Agitated Muscovy drake

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by fishdaughter, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. fishdaughter

    fishdaughter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2016
    Hello, I'm getting worried about my Muscovy ducks. I've not had a lot of luck with them so far with very few eggs and when two girls sat, their fully formed ducklings all died in the eggs. I've not had ducks before so don't know what is normal. They free-range in a paddock, have shelter (which they never use) and access to a small pond (which they no longer use). They have been moulting...there are feathers everywhere, and I noticed that when they moulted in spring they lost a bit of weight. I'm sure this is normal, yes? But two of my ducks and the drake are looking really underweight even though they have access to feed and water. The drake in particular seems to have stopped looking after himself and is dirty, whereas the girls are all clean, and I've just watched him rushing about in circles in a really agitated way. This is not normal behaviour for him - he's usually very laid back. I've no idea how old he is. Any idea what might be going on? My hens are fine.
     
  2. cyriuskee

    cyriuskee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Savannah, GA
    I'm sorry to hear about your poor baby ducklings not hatching. Could there be some sort of predator roaming? That's the only time my pekins get agitated like that. Hawks? Owls? Large raccoons? Large snapping turtle or snake (there was a huge python that ate my neighbor's mallards in their pond)?
    I would try incubating half the eggs next time they lay, and see if they just aren't attentive enough, if their eggs are getting contaminated or lacking nutrition.
    Good luck!
     
  3. cyriuskee

    cyriuskee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Savannah, GA
    PS- molting is normal this time of year
     
  4. fishdaughter

    fishdaughter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2016
    Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it. The hens and ducks get the same feed, which is a poultry grain mix of wheat, cracked maize and something else (name escapes me), and they range the paddock getting slugs and insects and whatever else they find. I have wondered if they need different food, but haven't found any good recommendations. I live in the uk and in area of grouse shooting so any predators, including birds of prey, are systematically destroyed in various ways (traps, guns or poison)....which is a whole other thread about conservation of wildlife (which I support) and blood sports (which I don't support). There is currently a big hoo-hah about it. But I digress.
    They seem depressed. They don't lay much. They don't use the pond..but it dries up when it's dry so on those occasions I've filled a big low rectangluar container with water but they've not used even though I've made ramps to it etc. I'm struggling to know how to make their life better...but I have little money for anything fancy. I don't have an incubator either :(
    Maybe this is all normal for Muscovy Ducks?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  5. cyriuskee

    cyriuskee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Savannah, GA
    I would definitely recommend getting them layers feed, I don't know what brands you have there-Purina, Dumor are very popular in the states. If their behavior has changed only you would know that so go with your gut. Since their dietary habits have changed, I think there is possibly they need to be dewormed and possibly dusted. Intestinal parasites would definitely cause some of the symptoms you described even though ducks arent normally susceptible to them. I know avian vets can be pricey, so give a good dewormer and layers feed a try and see if there's any improvement in a week or so. You can buy both on amazon as a last resort.
    Hope this helps!
     
  6. fishdaughter

    fishdaughter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2016
    Ah ok I hadn't thought about worms. I did try them on layers pellets but they didn't seem to eat them well as they got so wet with all the water or rain, so ended up a soggy mush in their bowl. My two lambs have been in the paddock at couple of time to help trim the grass, but they've not been in there for a few weeks now (and interestingly the ducks loved the lamb pellets!) - so I'll try the pellets again, and see what dewormers my local feed merchants have to offer. Thanks ever so much for your help!
     
  7. cyriuskee

    cyriuskee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Savannah, GA
    Let us know how it works out for you!
    Best of luck to you
     

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