Anyone else have problems with call ducks not bathing?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by keyt1969, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Songster

    I've had 3 call duck drakes since they were 3 days old a year ago in May and another one since he was 3 months old last summer. They used to LOVE to splash, dive and bath in the pond every day. Now NONE of them will go in either of the two ponds we have!

    I've posted about this before but it's increasingly getting worse. They do live with 20 other various duck breeds, but they are very buddy buddy with each other and don't spend time with the others. If the rest of the ducks are on one side of the run, they're on the other. Whatever one does so does the other. One of the original 3, Sammy is kinda small and was the first to stop getting in the pond. He had really bad angel wing when he was a few months old which I wrapped and thought it was over. Then a few months ago his feathers just started falling out and he looks like a hot mess! Since early Spring, the other 3 started following suit and none of them will get in the ponds. They aren't losing feathers but their feathers are hard as a rock if I don't bathe them by hand every week...which isn't easy even though they're small!!

    I've thought of everything. I thought maybe they didn't want to get in the ponds with the big ducks there, so I set them up in the dog run (pretty large!) with their own kiddie pool. Nothing. I put them in the ponds when the water was fresh. Nothing. I checked their feathers, legs, you name it. Nothing.

    They're good boys. It wasn't my intention to have 4 drakes. When I got the original 3, I was sure I had 2 girls and a boy...that was before I knew how to vent sex, then a friend asked me to take in their drake. Now they're so close I couldn't think of separating them, and I can't find any least not that I can afford because I can't work anymore.

    So anyone else have this problem with calls? What do you do? Any other tricks I may not have thought of? Like I said, they're very good boys, but bathing them by hand is not an easy task (I'm disabled so usually my boyfriend does it), especially when their run gets really muddy after a rain storm and their feathers get caked with mud.

  2. Alicia G

    Alicia G Songster

    Sep 29, 2010
    Nova Scotia
    Oh thats not good! Maybe some of the ducks are chasing them out? Even if they look all friendly at first sometimes there can be fights breaking loose. Do you have any fish stocked in your pond?Now I'm guessing this is probably not it, but I had mallard/call crosses that went in my neighbors pond, and one had come home with all the wing feathers on one side all broken and pulled out. I thought something tried to get it but I looked and saw no sign of any predators. I had gone over a few days later to feed the ducks (there are some wild ones that come for food too.) I was watching the ducks play, and all of the sudden a big splash of water shoots out right under one to the ducks. It was a fish trying to eat my duck! I then learned that she had stocked the pond with rainbow trout.
    Trout seem to be particularly feisty and will eat ANYTHING.
  3. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Songster

    Nope, no fish or anything in the ponds, just the ducks. I've watched the ducks from inside (I can see the ponds from my kitchen window) and I don't see the other ducks picking on the boys or anything. They just lay on the opposite side of the run from where all the other ducks are. They go in the coop at night with everyone and there's never any problems that I know of. Everyone just avoids the calls and that's it.

    It's so sad because they used to LOVE to be in the ponds, but I've tripled the amount of ducks in the last 6 months. Somewhere on here I read where someone else was having problems with calls not getting in the water but that was a while ago. I mean, I love my calls so much so I don't really mind bathing them, but they're ducks, they should have the instinct to do it themselves!
  4. priss

    priss Songster

    Sep 13, 2009
    Isle of Wight
    I've had this too! My four calls would go through stages where they thought the pond was evil. I would put them in and they would leap out like it was trying to eat them. I never found out what the issue was each time. But they have always enjoyed sitting and splashing in a plastic see-through waterbowl. I bought them a big washing up bowl so they could have something bigger but they decided that was so evil they wouldn't even come out of the hut until I had removed it from their back garden. One time they went through a stage of being so scared of the pool they wouldn't come out either. I had suggestions that there may have been a snake (although very unusual in the UK) so drained it and found nothing. I think calls are just especially neurotic. I'm never sure their reasons but it happens. I hope your calls get over it and enjoy swimming again. Let me know if you find out what it is and in the meantime get them a nice big clear plastic mixing bowl to sit in.
    Sorry I'm not much help...but here is Doog in her bowl to make up for it. [​IMG]

  5. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Songster

    Hmm, I'll definitely have to try that! It just saddens me because they LOVED the ponds til this summer. They even spent hours in the pond when it was freezing cold (it gets to -20 here sometimes) and with snow (we get LOTS) and ice in the ponds. I hope it's just a phase and they'll get over it. If I had more room here I would build a whole separate run for them but right now it's just not possible. I mean they seem happy with everyone, never a problem with fighting or anything!

    I'm glad to know someone else has had this issue. Someone has told me I shouldn't have 4 drakes, but they love each other like brothers so I'm not about to separate them!

    By the way, your baby is beautiful!!! Here's mine

    Oliver up top, Sammy (the one with the feather issue)

    Willie after a big rain storm. Funny thing is, they all LOVE the rain, but if I hose them down they'll run into the coop!

    Sammy's feathers after a bath [​IMG]

    Oliver, Sammy and Louie. They'll stand by the ponds for long periods and drink from it, but they won't get in!

    When they LOVED the pond last fall!! I only had this pond then, but now I have two
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  6. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    What about a little sprinkler? Maybe it would help wash them off and stimulate them to preen more. We got a little one from home depot for the kids and it only shoots water up about 4 ft so the "rain" stays in a small area.
  7. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Songster

    I could try it but when I mist them with the hose they run. Anytime there's water they run...unless it's raining! [​IMG]
  8. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Quote:The one we got makes a very gentle sprinkle that feels like rain. It's just a stationary sprinkle, it doesn't wave back and forth or anything. Or what about those soaker hoses used for watering flower beds? Although, I have no idea how those work though.
  9. jenny_kap

    jenny_kap Songster

    Feb 20, 2011
    my ducks take baths in the morning and every time i change the water during the day. if the water is dirty, they don't go in.
  10. How weird. My girl used to do this, but now she figured out how to get in and out and likes it. Still isn't crazy about it, but she gets in daily, otherwise I put her in and she enjoys it. I really hope you figure it out!

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