Advice to encourage rescue ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Dusky Beauty, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2011
    Upshur County, Texas
    I brought home some adult ducks a couple days ago, and they don't seem to be too keen on my duck food. I've tried the crumble, the corn/soy/flax mash I make, veggie scraps, even cracked corn. It just kind of sits in the pen and they don't really touch it. The only thing I can get them to eat dependably is a couple of slices of wheat bread I've tossed out for treats to try to warm them up to me. They're drinking plenty of water and swimming, so acting pretty normal, I just wondered if anyone had any hints. These are the first ducks I've brought in as adults, and my babies have always loved everything I gave them.

    Prior to my house, they were eating dry dog food. I would probably try offering some if I had it, but even my dogs don't eat that! lol.
  2. skillswife

    skillswife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    SW Montana
    Mix some of the bread with the duck food. They may have to get a little hungry before eating it, but its not good for them to eat dog food and bread alone. It will take time to get them eating the right things. Mine also love garden greens and zucchini. Hang in there it will get easier, but it might take a bit of tough love.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Whenever I have introduced a new food, I start by mixing the familiar stuff with a bit of the new. That seems to help some. But some things my runners just don't like.

    That said, I think that with some patience they'll begin to understand what real food is. My ducks probably would eat more different kinds of things if I'd offered them when they were younger, but they can learn - however slowly.
  4. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2011
    Upshur County, Texas
    The sanctuary gal gave them something mixed in with the dog food but I don't remember what-- I don't blame her, she has to do the best she can feeding 400 birds as economically as possible, and they were all fat and sassy, I just think I can do better with a more traditional duck diet. (I spoil my feather-kids rotten with home made food 90% of the time.)

    I saw the buff female finally eating a little bit of the cracked corn so that's an improvement. I offered some zucchini and they weren't at all interested-- wish I had some watermelon to tempt them with...
  5. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Get some frozen peas and defrost them. My ducks go wild over them!

    Oh, also any kind of lettuce should be a big hit.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  6. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2011
    Upshur County, Texas
    Might be a coincidence, but the first one to start eating my food did so a while after I put Apple Cider Vinegar in the water-- so add that to the list of things I've tried!
  7. pirtykitty

    pirtykitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    the magpie duck we rescued this past Febuary was only fed dog food and that was only every so often as the people who had her quit taking care of her and she would beg for food around the neighborhood...
    They brought her into town to us and since I had several other ducks she took to eating the Mazuri right away... she also ate the layena pellets better than my two ducks.. Now she scarfs down just about everything..
  8. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2011
    Upshur County, Texas
    Yeah, I don't think these guys have ever gone hungry before. I did get them to eat some lettuce too a couple hours ago. They're pretty anxious after 2 days but at least when I come in the pen to change the water they just eye me up instead of cramming into 4 square inches of corner in terror squaking that I'm a banshee come to eat them.
  9. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011
    be patient, it might take a month or more. and if they're fat, they can afford to ignore what you offer, holding out for what they like. a combination of chubby, spoiled and lack of exposure to what normal food is... [​IMG]

    good advice above about mixing in what you know they'll eat with what you want them to eat. you could add a little dog food in with the feed and corn, gradually phasing out the stuff you don't want to feed them on long term. better to get them started and keep them healthy with a gradual transition than switch their diet fast. easier on their systems too, as long as they weren't being fed anything dangerous, to switch over gradually, less likely to cause digestive issues.

    we try to gradually switch over any time we bring in animals that have been on a different diet than what we feed. cuts down on vet bills.

    one of the advantages of switching over gradually is as they eat what they're used to, they'll also start to pick up some of what's different for them, and get introduced that way. they might not ever be 100 percent happy to not have their dog food, but they'll adapt. give it a little time.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  10. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

    Apr 27, 2011
    Browntown, VA
    If you don't have dog food, do you have dry cat food?

    All my zoo LOVE Purina dry cat food. I had to start feeding the cats on high shelves in the basement because it was getting pretty ugly around the cat food dish on the porch rail. The cats had to wait for the chickens to get their fill. And I could not BELEIVE the fluffy-butt nipping by certain mallards!

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