normal break from laying vs. egg bound

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hfchristy, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you know when a duck is egg bound and when she's just taking a break from laying?

    They started laying about a month ago and have been absurdly consistent from the very start (one skipped two days the first week and the other skipped one, but then they each had a day where they had two eggs out there, so I'm not even sure they skipped the other days - the eggs may have just been hiding somewhere. Haven't missed a day since.)
    They certainly deserve a day or two off! And I'd be sad, but okay with it, if one is taking a longer break. But don't want to risk missing a problem if one is brewing.

    The girls lay very different eggs (small green vs. large white) so I know who's laying, and the Pekin is on her second day without laying. She's also been holding her head firmly out of the water and shaking of the boy every time he tries to mate. I haven't seen this behavior from her, even in the brief period when we had excess drakes. Seems reasonable to me that a bird that was bound up might also find sex uncomfortable, but I don't know whether that's actually the case.

    She's 8 months old. Weather here has been snowy and cold, and she kept on going through that, but stopped with the warmer weather. Walks awkwardly, but then, she IS a Pekin, all all my others are much more agile to begin with.

    Any tips on sorting out what's normal and what's not?
     
  2. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did a warm bath this evening. Peeked in on them after locking the duck house and the drake wasn't giving her a moment's peace.
    Maybe just not laying because the sudden spring-like weather has his hormones in overdrive and she's totally overmated and stressed? Or just can't sit in one place long enough to get the egg out?
    Anyway, I put a cat carrier in the duck house and locked the guy in there. Most of the rest of the flock seemed concerned about him but NOT the Pekin. Found herself a nice quiet spot and turned her back on him.

    Not sure that's the egg-laying issue, but definitely seems to be an issue of some sort, so feeling pretty good about giving her a little break!
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Sounds like you did the right thing, I don't let my drakes sleep with the girls, they have stalls and the boys get their own. That way the girls can have a little peace when bedtime comes around.
     
  4. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you get them to go in the right stall? I'd considered that at one point, but couldn't figure out the logistics of getting them sorted without everyone getting loose again!

    I figured that regardless of what the problem was, a white duck in the middle of a january thaw can always use a bath and the duck making a pest of himself could use some time to cool off!
     
  5. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Got an egg this morning. More than half an ounce bigger than all her previous ones!

    I would still love any insight anyone can share into knowing when to worry about a duck being egg bound, and when to just relax and let her have her day(s) off.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    They know which stall belongs to who believe it or not.
     
  7. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'll be...
    I figured "yeah, sure... they know which stall is theirs EVENTUALLY, but the first couple of weeks must be tough."
    When we had more ducks and hadn't finished the house yet, we separated them at night for a while, just because we didn't have a single cage big enough and wanted to get the "keepers" used to being a group, and there was always a certain amount of manual rearranging of ducks that had to happen. But after one night in the isolation chamber, the offending guy voluntarily walked in there the last two nights.
    He seems more aggressive toward the other male now, though. Perhaps while he's been locked up the little guy has been moving in on his ladies? I definitely can't put both boys in a separate stall together at this point, though. It was looking like a prison shower scene out there this morning.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    About your question on egg binding, thank the Lord I have never had that happen in any of my flock, but from what i have read, the duck with the problem would be squatting and pushing like trying to lay an egg but can't. she would also be spending way longer in the nest box too. Actually it didn't take mine long to figure out which was their stall, only the boys have single stalls, my girls are sleeping 2 or 3 to a stall. and yes fighting has begun here, yesterday 2 of my drakes got into it twice. but since the older of the 2 put Jr. in his place it's been pretty peaceful, of course Jr. will try again to usurp Dad's position as main drake but so far today so good.
     
  9. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So your boys are in individual stalls? Do they stay warm enough that way? I figured that they'd all be fine in the uninsulated duck house because they could huddle together if they needed to, but that doesn't work so well if they're in solitary confinement.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Never have had a problem with them being in separate stalls, I don't even close the windows in the duck./chicken house all the way. I leave the top open for ventilation. Never had frost bite and have never seen on shivering from the cold inside their house is deep pine shaving too. And even on days when it's frigid and they could go inside if they wanted to they prefer to be outside. Remeber under those feathers is a thick layer of down which keeps them toasty warm.
     

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