Cayuga needs something - I think.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PocketSand, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. PocketSand

    PocketSand New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    North Idaho
    I have two Cayugas (both ladies I think) hatched around the second week of May. From the start one was bigger and the other was smaller and super skittish. Now the big one is verging on the perfect duck. The other however WON'T. STOP. QUACKING. I understand there is a certain amount of expected noise, their talking and a good quack quack quack to greet the rooster a few doors down and every once an a while. This little one quacks for hours, and really hard too. Like it hurts my throat sometimes to hear it force the quacks out.

    Seems like it needs something but I can't figure out what. Food crumbles and water are always present, the water in multiple locations. I have a treat water dish where I throw greens (dandelion and purslane) and this use to work but is now ignored. When I put peas in there they both looked at them but acted more scared than interested and never ate them. Same with diced up apples. I tried soaking alfalfa pellets - no go - and adding oyster shells to their crumbles. They both do love mealworms but those are treats.

    When I peek out to see whats going on there is one duck happily digging and eating the flowers around it and the other is just standing there straining to quack. No predator issues or external stimulus for the most part.

    Also it seems relevant that the happy duck is greening up nicely and the loud one has no green. It's head also seems wetter which seems like an oil production issue. Its feathers don't look nearly as good as the happy one either. Pictures are attached to show the difference in the feathers and give an idea of their habitat.

    Thanks in advance, I just want the duck to be happy. And quiet-er.

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  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @PocketSand Welcome to BYC

    She does look a little rough. Have you tried some poultry vitamins in their water to see if maybe she just isn't processing nutrients same as the other one? Even a little cat kibble [good quality] may help some with feathers. I have Runners and Buffs hatched May1st and they have gotten louder lately and are throwing themselves at the drakes not sure if you maybe seeing some changes in hormones also. Seeing any type of mating behavior [girls do it too] to each other.

    Have you seen her eating and drinking good? What are you feeding as far as crumbles?
     
  3. PocketSand

    PocketSand New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    North Idaho
    Awesome, Ill look for some vitamins.

    No mating behaviors at all, the happy duck is super docile. I am not worried about it looking good - feather wise, it just seems like an indication something is off. Id also be fine if it is just hormonal, but she better figure it out quick. I am not sure the neighbors like the 5-6 AM concerts.

    The crumbles are now flock starter - 20% protein and made for various yard birds. It seemed like the best choice, I can get the name later.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    Most likely Purina Flock Raiser? My favorite for multiple species of poultry. Still it may just be her. There maybe something else going on but try the vitamins for a week and see if it helps if it does then after a week drop down to every other night till your doing it weekly. I can tell you I am very thankful we have no close neighbors. Having had Muscovy's since 2004 [quackless] and now having Quackers I had no idea how much these girls like to talk. I think feather quality says alot about how a duck is feeling and since they can't tell us [other than quacking] We need to try what we can to help them feel better. Do they have a pool for bathing? that will also get her preening and help with feathers .
     
  5. PocketSand

    PocketSand New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    North Idaho
    Update:

    The vitamins worked very well for the feathers and even brought out a ton of green in the other one. I am going to continue them for a while longer until I can get the diet stratightened out.

    I started tossing them a hand full of mealworms and it may have been the worst thing I could have done. Now they are not eating the crumble (it is purina flock raiser) and are quacking until I go throw them another handfull.

    Any suggestions on how to convince them to eat things they have never seen before? I was giving them greens in an extra dish filled with water but they stopped eating those. I tried peas, cabbage and cut up lettuce that we had extra and they wont eat any of those things at all. If I put the new stuff in their food dish they avoid that dish completely. They just look at the new stuff then leave it alone.

    eeesh.
     
  6. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    My cayuga hatchlings took on a duller cast right before they molted feathers. Maybe she's going through a mini-molt because she's still growing.

    Black oil sunflower seeds help enrich feather colors, too.

    Try mixing in the meal worms into the daily ration in the food bowl. You want it so that they really have to search for it.

    I usually offer new things while we're chilling in the yard before/after we free range together. Watermelon, cantaloupe, plums, fresh corn on the cob, etc.

    I've had great success introducing new greens by putting them in their doggie pool. They can't seem to resist slipping into the pool to eat while they float.

    I've had good luck with sprinkling smaller tidbits around their favorite spot in the yard so they can find them while they're free ranging.

    The earlier in their lives you can introduce them to things the more likely they are to try them when they're older.

    It sounds like the girl you were worried about is the flock talker. My first flock talker took her job seriously. She did roll call in the mornings if the other hens didn't get out of bed on time.

    She warned the entire neighborhood when the fat gray squirrel binked into the yard. She tattled on the neighbors every time they forgot to put the invisible fence collars on their dogs.

    She quacked at deer, lynx and foxes when they wandered into the yard. She quacked at me if i got too far away from the group and if any flock mate got too far away from the group.

    I think it's a stressful job and some take it much more seriously than others. I wonder if your girl is calling to you to ask you to rejoin the flock or if she's seeing something that worries her (like dogs/wildlife visiting chickens).

    Some favorites of my ducks:

    canned beets ( low sodium) or soft home-cooked beets

    soft cooked potatoes

    soft cooked carrots or canned low sodium carrots

    goat milk ( use it to moisten daily ration)

    watermelon

    tomatoes
     

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