I think my ducks are displaying zugunruhe

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Amiga, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I remember this from a class years ago - migratory birds that are confined get twitchy during migration time. So they gave the condition an interesting name.

    The Runners´energy is definitely up a couple of notches, they are eating a little more, and are less patient about waiting to go out.

    Anyone else seeing some different behaviors?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Yes eating more and the last few days they have been going in earlier it starts around 4 pm now the chickens start in next the ducks and tonight the goose went and got in their house with out me having to walk behind them. They are always antsy to get out in the morning. Changes are a coming.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Thanks. I reckoned it was not just us. I find they're wanting in sooner, but also out sooner. I just also wanted to offer that there is a scientific word for it, if that's what it is.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Now all I need to do is figure out how to pronounce it. lol
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    When you figure it out, please share! I think it may be German.
     
  6. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It translates to 'train trouble' from German.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For the past week or so my girls have actually been waiting for me at the gate to go out in the mornings and afternoon. This is definitely not their normal behavior. I used to have to open the gate and go about my daily duck chores before they'd stop swimming, grooming or chatting with each other under the tall grass.

    The weirdest thing they're doing now is running up on top of our well house roof. it has a flat-type slightly pitched roof. They stand up there and stamp their feet and flap their wings. A few times a week one will actually get air borne and flap-fly about 30 feet away. Due to the height difference in the terrain they can get really high. My best estimate is around 10-15 feet off the ground. As soon as they land they run back up the hill to get on top of the well house. Scares me every time they do it because they're so high in the air.

    They'd never even shown in any interest in the structure prior to the past week.

    They're more clingy when they're free ranging with me.. wont get more than 2-3 feet away. And they're quick to go to bed each night, too.

    We've had our first snow fall in the past week, our first killing frost and two nights in a row of sub 20 degree temps since the weird well house behavior started. and they haven't seemed bothered or put out by any of it.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    @cayugaducklady I feel we can learn from our flocks' behavior . . . not sure what gets them going, but the zugunruhe is a documented behavior in migratory birds. I will pay more attention, to see if we have more flight attempts. I know their transit patterns have been changing a bit. They used to go straight into the wooded area. Now they stay closer to the house and day pen.
     
  10. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if my girls are reacting more strongly to the season changes. It's their first everything.

    I went back through my farm journal. Daylight hours has obviously been decreasing and temps have been decreasing. I think the two biggest changes they're experiencing is angle of the sun and the ability to find greens to eat. The annual native grasses have seed heads and have dried up. Our farmers markets have closed and we're eating less fresh leafy greens so the produce waste they're getting is squash/potatoes/chard stems etc.

    They're also finding fewer bugs but more frogs and salamanders. The cooler temps make them sluggish. Creeps me out when they come running to me with those in their bills.
     

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