I have an ancona duck who I've hatched and raised for the last 2 years. She's imprinted and very well mannered. Lately though she's been very loud and whiny, fluffing herself up often when my husband or I are outside with her. This is a new thing. She seems to protest if I don't give her freeze dried meal worms. I think she might be addicted to them. I can't think of anything else that would cause her to be so bothered and demanding. She is not molting and is acting normal otherwise. The only thing that may have changed is I'm trying to only feed them twice a day, to avoid leaving food out all the time which attracts other animals. What makes me think it's her demanding treats vs. hunger is because sometimes when I give her her usual pellet food she'll still protest if there's no meal worms added. I didn't think I was giving her too many meal worms through out the day or at night...and my other duck- muscovy- seems perfectly content about their food and treats. Is it possible my duck is having a temper tantrum? haha Any other thoughts on what could be going on?
Pattern of irritated, incessant quacking
Maybe not exactly temper tantrums - but I have seen inexplicable crankies from some of my ducks sometimes.
She may have something going on health-wise, she may not like the change in feeding routine, she may have something going on hormonally, it could be a number of things.
I would watch her, keep looking for clues, try to change up a few things in her environment, and try to look with fresh eyes at her world, see what may be stressing her.
Is she laying?
Yes, she lays every day. If it was a health concern, what would be other signs I should look for? She is moving around just fine and her routine seems to be fairly consistent. I have noticed she's been in the pool more often. She has always liked attention and when I pick her up or hold her she seems to still be receptive to that, though maybe doesn't seek it out as much lately. I noticed on the back digit on one of her feet her nail is growing upwards instead of down. I don't know if that's normal, as I've never seen it on my other ducks before. She doesn't seem to be impacted by it, as she's not limping and still forages and moves a lot. I'm just not sure...I will continue to watch closely
Ducks are a real challenge when it comes to catching illness early. They'll hide it till they cannot - and by then it can be urgent.
I am not saying that's what you are dealing with, please don't get panicked.
But - sometimes the symptoms, early, will be subtle. Sometimes just the time of year will have my ducks a bit more cranky-seeming. And sometimes I cannot for the life of me sort out what they are fussing about.
I occasionally reckon that they are sensing the presence of danger that I just don't see. I give them credit for not making things up. And from time to time I do see something that could set them on edge after looking around a while.
The potential for illness is unsettling. The only thing I've dealt with is ambulatory issues and egg binding. Last year she went through a very loud period with lots of gathering calls and demands. So bad that I couldn't even be in certain parts of the house without her sounding the alarm for me to come outside. This is more irritable, and she'll do the mouth-open stance. It's been going on for a few weeks consistently. Ducks always keep me on my toes.
I have learned to be aware of their danger stance and trust it- I agree, they know when there's a threat without fail. I spotted them taking their danger stance and didn't see anything- and was surprised to see a crow that had been harassing them. Not thinking the crow could be a real threat, I didn't act immediately. Within seconds the crow dove at one of them and I intervened. She seemed very glad that I did. I should have believed them in the first place.
Thanks for your feedback, Amiga.
Is she going broody?
broody taking a break off the nest