Duck Behavior 101 - A Reference - What is normal and when to be worried.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AliciaDuckLady, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Scratch mix is oats and corn, yes? I'd say the diet needs to have more vitamins, minerals, protein and even a little oil, like from flaxseed meal.

    Mother Earth News has a couple of articles on feeding your flock from the homestead if you want to go that route. Countryside Organic layer feed ingredients are another really good guideline for optimal nutrition.
     
  2. AimToMisbehave

    AimToMisbehave Songster

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    One of my runner girls does this at my dog! It always looks like she's trying to boss him around or intimidate him!

    And my main drake, Azula, also does the mohawk thing when he gets riled up... does anyone have good pictures or short videos of these behaviors?
     
  3. AimToMisbehave

    AimToMisbehave Songster

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    Question about laying behavior: One of my ducks started laying just last week, though I'm not sure who; five of my hens are 7 months old, three are not-quite 4 months. They're all runners in a variety of colors, but all the eggs so far have been white, so I'm fairly certain it's all been the same layer... Regardless, I've found 6 eggs in 9 days.

    I'm curious because the first four eggs were left apparently-randomly around the duckhouse on top of the straw, and yesterday's egg was out in the middle of the pen, in the dirt, but today's was tucked waaay back in the corner of their house, in what looks like a makeshift nest (all the straw pushed to the side until the ground is visible in a little circle). I know for a fact that one of my drakes has been... **ahem**... "active" with at LEAST two of the older hens. Should I be worried about this nest-looking thing?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Worried? I don't think so. My ducks, even the ones that don't get seriously broody, often make little nests for laying.
     
  5. AimToMisbehave

    AimToMisbehave Songster

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    Oh, good! I would feel kinda bad if she was actively trying to start a little peepers family and I took away an egg she wanted... but it's February! That's a terrible time to have babylings running around outside!
     
  6. springvalley123

    springvalley123 Songster

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    I wouldn't be worried about the nest looking thing, my five ducks (3 runners, a swedish and a white crested) all at times stir up a little nest in straw and even burry the eggs deep in it sometimes. THere seems to be no rhyme or reason as to who is using or making a "nest", as they will alternate with the two runners laying in the house, the swedish and crested laying out in the open (in a fully enclosed pen), and then swapping places the next day. (the third runner is 3-4 yrs old and rarely lays). I did find a "nest thing" while cleaning up the yard, which they have the run of during the day, and finding 5 eggs in it (yard is fenced well with bird netting for hawks--no predator losses btw). We had thought they were just slowing down production for winter, until I found the nest and 5 eggs. THey weren't sitting on it yet, just accumulating. THere was a warm spell around november, I think that's when this "shared nest" happened. The crested and swedish started laying about two weeks apart, quite regularly, then i got the 3 runners, and they took a while to start laying after their move to my place.
     
  7. AimToMisbehave

    AimToMisbehave Songster

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    What a relief! Thank you!!!
     
  8. AimToMisbehave

    AimToMisbehave Songster

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    Hey, does anyone know why one of my ladyducks might suddenly be wandering away from the flock? It doesn't seem like she's actively avoiding them, and I haven't seen any disagreements in the group when she does join them, but this past week or two I keep finding her off doing her thing in some completely different part of the yard and pen. Sometimes I see my chubby drake checking on her, but he's easily distracted by things that might be food, so usually it's just her all by herself :(
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Southern New England
    They can be so complex, so inscrutable....

    Keep an eye on her - watch for any signs of lethargy, droopiness, staring off into space, loss of appetite, etc.

    But my gut feeling - based on the time of year - she may be on the lookout for a place to lay her eggs secretly. So watch that one. Don't want her to disappear.

    Another possibility is she may have a strong foraging instinct that has her exploring a larger territory, or there could be a low-level conflict you don't see.
     
  10. AimToMisbehave

    AimToMisbehave Songster

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    Hmmm... I hope it's a laying thing, because at least then I already know what spot she's got her eye on, since I usually end up finding her under the same little cluster of bushy trees. She's always been a bold one...
     

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