Rescue Ducks ... trying to learn quickly!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Rhonda Gelstein, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Rhonda Gelstein

    Rhonda Gelstein In the Brooder

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    Hi everyone. We ended up fostering 10 ducks (although I think they're ours for good LOL) 3 weeks ago. They were dumped at a local animal control and the rescue group I volunteer with ended up with them. We have chickens already, and offered to take on the ducks. They're funny critters, and we're having fun learning about them. Obtaining 10 ducks as winter sets in (we live in Michigan) is challenging to say the least. So far they seem happy but we have one duck exhibiting some odd behavior. That is what lead me here.

    When I figure out how to create an album I'll upload pics of our ducks, our set-up, etc. We're open to suggestions. We're total newbies. We want to do right by our friends.

    We have a very large pond/small lake on our property just behind our house. Our plan is to let them free range swim in the pond once they figure out home. It will probably not be until spring though because the pond freezes in the winter. (It's partially frozen now.) We get wild ducks and other fowl but we don't feed them. (I'm posting a pic of the pond below.) 23755170_10155402964468952_2401925753413148584_n.jpg 24862316_10155450623613952_8993583084495702917_n.jpg 23755170_10155402964468952_2401925753413148584_n.jpg 24862316_10155450623613952_8993583084495702917_n.jpg 23755170_10155402964468952_2401925753413148584_n.jpg 24862316_10155450623613952_8993583084495702917_n.jpg

    Anyway, I'll post a pic below. I'm reading like crazy! :)
     

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  2. Rhonda Gelstein

    Rhonda Gelstein In the Brooder

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    ACK! Why did I get multiples of the pics? LOL
     
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  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

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    :welcome

    You never stated what the odd behavior is. Can you clarify for us?

    BYC is a great site with lots of helpful folks. I am sure the duck experts will be along.
     
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  4. Rhonda Gelstein

    Rhonda Gelstein In the Brooder

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    Oops, missed that. I have one Pekin duck that seems to be getting stuck in the pond. She's not stuck, it's easy to get in and out. But, she's in there so much her front feathers are absolutely soaked and nasty looking. She has been doing this the last 2-3 days. When I get her out she moves about okay and starts flapping her wings but she looks horrible. She hasn't been like this until now, so it's behavior we haven't seen before. All of our ducks are a little unsettled by the weather (we got a lot of snow and cold this past week) and they seem off a bit on their food but none of them are acting this way with the water.
     
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  5. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Welcome to BYC.

    Good on you for rescuing them. That's a pretty silver hen, do you know the breed?

    If you didn't already know, make sure they have water available with their feed; ducks can choke on dry feed in they don't have water to wash it down with. Your run looks a little small (from what I can see), but ducks tend to huddle in the winter anyway.

    You might want to check on your male/female ratio this spring. Ducks gang rape. I prefer a 1:4 maximum ratio of drakes to hens.

    EDT: didn't see your above post. Could she be moulting? If she's not, I suggest asking Ravynscroft, she's the duck expert.
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

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    Perkins are bred to be meaty birds. It may be that she is actually a bit to big to get out easily.

    It could also be she is avoiding some bullying. Moving birds is always stressful for them. Bad behaviors can surface.

    It has been three weeks so.......

    What are you feeding them?
    Ducks need more niacin then chickens.
    I am no expert so I will see if I can get one in here.

    @Ravynscroft can you help here?
     
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  7. Rhonda Gelstein

    Rhonda Gelstein In the Brooder

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    They have an open area that they are in - about 20' x 15'. The run itself is where they hang out at night. We free-range our chickens, closing up at night. We plan on doing the same thing with the ducks come spring. For now we're keeping them in this fenced in area, separate from the chickens.

    We have quite a few drakes. The Pekins are all females, but there are several other drakes. What we got is what was dumped at animal control. Not sure how to go about rehoming them. They have the bigger tub with a water heater in it for splashing that we are refilling every 2-3 days, and a smaller one for drinking that we are refilling several times a day. They get no food about an hour before they are put to bed.

    They've been getting veggies and stuff like we are giving our chickens. They're getting the fowl crumble that we feed the chickens along with some cracked corn. We've been experimenting with the veggies to see what they like. We've been trying peas, carrots, spinach, lettuce, etc. Plus they get mealworm treats when we give it to the chickens.
     
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  8. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck

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    Sounds like her feathers may not be waterproof, are they damaged or is she not preening properly?

    For wintertime, you can restrict their water access down to a couple deep buckets enough to dunk their heads down into, if she is getting waterlogged she *could* be in danger of freezing or hypothermia, even when temps are above freezing...

    And all flock feed like Purina Flock Raiser is very beneficial for ducks... and I agree, watch out for the girls with that many boys...

    Personally, I allow mine access to food and water right up until they get put up for the night... :)
     
  9. Rhonda Gelstein

    Rhonda Gelstein In the Brooder

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    Not sure. I really just noticed that she keeps doing this yesterday and then my husband pulled her out of the water again tonight. She looks pathetic but she hasn't been that way before this. I'm worried about her! It's just the feathers on her breast. The rest of her looks fine. I'll be out there tomorrow changing out straw and tidying things up a bit so I'll have more extended time to observe her. I have a broken ankle so my time in their pen has been limited the last few days.
     
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  10. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck

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    Oh, no! :hugs

    Sorry for your ankle, dang! Let us know when you can observe more about her tomorrow, pics of her close up and clear might help...

    If nothing else, I would nix the pool and just give them buckets so she can't climb in and not get out, especially with you on the injured list...

    ETA: and adult duck can drown even in shallow water if their feathers are not staying properly waterproof, thus my concern...
     
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