Lazy ducks in winter?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Iheart'scovies, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Iheart'scovies

    Iheart'scovies Out Of The Brooder

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    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!
     
  2. wildpeas

    wildpeas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could they have eggs hidden in the coop somewhere?
     
  3. Crafty-Duck

    Crafty-Duck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also have a pair of Muscovy's they are 5 and all they ever do now a days is lay around in the same spot!!!!
     
  4. Iheart'scovies

    Iheart'scovies Out Of The Brooder

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    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.
     
  6. Iheart'scovies

    Iheart'scovies Out Of The Brooder

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    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??
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    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.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    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
     
  9. Crafty-Duck

    Crafty-Duck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was wondering if they were feeling more vulnerable because they are molting and there defenses are down. [​IMG]
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    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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