Hopefully with your help I can compile a go-to reference for basic duck behavior here...
I have had ducks now for 10 months and am raising our first two ducklings. It has been a steep learning curve, a delightful but confusing journey. If I knew what I did now, I believe we would have saved a fair bit of heartache and been able to better manage our little flock. Problem was, as much as I read every book I could on duck raising /care, not very much information is given on general duck behavior. So it's really hard to know if things are normal or something to worry about. Hopefully with your help we can create a general guide here to help others and myself to enjoy our ducks being ducks. I think there is always something more to learn...
I have created some topics to start below, feel free to suggest more, comment or suggest items be in different categories etc.
General Duck Behaviors
- Sitting while eating, drinking
- Running around, like crazy kids, then sleeping
- Peeping loudly every time you are out of their sight
- Occasionally sneezing to clear their noses
- Stretching leg out behind them while sitting
- Mine have both gone through phases of non stop jaw movement, not sure if this is due to growth? Looks like they are chattering but are silent.
- Head bobbing with bills open (greeting?)
- Muscovies - Feathers on head going up like a mohawk when curious, cranky or alarmed.
- Feathers puffed out when reluctantly being herded into pen
- Tails wagging when happy about catching bugs, eating, drinking etc.
- Standing up and flapping wings triumphantly
- I find my girls twitch their feathers a bit before they lay, must be a bit uncomfortable?
- Increase in appetite
Broody Ducks (I have my first at the moment so more info on this would be good)
- High pitched quacking starts a week or two before sitting
- Ruffled feathers when approached
- Prepare nest with their down feathers
- Won't come off nest, not even for food!
- Cranky quacks when you get too close
- Fence climbing!
- Deviation from normal temperment
- Unexpected change in appetite
- Droppings are unusual colour or consistency
- Reluctance to submerge hed in water
Your duck needs help:
- Excessive sitting, sleeping, uninterested in foraging
- Puffy Cheeks and sneezing
- Discharge from nose / eyes
- Weak legs or cant get up
- Bow legs
- Turned in feet
- Laboured breathing
What have you learned from your ducks and their behaviors?
Edited by AliciaDuckLady - 11/30/13 at 6:41pm