Are My Ducks Sick?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jul 16, 2013
The last few days, they have not been roaming about or eating bugs. We did just have a weather change, so I thought it was that. But now today, they didn't drink much water (they are not panting) and did not eat all their food. I feed them pellets and corn. We are just finishing up a bag of feeder pellets and just bought a bag of layer pellets. Last night was the first that I backed off on the feeder and put in some layer, to make a gradual change.

Like I asked in another post, is it normal this time of year for ducks to lose a lot of feathers and change color? I have one brown one that was really pretty, but now most of his chest is a dusty grey color in splotchy spots. I keep forgetting to take my camera out with me, so I don't have pictures.

I've been changing their pool every evening as it works best with my schedule to do it then; I will start trying to remember to change it in the mornings instead though. I've never really cleaned their pool; I've been afraid they would get sick from the chemicals. I've just spayed it out well with a high pressure water hose. My husband says to use bleach, and that the bleach will dissipate so they wouldn't get sick from it. Is that safe to use? Is there a better way?

I don't supplement anything in their feed. They have access to gravel and every couple days they have spent time there. Even though they haven't been very active the last couple days as far as 'grazing', they have been doing more practicing flying. Do I need to be concerned about them flying off? Could they be sick, or could it just be the change in weather and feed? Sorry for all the questions. I thought maybe some one here could help.
If you are worried about using bleach in the pool, use vinegar and rinse really well. That is a great disinfectant and it will not hurt them.
when i started to add grain to chick starter, our ducks seemed confused with it. they ate less for a few days.

how old are they? what breed are they?

my rouans are 6 months old now, some of the males feathers are coming in grey instead of brown like they were.
I have Cayugas, Roans (or is it Rouan?), and some mixes of Roan and Indian Runner. They are 3-4 months old.

Thank you for the replys. I will use vinegar instead of bleach; that makes sense to me now.

Last night, they didn't drink out of their water dish again. I will have the tank cleaned out today. They were drinking from their pool this morning, so was good to see. They didn't eat again last night. I have separated the pellets and corn to see if it's one or the other. But they were grazing this morning!! They are acting more like themselves and looking for bugs. Now I just need to figure out why they are eating their food or drinking their water and what was the reason...
Sometimes a new bag of food is rancid or moldy. Examine it closely (sniff it, look at it, even maybe taste a little bit).

How much corn do you add? There is some disagreement over its usefulness, and I am one who feels that a little corn is fine when extra calories are needed, but I have read of ducks preferring the low-nutrient corn over the better quality pelleted food. Just a thought.

At their age, there are some changes occurring in their bodies and my runners molted at about 3 to 4 months of age.

Glad you are watching them closely!

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