Duck Mama Not Eating


Jun 8, 2020
Hi all!

We have three Welsh Harlequin ducks that started laying in March. One of our ducks, Marigold, is very friendly and likes to be touched and carried around. Lately, we noticed her building nests and sitting on her sister's eggs. She also had a hunched posture and fluffed feathers, and wouldn't let me come near her. She quacks at me with a weird double quack instead of soft chattering as usual. I assumed she was broody. She started sitting in the duck house all the time and she isn't eating much at all. She doesn't look skinny but she won't eat her favorite treats or forage.

Yesterday we decided to get two ducklings, Khaki Campbells, and gave them to her. All of the sudden she became very friendly to us again and wants us to pet her. She isn't sitting on the ducklings, but she wants to be in the duck house with them and they are following her around. I let her and the ducklings out for a few minutes and she wouldn't forage. She walked around a little bit, then acted like she wanted back in the pen and her duck house. She wouldn't forage or eat any food or treats I tried to give her.

Is this normal for a broody duck? I'm concerned about her not eating. She's also not laying eggs and I did check her for a blockage but doesn't seem like that's a problem.

I do have one other girl that seems slightly broody. She has plucked chest feathers out, and she isn't laying reliably, but she isn't nest sitting and the ducklings scare the crap out of her. :) She's also eating like a horse.

Any advice on duckling adoption and how to get mama to eat?

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