggs and they absolutely loved it! It's all gone, every crumb! Someone has also suggested making birdie bread, using cornmeal, heaps of veggies and as much of the poultry mix as I can work into the  mix. I'm hoping that will make the transition from the bread they've clearly eaten too much of in their previous life, to the good stuff I want them to eat.


Thank you so much for your help, which has given me the confidence to deal with this!


Best wishes with your own flock :)

post #8 of 9

Your very welcome I'm glad I could help.  That's great that they enjoyed their meal and actually ate something.  I hope they continue to thrive with all the healthyfood you are giving them.

post #9 of 9

Glad to hear their doing better! I'm sure they're happy you adopted them, they get gourmet meals now!

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