Lazy ducks in winter?

Iheart'scovies

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 11, 2009
44
0
22
Hi, I'm hoping for a little advice or reassurance :) I've had a pair of Muscovies (male & female) for about four years now, and they are acting very strange this winter. First off, I am in Florida, so it does not get that cold. But, starting with our first tiny cold spell, my ducks took to their coop and have basically refused to come out since. I have to kick them out each day when I clean and chase them out into the yard for the 'free range' time that they normally would spend the majority of their day doing. Then they just want back in. This also happened to coincide with their molting beginning, which I have also thought might be the cause. But, they have never responded to cold or molting in this way before. They are eating (perhaps a bit less though it seems to me) and bathing, and appear otherwise healthy. When I bring them treats of bananas or whatever, they gobble it up no problem. When I get them out walking around, they're not showing any signs of distress (except they are angry about not being let back into the coop). This is why I haven't take them to the vet, because the 'symptom' (if you can call it that) is just sort of a general, nondescript 'laziness', and I have a feeling the vet is not going to be able to draw much of a diagnosis off that.

It is just weird, and a few searches of this site yielded no references to this sort of this that I could find, so I am just wondering if anyone had this experience before. Are they just getting older and more sensitive perhaps?

Any input would be greatly appreciated-- I am getting really worried about them!
 

Iheart'scovies

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 11, 2009
44
0
22
I thought of the eggs right off, and did a good search! Also, the male never normally hangs around when there are eggs. So, I don't think surprise babies are it, though that was a good thought!

Maybe they are just getting old and lazy, then, (who isn't!). that's kind of what I am hoping for, I guess ;-)

It just happened pretty suddenly is all. About two-three weeks ago, all they wanted to do was wonder around the yard and the coop was basically just the place they slept. Now, they want to be in there all the time. It's like they are scared of being out but I don't know why.
 
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Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
117,484
139,031
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Mountains of Western N.C.
I thought of the eggs right off, and did a good search! Also, the male never normally hangs around when there are eggs. So, I don't think surprise babies are it, though that was a good thought!

Maybe they are just getting old and lazy, then, (who isn't!). that's kind of what I am hoping for, I guess ;-)
Nothing
s changed outside,? seen any stray dogs or possibly another kind of pred that maybe lurking around? sometimes we don't pick up on things and maybe something has scared them.
 

Iheart'scovies

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 11, 2009
44
0
22
Not that I know of. It's all fenced in, too, and I only let them out when we are home. But, that is always a possibility that they saw something that spooked them good and they can't let it go. Do you think there is anything I could do to help them get past something like that??
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,221
2,831
551
Southern New England
This morning the flock and I were on a walk, just past the gate to the day pen, when, after a brief pause to nom some goodies, they all ran back toward me (they had been in the lead) and paced around the closed gate. I let them in, and they have been happy to hang in and near the Day Pen all day.

I give them credit for having good reasons.

If yours are staying in day after day, I am going to guess either they have a low level virus (feeling puny, as we called it down south) or they detect the presence of trouble.

I would give them extra vitamins/electrolytes/probiotics and keep an eye out for any signs of wildlife activity around. And I would let them stay in their safe place if they feel the need.

My ducks recently have become somewhat wary of the crows. The crows have been around for years, and I consider them allies. I would not trust them with eggs or ducklings, but they chase hawks away and warn of intruders. But the ducks have been getting spooked a little. My guess is that predators are on the move, and it's "risk-on" as the financial writers say.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
117,484
139,031
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
I've noticed a difference in my whole flock since the leaves are off the trees now and its more open. They will only go out side the fenced in property when I am with them and then they stay close to the gate. I think their security of the full leaved trees is gone and they feel more vulnerable
 

Crafty-Duck

Songster
7 Years
May 27, 2012
1,178
60
148
Lucky Duck Pond
I was wondering if they were feeling more vulnerable because they are molting and there defenses are down.
idunno.gif
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
117,484
139,031
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
I was wondering if they were feeling more vulnerable because they are molting and there defenses are down.
idunno.gif
Could be, I haven't noticed it so much in my ducks but when a few of my chickens were in heavy molt they were actually hiding under bushes and pretty much staid to themselves the whole time.
 

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