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Strange behavior

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kacey52, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Kacey52

    Kacey52 In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2012
    When I was putting my mallards in their pen tonight I noticed some odd behavior. I had to chase them out of the pond as usual and when I was herding them into their pen they kept laying down and shaking their legs almost as if they were trying to scratch. I've been trying to read online but I haven't found much. The closest thing I found to describing their behavior said that they are trying to warm up their feet. Is that what they are doing? We just got cold here recently and we just got the first snow that stuck on Christmas Eve and the pond they swim in is starting to get ice in it so I'm sure they are getting cold.

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I believe the snow is chilling/burning their feet and they are reacting to that sensation. You will also notice them stting on the snow and pulling their feet up into their feathers. this leaves the duck resting on it's down comforter. They will adapt to the conditions. Right now it's a 'new' thing.
  3. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

    Oct 22, 2009
    Yep, it's like a reflex, we have that happen all the time when first letting ducks out into new snow. You should keep an eye on it though and not leave the ducks sit for too long in snow and ice if they don't move around in those conditions...drakes can wind up with prolapsed phallus if they let their privates down and they freeze. We don't take a lot of chances with our Calls in the snow. In my experience they do better in water, but just sitting on snow or ice for long periods of time doesn't do well for them. I think larger ducks are apt to do better than smaller ones, but when in doubt I don't take chances.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  4. Kacey52

    Kacey52 In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2012
    Thank you so much for your responses and advice. I was a little concerned about them! I don't see them doing it anymore so I guess maybe they're used to it now. I just went out and cleaned out their pen and house. I'm going to get some hay bales to put around it and a tarp for the top. Good idea?

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