Ducks acting strange all of a sudden, scared, quacking non stop, acting like I'm a stranger?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AlohaDuck, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. AlohaDuck

    AlohaDuck Out Of The Brooder

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    My Welsh Harlequin (6 month old) is quacking its head off and acting scared all of a sudden. It opens its beak, almost like a silent hissing and is just being skitty/scared. This is at night when I put them away. I have just noticed this the other day when putting them away. It was dark out....no moon light...so I thought maybe they were just scared of the dark.

    Other than that, she's known to be the sweetest one as that breed is known to be the calmest. Hmmm....

    I've recently switched their feed from regular organic crumble feed to organic pellets

    Only one of the three ducks seem to be laying right now and I know which one that is...the black swede....

    Hmmm.... could metal poisoning or something along those lines cause weird behavior? Lice problem?

    All three ducks seem to be more scared than usual, but the Welsh is really bad.... I can still hold them, pick them up to put them in their house, but they are more skitty than usual. Once they are in the cage, they are fine....clean themselves...all the normal....

    My poor Welsh...what could be causing this? She was never like this...like I've said she was the sweetest of them, although they are all sweet. I've raised them from a day old...lot of human contact....fed nothing but organic food...everything the best....



    To summarize:
    • It's been really dark...
    • They have a red heat lamp....
    • Switched from organic crumbles to organic pellets...
    • Oh wait...I did wear my glasses that night...but really? Could that be it? Don't they know me by now to recognize my voice at the least?


    Possibly:
    • Just scared of the dark?
    • Don't recognize me because I wore my glasses?
    • Could it be the new feed?
    • Metal poisoning?
    • Lice problem?
    • Eating paint chips off of the shed etc...?
    • Parasites?


    Solutions:
    I'm going to start putting Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in their water feeder again.
    Diatomaceous Earth in there feed...




    Anyone experience this "all of a sudden," behavior?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  2. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could something of scared them outside? Maybe a predator is coming to visit after they are put up and causing them to freak out. Even if they are safe just seeing something that would eat them would make the skittish and scared.
     
  3. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah, my first thought is a predator may have come by the coop. Maybe for a little while you could swap their red lamp to a standard white one so they can see at night in case it comes by again? Other than that, is the Welshie showing any other weird signs? Is it eating and drinking? I wonder if it is posturing or just plain panting. :p
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  5. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Sadly, there is no effective home remedy for metal poisoning in ducks. Once they eat the metal and it's in their system, unless you can get it to a vet for a calsenate injection and/or surgery there isn't much you can do. However, you CAN help prevent it by coating any new wire mesh, metal buckets, tools, etc. with lemon juice to help it oxidize faster, thus rendering the zinc coating harmless.
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  7. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    I guess I'm just curious to know what you mean by "regular little detoxes". What do you use to treat your birds?
     
  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    The things I listed before I use regularly. Apples, garlic, cal-mag, certain herbs, vit C, etc.

    In a nutshell, I basically try to assist the main toxin target and elimination organs (liver and kidneys) to remain in good condition and do their job well, since if they're in good condition they can process out most toxins, and when they accumulate damage toxins build up in them and progressively deplete the body's ability to perform its normal detoxing function.

    For all domestic poultry, liver damage is ubiquitous, by some estimations over 80% of all deaths involve liver failure in part due to dietary or environmental damage sustained, so whatever delivered the finishing blow (virus or whatever) it depended on the liver having lost so much of its function in the first place. Things like antibiotics, wormers, vaccines etc can all cause permanent damage too so even if you keep your birds away from all the other sources of damage you can, it's pretty unavoidable that liver damage will occur. Ideally you can minimize it and help the liver repair. It's great at that but rarely gets given a chance.

    For liver, dandelion, onion, garlic, milkthistle, etc are all very good. Some liver cells don't repair without the compounds found in milkthistle or dandelion (they're chemically identical for most purposes).

    For kidneys, correct magnesium:calcium and phosphorus ratios is very important, and depending on individual needs things like barley and peas help those prone to uroliths, and those that have previous urinary tract/renal damage... There's more kidney-aids, but I generally have very little need to use those, liver is more often the organ that needs help.

    Providing free-choice charcoal in small pieces helps them take care of many problems they encounter, i.e. some of my chooks think going on random fungi-tasting sprees is a good idea, others will taste any strange herb they find...

    Good sources of calcium-magnesium being available free-choice is another first port of call for detoxing many issues since the body binds many toxins in calcium as it processes them out, and will take from the bones and nerves the calcium it needs to do that task if the diet is too low in it (which it always is, for the purpose of detoxing anything even somewhat significant. The amount the body can chew through while detoxing is dangerous for daily use obviously). Many people use the argument that "this animal produces its own vitamin C, I don't see how supplementing it will help anything" but that's completely ignoring the enormous quantities the body can need to detox, far beyond what that animal normally produces, or even can produce under specific demand.

    Sorry if I'm preaching to the choir, I gather you probably know the subject fairly well, but it's hard to know who knows what and under-explaining, or over-explaining, runs a risk of offending either way. I prefer to over-share info to maybe even help people who read this in future rather than under-share just in case someone takes offense.

    Alrighty, it's my bedtime (long past actually) but if you're interested I can dig up some more articles I've got bookmarked somewhere and share. Here's a sample of one, kinda skims over some of the important info but you can check their citations for more explicit info:
    Best wishes.
     
  9. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Uhh....you're not supposed to give garlic or onion to ducks. At all. It's very harmful to them.
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Getting back to the original concern (I have not read all the responses yet, so bear with me) - duck behaviors can change rapidly overnight.

    Happened with my Runners at 3 weeks of age. And based on your name, are you in a fairly warm place? Could she be getting broody?

    needlessjunk makes a good point - sometimes they can be scared by something you do not see. So be on the lookout. Is their shelter secure at all times?
     

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