Depressed Duck? Or just lonely?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ChickyChica, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. ChickyChica

    ChickyChica New Egg

    Apr 23, 2009
    This will be hard to tell in a nutshell, but I'll try: We lost two of our three pet ducks to predators recently. [​IMG] Our survivor is now in the habit of spending the night in the chicken coop with the three chickens. During the day, she's free to wander our urban backyard, but she wants me there all the time! The morning routine consists of unlocking the coop, four birds spilling down the ramp, chickens head for food and water, duck heads for the pen gate, I follow duck to the pre-formed pond and stay there until she's finished bathing and grooming, then it's time for a nibble of chow pellets, and finally it's time to hunt for bugs and spiders. If I disrupt this pattern and go inside the duck will give her loud, "WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU?!" call. She'll even come to the back door looking for me. I figure she wants me to stand by during this routine because she needs a lookout so she can busy herself with other duckish activities. I didn't realize ducks were such social birds. We can't get any new ducks until next spring...will I suffice as part-time company for her? With winter coming, I'm tempted to bring her inside as a house duck where she can be with me all the time. Thoughts??
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    You didnt give a reason for not being able to get more ducks until spring- but I am wondering if thats because you want babies to raise again. Have you considered trying to find her an adult duck for company over the winter?
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Yes, you are her flock right now. And she's been traumatized, so very much needs reassurance (you).

    I agree with Duckyfromoz that providing a home for another duck or three, perhaps from someone who needs to reduce their flock size, or someone who's moving, etc., may be an alternative.

    That said, keeping indoor ducks - especially just one - is doable. If you have a space indoors with a puppy pen (that's what I used as a brooder), you can place that over linoleum or thick plastic and have her with you inside. Is there a ramp or easy way for her to walk in and out? Our biggest issue with indoor ducks was getting them out of the house . . . their room was across my beloved's heirloom rug from the door. . . so we put everyone in the limousine (a dog crate) and carried them outside.

    These days, our ducks spend the night (and stormy days) in their walkout basement pen. Works for everybody!
  4. ChickyChica

    ChickyChica New Egg

    Apr 23, 2009
    I guess I feel kind of intimidated by starting with an adult/adolescent duck. I'll talk to the hubby about it. At least that way we should be able to know if we're getting a female or not! [​IMG] We were planning on getting babies in the spring.

    Our downstairs level is even with the ground, so no steps to worry about. We don't have room for a pen; I was thinking more along the lines of a ducky diaper.
  5. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    She should be fine with the chickens for the winter. Years ago, I had 2 call ducks and a bunch of chickens. The call drake lost his mate of 2 years, and was extremely lonely. I was afraid he would die of loneliness, so I put him in with my hens. He was upset for what seemed like the longest time, but then quieted down and hun out with the hens.
    The following spring I got 6 Campbells, and he instantly flocked with them.

    I still have him (he's now 6 years old) and he still hangs out with the one campbell hen I have from the originals. They seem to be buddies as he follows her everywhere!

    So if you can't get any more ducks until spring, I would suggest putting her with your hens until you can. That way there are at least other birds so she's not completely alone. You never know, she may buddy up with one of them!
  6. krissie23

    krissie23 New Egg

    Oct 20, 2014
    Can you tell me in what state and city you lost your duck? We found a duck 2 days ago in the street full of ice cycles all over and couldn't walk well frozen almost

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