Underweight pekin Duck?! Help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Pet Duck Boy, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Hey again guys. It's me, back with some new news of Sunny. But this time, it's not good news. She's always eaten like a pig, but I wondered why she never looked "chunky" like all the pekins at the lake. She doesn't really have an interest for veggies anymore, she used to though. So I gave up buying salad bags for her. Which I feel is a mistake on my part. I've been feeding her Chicken layer crumbles and scratch since she turned 3 months old. She's now 7 months, but still not chunky. I decided to research around a little on google. Turns out farm ducks usually reach an average of 7 pounds in their first few months of life when fed well. This shocked me, because after looking at Sunny, she wasn't so large at all. Maybe just as a big as a very large mallard. She never felt heavy either. I started to get a little worried, so I pulled out my digital weight scale. Placed her on it, and waited. 4.2...... Uh oh, not good. I now feel sorry for her, I havn't given her the best diet at all. After taking her weight, which was a few days ago. I've been feeding 2 parts scratch and 1 part layer. Hoping that the corn will fatten her up. But now I'm worried she'll go on a hunger strike after making a switch back to mainly layer. As she's picking out the corn instead of eating the layer as well. Now I'm only 13, so it's pretty much impossible for me to order duck food online. And the closest feed store, only carries layer crumbles and scratch. Which they say is all a duck needs. I can pretty much only buy supplements from here on, but I have another question. How would you introduce new foods to a "human" duck who only cares about chicken scratch? I'm not trying to Hijack my own thread, but some of you may know that I was going to get another duckling for Christmas. Well, it never happened, the only feed store my dad will take me to has stopped carrying ducks. And all the money I got for Christmas, is now in the bank. So once again guys, I ask for your help!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  2. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Um, just another question. We have a somewhat large avocado tree in our side yard. Should I try and keep Sunny away from the tree and leaves at all times? Is it toxic to birds by ingesting it, or just touching it? I knew avocado is toxic to birds, but it never came to mind that sunny IS a bird! She's so dog like. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  3. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    [​IMG] Hi.

    If you want to fatten her up, you can feed her some quality cat kibble. Once she takes to that, she will probably prefer to eat that. She will eat whatever it is you give her . . . so if she is not eating the chicken feed, because she prefers corn, stop feeding her corn. It may take a few days, but she will eat whatever she has access to. I don't know anything about avacado plants . . . sorry.

    ETA: Only feed the kibble as a supplement to fatten her up, always give her access to the chicken feed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  4. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    I have a pekin who is under 4 pounds. She has always been tiny, and always eats well. Gentically she is just not good stock. I dont know of Sunnys past history- as I havent been on this site long and havent read any previous posts about your duck, but I guess the main point I want to make is- dont worry too much about the what the scales say- you can get a much better indication by feeling her. Ok- so theres heaps of feathers there too- but if you have a good feel - you can tell the difference between muscle flesh or bone. Just like people - ducks can differ in their build. She may be a small pekin who has a healthy weight for her size.

    If she is a fussy eater- you could try her on a few human foods- nothing processed- but oatmeal or bran are two cereals I can suggest you try. I often feed oatmeal to my ducks if I have any left after winter- as I dont tend to eat it in summer.
    A salad mix- although important to the diet- contains alot of water- and not much to "fatten up a duck" try her on some friuts- high in natural sugars- she may gain a bit of weight. Mangoes apple and bananas are what my ducks get.

    I hope these suggestions help. And I am sure there will be others who can suggest other things that have worked for their ducks.
     
  5. Duck_feeder

    Duck_feeder Drowning in feathers!

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    Oct 22, 2009
    Chicago
    First of all, Sunny may not be underweight. She might just be small. Fattening her up when she's at the right weight for her size would be bad for her health - obesity is bad for ducks too!

    1. Check her chest (the part that would be the breast meat - not the sternum/breast bone that runs down the middle). The muscles should feel plump and bulge out slightly. If it feels bony of dimpled in, then that's a sign of a lack of food.
    2. When you feed her, do you feed just enough for her to finish the food or enough so that she can come back and eat more any time she wants?
    3. If she goes without food or water for a period of time (e.g. at night), how long is she without food?
    4. Does she have any "strange" eating habits? For example, eating feathers is a sign of a lack of protein.
     
  6. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    This is my first duck, so I'm not sure what it is I'm feeling, but I wouldn't call her skinny. But I do feel tight, plump. That's a good point though, that she might just be a small duck. As far as I know, she came from park pekins. Pekins droped off at a local retention pond/park for entertainment purposes. Those aren't huge either, but they are bigger than Sunny. I guess I'll stop feeding her the corn, and switch back to her chicken layer. I feed her 2-3 times a day. I'd say she eats about 2 cups a meal. She has access to water 24/7, she sleeps in a somewhat large dog carrier. As far as I know, she does not eat her feathers. She usually shakes them out when she gets them in her mouth. So after looking back on it, maybe I havn't given her the best selection of food. But I definately havn't underfed her. Can anyone answer the avocado question?
     
  7. Duck_feeder

    Duck_feeder Drowning in feathers!

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    Oct 22, 2009
    Chicago
    Here's a link I found on avocados and bird:
    http://kgkat.tripod.com/avocado.html

    Looks like the entire tree is potentially poisonous if eaten. If she's shown an interest in eating them, I would try to make sure she can't get to any of the leaves or fruits from the tree.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  8. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator~~~~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    Can you post a pic?

    Sometime it is quality of feed not quantity. You are in the right direction in switching her back to layer feed.

    I wouldn't worry about the avocados. Ducks seem to know best what to and not to eat. [​IMG]
     
  9. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    I remember reading about different things that are toxic to chooks recently, and there was debate over the fact of wether it was the fruit- leaves roots or what part of the plant wa toxic. Others stated it was a myth. I think as with all things googled- there woukd be lot of conflicting information too. but i will go have a look at a site I know of and get back to you with some more information.
     
  10. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Australia
    Ok so the toxin involved is called PERSIN and is found mostly in the leaves bark wood and roots of the tree, but in smaller mounts in the fruit.
    Toxicty causes respirotory problems and heart failure.

    So in short- do not allow your duck to injest any part of the tree or fruit.
     

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