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Help please- my ducks appear to be scared to eat in the same spot

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CircleMc, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. CircleMc

    CircleMc New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2015
    Southern Indiana
    I have 7 mallard ducks about 4 months old. They are pretty tame and are free range on my pond. I feed them everyday, but over the past month they have developed a strange behavior. I use to feed them in a large shallow tub close to the waters edge, and everything was fine. Now they refuse to eat out of that tub, so I started feeding them on the ground around my dock. Now they refuse to eat there too?????? They act as if they are scared of the spot. They stretch their necks out as far as they can to reach the corn on the edge of the spots, but if I throw the feed 2 feet away they gobble it down. Weird. I have started feeding them in different locations and it last a few days and the same thing happens so I move to another spot. Can someone give me some advice as to what's going on and how to correct it? Thank you for your time in advance
     
  2. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

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    Hi and welcome to BYC.[​IMG]

    I've never had my ducks act like that before. They eat from the same location all the time. I hope someone else can help you with this question. That is very strange behavior.

    I see you are from Southern Indiana. I am too. I live in New Albany. The sunny side of Louisville. I have ducks and chickens. I love them all.


    Patty
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Ducks can get frightened by things we may not initially notice.

    Things coming at them from overhead - rats coming in to eat their feed, shadows moving nearby - they are properly cautious. You may need to watch them, even borrow a game camera and train it on the site. I suspect rodent activity.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great advice from @Amiga , and another thing I would be suspicious of is things that come out of the water, specifically turtles and snakes. Those things aren't easily seen by you from a distance, and they'd also tend to leave the area if you approached. Those can both be dangerous to ducks, and the ducks know that.

    If there's a possibility you can borrow or rent a game camera, that really is your best bet for identifying critters that wouldn't tend to hang around the area if humans are in the vicinity.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    When I cannot see what is worrying the ducks, I still know something is wrong and I work to resolve it. They depend on us.
     
  6. CircleMc

    CircleMc New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2015
    Southern Indiana
    Hello Patty sorry it has taken so long to respond- I'm new at this forum stuff[​IMG] thank you for responding unfortunately my ducks are still acting the same way. I live in Batesville, IN. Take care
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    When you feed them in one of the areas do they ever leave any food behind? just wondering if later that day or over night a predator might come through where they were eating and it frightens them to that spot. Ducks are pretty savy about preds and maybe the pred has left a calling card either pee or poop? I hope your ducks are secured at night. Leaving them on open water also lets the owls know there is some tasty ducks available.
     
  8. CircleMc

    CircleMc New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2015
    Southern Indiana
    Amiga,
    Thank you for the insight! I've tried everything you and others have suggested, but I have not caught predictors on my trail cam and I'm pretty sure the turtles are gone. My turtle lines haven't caught a turtle since June. I did catch 4 in total with 2 in the 14 inch dia shell range...nasty guys. My neighbor made soup out of them. My ducks see no pressure that I can ever see, and yet they seem to be getting even more squirrelly. They will now only eat on one side of the pond- in the "green" grass. Weird- maybe they are just not hungry.
     
  9. CircleMc

    CircleMc New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2015
    Southern Indiana
    [​IMG]
     
  10. CircleMc

    CircleMc New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2015
    Southern Indiana
    They do leave food behind, but no preditors ever eat the food. I have had corn spoil or rot. I think my dogs keep all preditors at bay. The ducks sleep in the cat tails pretty thick. For the winter I am building them a floating house with aeration to prevent freezing of the water around their houses
     

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