Flock of Ducks Stopped/Slowed Eating??

DuckMomCT

In the Brooder
Jul 20, 2018
17
22
29
Hi everyone! New-ish duck mom here! We have been raising 6 ducks (all females) since they were 2 days old (from Metzer Farms). They are currently about 22 weeks old and have not started laying yet. They are usually very good eaters but recently have slowed waaay down. I have actually seen a couple of them eat, but they barely put a dent in it by the end of the day.

There have been no changes in feed and routine is about the same, other than sudden onset of cold temps, they are still drinking water very well!

Any ideas as to what could cause this? Is this normal for the shift in seasons? Is this a sign they may start laying soon? My biggest concern is they will lose weight and not maintain enough weight for these cold temps! I appreciate any advice on this topic! Thanks :)
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
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Contra Costa county, Ca.
I'd start by feeling their bodies, especially around the breastbone, to see if they feel thin(ner). Weigh them if possible, so you can see if they are losing weight. Is the food fresh? If you are at the end of the bag, it may be going stale. Possibly try a new bag, check the milling date to be sure it's fresh. One thing that also occurs to me, as birds don't eat at night, the shorter days may account for it. If you are feeding the same amount as you did during the summer, they may not finish it because they are eating for fewer hours now.
 

DuckMomCT

In the Brooder
Jul 20, 2018
17
22
29
Thanks for the thoughts @townchicks ! I will definitely monitor their weight, this pattern just started about 5 days ago. We only feed 1 bag at a time so it usually doesn't last too long - maybe 14 days, so doesn't seem too old/stale. I'll pick up a fresh bag and try that just in case. The food is fresh in their dish every day, pains me to throw away the leftovers! I started cutting back the amount I put out by half since I was throwing so much away, and they aren't coming close to finishing it. Could definitely be the shorter days!
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,659
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Thanks for the thoughts @townchicks ! I will definitely monitor their weight, this pattern just started about 5 days ago. We only feed 1 bag at a time so it usually doesn't last too long - maybe 14 days, so doesn't seem too old/stale. I'll pick up a fresh bag and try that just in case. The food is fresh in their dish every day, pains me to throw away the leftovers! I started cutting back the amount I put out by half since I was throwing so much away, and they aren't coming close to finishing it. Could definitely be the shorter days!
What do you feed?..Why throw the feed away? I'm confused?
 

DuckMomCT

In the Brooder
Jul 20, 2018
17
22
29
Hello..Has the temperature gone down? Are they laying around more. All mine are not eating as much because it's cold out and they don't need to eat if not running around.
Yes, the temps suddenly dropped here in CT. They definitely aren't as active as they were this summer, but even in the summer they would lay around and nap in their pool! Pool has been closed due to the cold temps, but supposed to be around 40 deg (F) today and they're already in the pool floating around, having fun and eventually napping. Still trying to get used to their behaviors and their "normal" as the seasons change.
 

DuckMomCT

In the Brooder
Jul 20, 2018
17
22
29
What do you feed?..Why throw the feed away? I'm confused?
We feed pellets. I did a lot of research (probably too much!) before we got them and one thing I picked up is that mold can grow easily and can make them sick. Because they're always running from water to food and back, the food does tend to soak up some of that water. I'd rather be cautious than risk a bunch of sick ducks.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,659
109,070
1,647
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
We feed pellets. I did a lot of research (probably too much!) before we got them and one thing I picked up is that mold can grow easily and can make them sick. Because they're always running from water to food and back, the food does tend to soak up some of that water. I'd rather be cautious than risk a bunch of sick ducks.
Well that's silly. Sorry but they won't become sick or all my Calls would be dead. I never toss out feed ..
 

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