Biggest duckling eating ALOT... and so fast that he chokes a bit... is this ok?

TracyLovesDucks

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
527
36
138
Northern Colorado
My biggest runner duckling (out of four... they are 5-6 weeks) chows down like it'll be his last meal. I've watched them and he stays at the food dish the longest, taking down as much as he can then finally wondering over to chase it with water. Where the others take a tiny bite, then rush to get water. This big boy even chokes a bit (kind of like a little cough) and then keeps eating, coughs again, and keeps shoveling it in. He does not cough any other time, only when he's eating. What do you all think of this? Should I be worried about his bad table manners or just accept that he's quite the pig?

Feed - Nutrena Unmedicated chick starter grower, 18% crumbles (supplemented with Brewer's Yeast--2 tablespoons per 6 cups of feed, layered in)

Water - Regular waterers, one with a deeper dish, and yogurt containers for head washing

Swim sessions - 1-2 times per week, more as the weather warms up
 

tjbuglione

Hatching
6 Years
Aug 8, 2013
6
0
7
I have a question I have hatched sum peking eggs in an incubator from my adults I have 4 adult females and 1 adult male..I have 9 babies that are 4 weeks old they are in a coop in the barn and are adapted to outdoor..my adults go swimming in our ponds all day when is it ok to let babies go swimming with the big ducks?!
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,640
531
Southern New England
I have a question I have hatched sum peking eggs in an incubator from my adults I have 4 adult females and 1 adult male..I have 9 babies that are 4 weeks old they are in a coop in the barn and are adapted to outdoor..my adults go swimming in our ponds all day when is it ok to let babies go swimming with the big ducks?!
They need to be fully feathered. Congratulations on the hatch!
 

Nyssa03

Chirping
7 Years
Aug 7, 2012
262
6
91
Eastern Washington State
My biggest runner duckling (out of four... they are 5-6 weeks) chows down like it'll be his last meal. I've watched them and he stays at the food dish the longest, taking down as much as he can then finally wondering over to chase it with water. Where the others take a tiny bite, then rush to get water. This big boy even chokes a bit (kind of like a little cough) and then keeps eating, coughs again, and keeps shoveling it in. He does not cough any other time, only when he's eating. What do you all think of this? Should I be worried about his bad table manners or just accept that he's quite the pig?

Feed - Nutrena Unmedicated chick starter grower, 18% crumbles (supplemented with Brewer's Yeast--2 tablespoons per 6 cups of feed, layered in)

Water - Regular waterers, one with a deeper dish, and yogurt containers for head washing

Swim sessions - 1-2 times per week, more as the weather warms up
My guess is that he is just being a piggy duck. Are you feeding them chopped greens also? I'm sure someone else who has had more experience will also answer, but if I remember correctly, I've had a few runner drake babies that ate like you are describing.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,640
531
Southern New England
They get their food with water 24/7 still, right? I know sometimes some of my runners would just pack the food in and then it would seem to get a little stuck, and they would wiggle their necks, and I would tell them to drink water, and finally they would. shew.
 

TracyLovesDucks

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
527
36
138
Northern Colorado
Haha, a piggy duck indeed. I do feed them chopped kale and green leaf lettuce every morning, I forgot to mention that. Sometimes I give them pulp from my juicer which has kale, carrots, and apples. He is so HUGE!

(On a side note, it's amazing to see the behavior differences in my males and females taking shape. The females are still really cuddly and affectionate toward me, while the males are kind of doing their own thing and would rather bite at me than let me love on them.)

Thanks, Nyssa03. Maybe you're right, just a piggy duck.
 
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Buck Oakes

Songster
5 Years
Feb 9, 2014
2,472
129
201
Madison/Gluckstadt, Mississippi
Actually he isn't being a piggy he's being competitive, he wants to stay the biggest and gain as much nutrition as he can so he can be the best duck as he/she gets older

He/she will try to also keep other ducklings from the food, take him/ her with one or two other babies into another area and it will not eat as fast and as much

If it countinues this it won't be healthy, runner ducks don't need to weigh a lot

I hope I gave u some insight
 
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TracyLovesDucks

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
527
36
138
Northern Colorado
Actually he isn't being a piggy he's being competitive, he wants to stay the biggest and gain as much nutrition as he can so he can be the best duck as he/she gets older

He/she will try to also keep other ducklings from the food, take him/ her with one or two other babies into another area and it will not eat as fast and as much

If it countinues this it won't be healthy, runner ducks don't need to weigh a lot

I hope I gave u some insight
Yes, very insightful, thank you. This is not good. I was planning on eventually separating the two boys from the two girls anyways (I don't think it will be a good ratio when they become sexually mature) while we raise more females to join them all. Will this separation help him take it easier on himself? Most likely I'll just split their barn in to two areas (each with their own water and food) with some light-weight fencing/caging. If it will help him, I'll expedite getting that fence in. So do you think it will?

Do you have any other suggestions for helping this guy relax and stay healthy?
 
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TracyLovesDucks

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
527
36
138
Northern Colorado
They get their food with water 24/7 still, right? I know sometimes some of my runners would just pack the food in and then it would seem to get a little stuck, and they would wiggle their necks, and I would tell them to drink water, and finally they would. shew.
Yep, they always have water with their food. I keep the food and water far apart (about three feet) because they were making a mess with their food, shoveling it all out of the feeder onto the ground or dumping water into the feeder. Maybe this is adding to his gorging... maybe he is thinking "I better get as much food, because when I leave to get water, the food might be gone when I come back for more..." Although, his thought wouldn't be in plain english, but I don't know how to translate that into duck. What do you think, move the water and food closer together?
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,640
531
Southern New England
Yep, they always have water with their food. I keep the food and water far apart (about three feet) because they were making a mess with their food, shoveling it all out of the feeder onto the ground or dumping water into the feeder. Maybe this is adding to his gorging... maybe he is thinking "I better get as much food, because when I leave to get water, the food might be gone when I come back for more..." Although, his thought wouldn't be in plain english, but I don't know how to translate that into duck. What do you think, move the water and food closer together?
I would try it for a day and see what happens. Ducks are more sophisticated in their neurological wiring than I used to think.
 
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