1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Ducks overweight?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by arrowti, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. arrowti

    arrowti Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    16
    71
    Jul 20, 2014
    Maine
    We have 6 ducks, 5 females, 1 drake, one of the females is a pekin, and the rest are cayugas with some pekin mixed. But all the females look overweight: every one of them has a 'bulge' under their belly of varying sizes (some drag on the ground, some don't). The male is slightly big but doesn't have nearly the same size bulge.

    I am wondering if they are 'overweight' or if something is wrong, because the females haven't laid an egg in over a month - they are just over a year old now.

    Could there be something wrong with the eggs that is the reason for their bulge? I've attached some pictures.

    We feed the ducks one scoop of feed a day, at night. It's a 3 qt size scoop, and we give them the egg layer pellets that we give the chickens. Previously they laid very good. We had a light for their coop over the last year but due to moving the coop it is no longer near an outlet and so there hasn't been light at night for that past few months - could they be why they aren't laying? How much light do ducks need to lay eggs? The sun comes up around 7:30 AM (we let them out around 8:00 AM) and sets around 3:30-4:00 PM.

    The ducks are free range after we let them out and eat any grasses, weeds, bugs, or sometimes chicken food (they stretch their necks as far as possible to stick it into the doorway of the chicken house to steal their food!). What could we do to help them lose weight?

    They are 'very' active ducks, too. The run all over the yard looking for puddles to play in, they splash around in the pool all times of the year, and are almost always on the move, so I find it strange they've gotten so fat.

    Any advice would be appreciated! Sorry about the blurry photo, my camera didn't want to focus and they wouldn't stop running around.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

    19,221
    2,409
    361
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Just like with chickens, it's normal for ducks to slow down or stop producing eggs in the fall/winter.
     
  3. arrowti

    arrowti Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    16
    71
    Jul 20, 2014
    Maine
    I was worried because all of the females laid through the entire winter, almost 5 a day (sometimes a random extra), even on the coldest day. Of course, they had lighting in their house.

    Plugged in their house again to see if that makes a difference with the laying.

    What can I do about their extra baggage?
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,162
    4,078
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    When you put the 3qts of feed out for them do they eat it all at once or is there some left over in the morning. This time of year it's almost better to let them have some extra weight to help keep them warm through winter, but being over weight can cause laying problems too so it's a hard balance to maintain.. You could try cutting back to 2.5 qts and watch them closely to make sure they don't drop weight to fast or if they begin to have egg shell problems. That's another problem egg layers need alot of calcium to produce strong shells. How old are they because none are going to produce like they do their first year or so. And adding light how many hrs after dark do you do this? I am of the mind when their bodies go to rest that means they need it. And forcing them to continue to lay when they should be resting is just going to cause them lay out sooner.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  5. arrowti

    arrowti Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    16
    71
    Jul 20, 2014
    Maine
    The ducks are all a year and four months old. The light will be turned off around 10 PM so they can have at least 12 hours of light, since our daylight hours are so short.

    They never eat all their food at night so there is always some leftover in the morning.

    This is the first time we had ducks so I wasn't sure if they would stop laying so soon or if there was something wrong, but if it's a combination of the cold, the short light hours, and their weight instead of their bodies I was hoping I could help them out.

    They graze their food all night long instead of all at once and when we let them out in the morning the chickens go in and eat what's left.

    Would ducks also benefit from having oyster shells available to them or would they not eat them?
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,162
    4,078
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Oyster shell is an excellent way of giving them the extra calcium they need I keep it out year round since my chickens[some of them] will lay through winter.

    They are still pretty young so most likely the day light is what is affecting their laying or lack of daylight I should say. Plus breaks in between to rejuvenate their bodies.
     
  7. PotatoWaffles

    PotatoWaffles Chillin' With My Peeps

    686
    125
    123
    Oct 10, 2014
    Northwest Ohio

    My ducks won't touch oyster shell, but they love crushed egg shell. I try mixing the oyster shell and egg shell together but they just pick around the oyster and eat the egg shell only; lol: And I have so many laying ducks that acquiring the egg shell is no problem at all. I was having a lot of ducks laying soft shelled eggs, but haven't had that problem since I started offering the egg shell.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,162
    4,078
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Good idea to offer the egg shells back to them. What ever they will use to keep those fresh eggs hard.
     
  9. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

    495
    77
    81
    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    My hens wont eat their own duck egg shells but they'll race to the feed pan for chicken egg shell. I steam them and mash them before offering to the ducks.

    I feed the duck egg shells to my worm farm. They looove them.
     
  10. PotatoWaffles

    PotatoWaffles Chillin' With My Peeps

    686
    125
    123
    Oct 10, 2014
    Northwest Ohio

    I want a worm farm! lol
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by