Duck concerns

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Duck stepmother, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Duck stepmother

    Duck stepmother New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2014
    I am new to ducks. My daughter left me two Peking ducks when she moved states. I have a regular suburban backyard and keep them with a kiddy paddling pool about 6 ft diameter.
    Problem 1. I am not sure if their behavior to me is aggressive or friendly or starving. The always follow me round making hissing noises and snaking and bobbing their heads. Some times the bigger one (Antoinette, who we think is male) pecks at my legs and feet especially if I am walking away. Sparky (who is 1/3rd the size of Antoinette, and who Antoinette definitely thinks is a female) is more friendly as she lets me pet her, but she does the same head movements as Antoinette. My question is Do they hate me? I give them lots of worms!!

    Problem 2. Food. At first we got formulated pellets from the TWRC, but can't get those any loner and got crumbles of formulated duck food (Purine flock raiser) that they don't seem to like. I just got some Purina Scratch grains, that looks much more delicious, but they don't seem very interested. They don't like kitchen scraps. Are they starving?

    Problem 3. Cleaning out the kiddy pool every 2 days is a pain. Is there a better way? I was thinking of a stock tank with a drain at the bottom, but very expensive to ship

    Problem 4 Initially they would go to bed in a small plastic container, but now they won't go in it and sit out in the middle of the lawn all night. is this why they are psychotic? Do I need to buy them a coop?
     
  2. Onlyducks

    Onlyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2014
    Head "snaking" or bobbing is a mating behaviour. Ducks often do this around their owner. It's normal. The male is probably trying to tell you he is in charge and is displaying aggression when hissing and pecking at your legs. You need to be assertive in letting the duck know this is not acceptable. Tell him "NO" loudly and you may have to run back at him to convince him you're in charge. You don't need to be really scary. Just enough that he figures out you're bigger and tougher!

    My Pekins eat crumbles, pellets and the scratch grains. Some of my ducks have not liked certain types of food. Your ducks likely aren't starving—they may be eating bugs and grasses, etc. Hungary ducks will eat. Try some lettuce or peas as a treat. All my ducks eventually learned to eat whatever I feed them even if they didn't like it at first.

    I can't find the link right now, but there are examples on the forum of putting drain in a kiddie pool and in plastic pool like you get at Menards or Home Depot. Maybe someone else can find the links. I just use plastic mortar mixing trays and dump them each night. The Pekins are fine with that. (Note—they breed in the pool or water trays, so don't be surprised to find them having some "fun" one day in the pool!)

    It's a bit odd that the ducks sit out in the middle of the lawn at night—mine go in their coop. Sitting out in the open leaves them vulnerable to predators. A coop—or just a wooden box turned on it's side and lined with pine shavings—would be a good idea. I don't think this causes psychosis, however! [​IMG] It's quite likely that if they have a safe place to go at night, they will calm down somewhat. Your ducks sound fairly normal to me.
     
  3. Duck stepmother

    Duck stepmother New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2014
    Thank you very much for the very helpful reply. I think that would certainly explain his behavior. I have tried being aggressive back but that seems to make him worse. However at least he lets me scratch him now. They have also got used to their new food, but I guess they are less dependent on it and better able to forage

    I got them a coop from pawhut with an outdoor run. it is very pretty, but it seems a bit small for the big male and they both hate it. We shut them in last night and they stayed in the outside part. Maybe when it gets cold they will appreciate the house part.

    Anyway thanks you for the help and I will check out putting a drain in the current pool
     

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