Anyone have any ideas I am at a loss!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by EmAbTo48, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 Pekins all females, 2 Rouen drakes, and 2 Rouen females. Every winter they all I swear lose at least a pound each sometimes more depending on the bird. They live basically during spring/summer foraging for bugs, plants, and fish in our pond. They are huge and fat during this time and much happier. We provide them during the whole year a mix of grains, wheat, crumble and whatever else our AG store puts in the mash we have had them on since forever. (Recommended by our AG who we trust greatly) THEY WON'T EAT IT! They don't touch the stuff in the summer at all. I have switched to everything I can think of. They barely touch veggies, or anything I give them.

    I am going nuts with these stubborn birds. The 3 pekins used to be the only ones I had and they ate everything I would give them loved it, until I bought the other 4 from a lady that just let them literally free-range, no pen, no shelter, they basically lived on her husband’s trout stream, and she said she lost a lot during the winter. She explained that she fed them "wild bird seed" I didn't look at the feed but around here that means like the bird seed you buy for wild birds like blue jays and Robbins.

    I am not sure why my 3 Pekins stopped eating it except that the drakes will just push the food away so not sure if they see it now as something bad to eat since ducks can be so picky about their food.

    And when I mean push it away these 2 boys stick their head in the buckets taste a bit and then start quacking away at each other and my one drake begins to push the bucket away! I wish I had a video camera to show this behavior!

    The only thing I can get them all to eat is of course CORN UGH!!!!!

    I have come to the conclusion that I think these 7 ducks are going to cost me an harm in a leg to feed during the winter with worms, corn, veggies, and fish occasionally. I just don't know what else to feed them! [​IMG]

    Has anyone else had this happen? I think the worst part is they look at me every time I let them out like okay so you going to feed me now [​IMG]

    Can you sustain your ducks on Wild Bird Seed??!

    ** Also I have went 5 days without giving them any treats (veggies, corn, worms, etc) only leaving our mash we have and it was basically pecked at! For that many ducks I should be going through so much more food!
     
  2. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    We offer oats, BOSS, flock raiser and Mazuri waterfowl feed along with scratch all mixed by hand and then put in their feed bowls. Ducks and geese alike love the mix.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Each flock has its own peculiarities, so I don't know that what I do will help. By the way, I have feed problems from time to time. Yesterday for example, the ducks stopped eating out of their bowl as if somehow the food had expired! It was just served up yesterday morning!

    So, as you experiment, you might try a couple of things. Something I do is add a sprinkling of dry cat kibble on top of their food. Even on picky days, they'll eat that. If that were all they were eating I'd do something else. But it does give them some protein and Vitamin D.

    Their organic layer feed is not pelletized, and that seems to be a problem for them, so I moisten it. Right now I'm sprinkling that (o.l.f.) over Blue Seal layer pellets with a handful of kibble. Most days, that's the good stuff!

    So, moistening the feed (try just a small amount at first - after several hours it's best to compost the uneaten feed because it may mold), and adding just a little kibble to the feed may help spur their interest. Or they may ignore your best intentions. Hope not the latter.

    Way off the chart, but this occurred to me - start a worm bin and raise your own. Just a thought. After initial expenses, which can be small, you'd be feeding the worms with veggie scraps so it wouldn't cost you anything once a population of worms is established. Some people raise soldier flies but that's more complicated to set up and operate.
     
  4. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Sometimes it is just a matter of mixing up from day to day what is offered too. We have three feed stations in the large yard and some days one or another is left untouched. They are just goofy like that. You can try raising meal worms and giving them during the cold months also.
     
  5. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any chance you got a bad bag of feed? I once got a bad bag of layer pellets of the same brand I always got. Something about that batch or perhaps the individual bag was not tolerable to them. I assumed it tasted moldy or perhaps chemically to them. It smelled fine and looked fine to me but in the end I had to throw the whole bag out as they would not eat it. I muddled through a few weeks with sunflowers, oats, weeds and what ever else (not the best solution I know) and got a bag from a new shipment and they went back to munching happily. If your having problems with multiple bags of feed bought over time from the same place perhaps they store the bags next to something that could be absorbing into the feed? Could you get a bag of feed for them somewhere else to rule out contamination? Its distressing watching them not eat. I hope you find something.
     
  6. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks! Yes, I had thought that way back last year, but they won't eat any type of feed! I have bought mixed bags, crumbles, oats, mixed everything up and they just won't touch it. They truly only will eat corn, veggies, worms, eggs, and small fish! I will try some BOSS and oats I have gotten some to eat flock raiser on occasion.

    Just wish I could feed them a stable diet of one type of feed instead of this mix of things. Or that I know at least they have this regular food to fall back on. Instead of being so stubborn they lose weight!


    AMIGA- I will try cat food that's a great idea. And we have been looking into doing our own worms, but it will have to wait till spring.
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    They won't eat because you are indulging them too much. They've discovered they can hold out and you will offer something better.

    You say they are fat. That means they are getting plenty to eat.

    My ducks get a balanced grain pellet fed in the morning and in the evening , weighed out, not free fed. If they don't want to eat it, they can go hungry.

    Well, guess what? They eat it just fine. It's good food and it's all that is on offer. When the choice is eat it or go hungry, they eat it just fine. You've got spoiled little children who won't eat their veggies because mommy will bring out the ice cream if they cry that they are hungry.
     
  8. grawg

    grawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:x2

    I was having the same problem as the OP until I read this advice from Oregon Blues. Now they get their food in the morning and night, and if they don't eat it all I don't worry about trying to force them to eat something else.

    I'm still guilty of spoiling them too much [​IMG] but at least I know the behavior and can take steps to correct it from time to time.
     
  9. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Now if it was just that simple as you say.... They are NOT FAT right now they are underweight about 1lbs-1.5lb each that is a lot of weight for a duck. They are FAT in the summer because yes they free-range and have a lush pond full of fish and plant life that sustain them which is fine by me if they like it better than their feed they are healthy and happy ducks in the summer.

    Now for winter, these things are gone, if you have read I have withheld food before and I just watch them starve themselves. I don't need that, nor do I need unneeded vet bills because one becomes too ill.

    My ducks have gone a week without eating! Because I will only feed them the feed I have. Have yours?!!!

    I only asked to see if anyone else has come across this.... I will deal with it and continue feeding them what works for them since I won't watch my smallest Pekin get down 3lbs like last winter.

    I am not sure if it makes a difference but all 7 of these ducks are rescues. The 3 pekins were taken away from a man in town who was not feeding them or caring for them. The 4 Rouen’s I have are from in elderly lady that was told she had to sell her flock or be charged with too many animals in the town. Like I said before the 4 Rouen’s have been on this diet since probably babies she never hand raised them she had over 100 ducks all living near a trout stream and she just let them live free range basically as wild pets (even though they are not wild animals) only giving "wild bird feed" for food.
     
  10. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I promise I wouldn't even be asking on this forum if it was me over indulging them.
     

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