Duck behavior question.

Steffanyace

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 14, 2012
56
0
41
I got three muscovies this summer, and they never swam in the pond. It was no big deal. I was just glad to see them eating all the grasshoppers, spiders and scorpions! I just figured that was a muscovy thing not to spend much time in the water. Now, what seems like overnight, they spend about 90% of their time on the pond. Has anyone experienced that?

Their feathers were in pretty rough shape when I got them, so they didn't float that we'll on the water. They have nice feathers from molting, so they actually float on top of the water now. Is that why they have decided to hang out on the water? Could it be the change in weather?
 

Steffanyace

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 14, 2012
56
0
41
Here is a pic of them. The guy I got them from didn't have any other ducks than muscovies, so I don't think they are hybrids.

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Steffanyace

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 14, 2012
56
0
41
Thanks! Maybe I am feeding them too much, so they aren't having to foraging for food. I upped their food since it got colder, since I'm not sure what they eat in the winter since the bugs are gone (well most of them anyway).
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,215
2,824
551
Southern New England
My runners have free choice food in a pan all day, and still forage like crazy when there is something to forage. They eat less boughten food if there is food for them to find for themselves, not the other way around.
 

Marty1876

Hi Everyone!
7 Years
Feb 5, 2012
17,822
153
326
Port Townsend, Washington
Muscoveys can actually drown if forced to be on water. They lack great oil glands, and eventually water log. (Most have enough sense to get out as needed)

Are they evading preditors? A pond is the best place for them, and they know it, when danger is about. I'd check that first.

I totally agree agree with Amiga, ducks prefer succulent nibbles by far to dry crunchy food. (unless its a snail) As the seasons get late, those nibbles disappear and they are forced to eat more. They would have prefered the high protein of insects,bugs, slugs, and snails during a molt anyway.
 

Steffanyace

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 14, 2012
56
0
41
They have two+ acres all to themselves to forage, but they rarely turn down a free hand out of duck food. Maybe it is that they prefer to forage on the weeds in the pond right now. The other night I couldn't convince them to come in for the night. They were determined to stay on the pond.

Before they molted they would sink a little in the water. Since they molted, their feathers are velvety soft, and they float on top of the water. They have free choice to go in the water as they please. There are hawks, osperies, owls, and coyotes in the area. I haven't noticed any hunting attempts on the ducks, but that's not to say they aren't trying. We have a dog that lives with the ducks. It's a long story, but he seems to have bonded with them the way a pyrenees does with livestock. He is a big softy. I don't think he would actually protect them, but I think he would be a deterrent to some predators.
 

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