Need ideas to restrict a glutton duck

Little Brown Coop

In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2020
16
79
46
I have two Pekin ducks, approx. 3 months old that free range. The problem being that one of them is an absolute PIG! He/she (not sure yet) consumes food twice as fast as the other one and tends to not walk away until it's all gone. Also Fatti is rather pushy if there is something it wants to eat, the other one doesn't stand a chance. Fatti appears to heading quickly to obesity, severe waddle when walking, rather unbalanced if walking over uneven surfaces, all of which can't be good. Breast bone? What breast bone? Kind a thing.

They get food in the morning when released and again in the evening before being put up. The aren't given food at night but they have water. Approx. 3-4 cups a day, divided in 2 feedings. So 1 1/2 to 2 C. per bird daily but I suspect that Fatti gets 2/3rds to the other one getting 1/3 of that ration. They also get niacin with Fatti getting a larger dose that the other. Some treats but not a lot, mostly so I can hide their niacin dose.

So I'm looking for ideas on restricting food intake for one and not the other. Should I just not worry about it?
The best I can come up with is separating them in the morning for a bit and let them eat, then releasing them. But not sure how feasible that is time wise for me in the morning. Also they are pretty bonded and I think Fatti would eat just fine but the other one would just fret and may not eat anyway. Also I suspect one is a drake and one is a duck, would there be that much difference between the two?

Any advice? Thanks!
 

RShayne

Chirping
Jun 13, 2020
74
85
61
Kentucky
I wouldn’t worry about it unless the smaller one is under weight. They are Peking and will put on weight quickly, but they will not have the health issues of Cornish cross. If more than seven weeks you should be able to pick them up and if it quacks it is a hen, rasping whistle it is a drake.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Jul 13, 2015
680
1,254
281
Carnation, Wa
I have to separate my ducks for mealtime. Two eat one food, the third is on a special diet to prevent egg laying. The entire process takes about 10 minutes. We have a section of their aviary fenced off with a little gate. Two are trained to go in, we open the door and they go right in. They each have a water bucket and food near each other on either side. They are completely comfortable with the process, even though they are a bonded flock.

If you choose to separate them, I would put Fatti in the new space for mealtime, not the other bird, and have their dishes as close to each other as possible. Be aware Fatti might try to eat through the wire so the other bowl might need to be a little further away!

Birds can have health problems from being overweight, and if you really can't find the keel bone I would take some steps to limit overeating if it were my bird and an adult. I would also check on the weight of the other bird to make sure she/he isn't underweight.

Stress can also have real health consequences, so think about how much separating them for feeding is upsetting them. One of my birds was going to die if we didn't - so for us it was worth it. And they adjusted quickly!

Good luck!

Edited to put it "an adult." I missed that the first time!
 
Last edited:

ConnieA

Songster
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
628
1,260
241
IMHO, a three-month-old duck of any breed is still a teenager. Restricting their diet is basically child abuse, that is, you are restricting their ability to be the best duck they can be. Basically, you are putting baby LeBron James on a diet so that he will be just average, not a champion.

Sorry to be so blunt, but all ducks grow A LOT during their first six months, and continue to develop during the next year. IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO FEED A DUCK PROPERLY DURING THEIR GROWTH PERIOD, PLEASE DO NOT ADOPT A DUCK!!!
(Or a chicken, or a dog, or a child.)

Pekin ducks were bred to grow particularly fast.
A severe waddle indicates a possible niacin deficiency, not necessarily a weight problem, which would be exacerbated by reducing food intake.
 

KaleIAm

Crowing
Jul 13, 2015
680
1,254
281
Carnation, Wa
Ah, I somehow missed the age. Considering this I would consult a veterinarian. I usually do when it is my ducks. She is the one who told me about how unhealthy it is for ducks too be overweight. We were speaking of adults, of course.
 

ConnieA

Songster
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
628
1,260
241
Ah, I somehow missed the age. Considering this I would consult a veterinarian. I usually do when it is my ducks. She is the one who told me about how unhealthy it is for ducks too be overweight. We were speaking of adults, of course.
Yes, please get a professional opinion before restricting a juvenile's food intake!
 

416bigbore

Chick-O-Treat !
Premium Feather Member
Jun 11, 2020
947
1,578
226
NC
I have two Pekin ducks, approx. 3 months old that free range. The problem being that one of them is an absolute PIG! He/she (not sure yet) consumes food twice as fast as the other one and tends to not walk away until it's all gone. Also Fatti is rather pushy if there is something it wants to eat, the other one doesn't stand a chance. Fatti appears to heading quickly to obesity, severe waddle when walking, rather unbalanced if walking over uneven surfaces, all of which can't be good. Breast bone? What breast bone? Kind a thing.

They get food in the morning when released and again in the evening before being put up. The aren't given food at night but they have water. Approx. 3-4 cups a day, divided in 2 feedings. So 1 1/2 to 2 C. per bird daily but I suspect that Fatti gets 2/3rds to the other one getting 1/3 of that ration. They also get niacin with Fatti getting a larger dose that the other. Some treats but not a lot, mostly so I can hide their niacin dose.

So I'm looking for ideas on restricting food intake for one and not the other. Should I just not worry about it?
The best I can come up with is separating them in the morning for a bit and let them eat, then releasing them. But not sure how feasible that is time wise for me in the morning. Also they are pretty bonded and I think Fatti would eat just fine but the other one would just fret and may not eat anyway. Also I suspect one is a drake and one is a duck, would there be that much difference between the two?

Any advice? Thanks!
This is a normal behavior in some animals when they have to compete with others for food. It's my understanding that a duck will not over eat, unlike some animals. Try leaving their food out 24-7 for them and I bet this will stop. :)
 

Little Brown Coop

In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2020
16
79
46
I wouldn’t worry about it unless the smaller one is under weight. They are Peking and will put on weight quickly, but they will not have the health issues of Cornish cross. If more than seven weeks you should be able to pick them up and if it quacks it is a hen, rasping whistle it is a drake.
Yes that is part of my concern. Is the other one getting enough?
I think their voices are still changing, they have a variety of noises they make depending on if they seem happy, upset, hungry ect. I did hear a definite quack a few times but was around the corner and didn't see who did it. But now they both sound pretty much the same. More like a goose than anything else lol.
 

Little Brown Coop

In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2020
16
79
46
T
I have to separate my ducks for mealtime. Two eat one food, the third is on a special diet to prevent egg laying. The entire process takes about 10 minutes. We have a section of their aviary fenced off with a little gate. Two are trained to go in, we open the door and they go right in. They each have a water bucket and food near each other on either side. They are completely comfortable with the process, even though they are a bonded flock.

If you choose to separate them, I would put Fatti in the new space for mealtime, not the other bird, and have their dishes as close to each other as possible. Be aware Fatti might try to eat through the wire so the other bowl might need to be a little further away!

Birds can have health problems from being overweight, and if you really can't find the keel bone I would take some steps to limit overeating if it were my bird and an adult. I would also check on the weight of the other bird to make sure she/he isn't underweight.

Stress can also have real health consequences, so think about how much separating them for feeding is upsetting them. One of my birds was going to die if we didn't - so for us it was worth it. And they adjusted quickly!

Good luck!

Edited to put it "an adult." I missed that the first time!
Thanks for your input.
I am feeding a 16% all flock at this time, they were on a 18% starter/grower before. Could 16% protein be too low, causing Fatti to want to gorge? (But that doesn't explain still gaining weight)
 

Little Brown Coop

In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2020
16
79
46
IMHO, a three-month-old duck of any breed is still a teenager. Restricting their diet is basically child abuse, that is, you are restricting their ability to be the best duck they can be. Basically, you are putting baby LeBron James on a diet so that he will be just average, not a champion.

Sorry to be so blunt, but all ducks grow A LOT during their first six months, and continue to develop during the next year. IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO FEED A DUCK PROPERLY DURING THEIR GROWTH PERIOD, PLEASE DO NOT ADOPT A DUCK!!!
(Or a chicken, or a dog, or a child.)

Pekin ducks were bred to grow particularly fast.
A severe waddle indicates a possible niacin deficiency, not necessarily a weight problem, which would be exacerbated by reducing food intake.
Well ouch, no need to shout. Yes I understand Pekins grow fast, but should I really expect this duck to sit if front of food and consume 6, 8, 12 cups a food a day? That is literally what Fatti does, if there is food Fatti will eat it regardless of quantity. Would a responsible parent allow a 13 yr old child to weigh 180 lbs. and not do anything because they are still growing? It will surely magically go away when they reach adulthood.

I am told ducks self regulate but what if that's not what is happening. I am old enough and have owned and cared (well btw) for animals most of my life to know for every rule there is an exception.

I do supplement niacin, I have 100 mg. tablets divided in quarters. Fatti always gets the largest quarters and sometimes the extra crumbs too. Now granted it is not a measured scientific way of doing that but each duck gets at least 25 mg. a day with Fatti getting more like 30-40 mg. sometimes more. From what I have read that should be plenty, am I wrong? They also get a multi B vit. dose every other day.

Thanks for your input.
 

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