Why is my duck screaming at me?

hoompie6

Hatching
6 Years
Jul 22, 2013
8
0
7
I'm really hoping someone can help me understand why my duck is behaving so strangely... I have only kept ducks for a couple years and this is the first time I've seen one behave like this.

I have two females, a Cayuga and a Black Swedish. In August, I brought home three ducklings (all girls). After acclimating the ducklings to the rest of the flock (I have chickens also), my Swedish appeared to adopt them and take them in as her own. They followed her everywhere, and she took on the role of doting mama. It was pretty darn cute.

The ducklings are full grown now, and still follow her everywhere... not sure if that is an issue or not? But the REAL problem is that my Swedish has slowly taken up a new habit - she quacks very, VERY loudly, all day long, for seemingly no reason at all. It literally sounds like she's screaming. If I approach her, she puffs up her feathers and dips her neck very low, sticking it out as she walks.

The only thing I could think to do was separate her, like I would do for a broody hen. So I put her in a cage in the garage for a couple days. She kept up her screaming all day long on both days, until I had had enough and let her back out. Not that it helped matters... she went right back to it once she got outside.
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Any ideas on what's happening? Maybe I didn't wait long enough with the cage? Should I start shopping for a quack collar?
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sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
118,984
339,866
1,977
New Jersey
Is there any possibility that she is about to go broody? Some duck hens will become quite vocal when they are setting.
 

duckman4450

Chirping
7 Years
Aug 1, 2012
175
1
81
Hi, Amiga. I have a mallard that is laying and has about 12 eggs on her nest. My duck does this ONLY to my dad, never me or anyone else usually. When a stranger goes by her, she will run away and quack a little, but when my dad goes anywhere near her she goes absolutely NUTS. It sounds like she is getting attacked by something. Even if she sees him across the yard, she does something similar to the video but much more intense and puffs up very big. The weird thing is she walks towards him and does not seem angry at him, and will let him pick her up and feed her, etc.
 

hoompie6

Hatching
6 Years
Jul 22, 2013
8
0
7
Thanks Amiga! It is similar but much worse... and she stays puffed up with even the feathers on the back of her neck standing up. But what's crazy is, even when no one is outside and she's just doing her thing, foraging with the other ducks, she will just stand there and quack like crazy. :(

I'll try getting a video clip of her tonight and I'll post it.
 
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hoompie6

Hatching
6 Years
Jul 22, 2013
8
0
7
Hi Sourland, I don't think I am getting any eggs from her and I never see her sitting on a nest. She is quick to be out of the run when I open it up in the morning. I suppose it's similar behavior, but intended to protect her ducklings? She's going to attract every coyote in the county at this rate, though!
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Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,819
551
Southern New England
I don't know what your set up is - is she safe? She may be quite distressed, sensing problems you don't see right now. Look her over well - any sign of injury or illness? What are the temperatures where you are? Is she too cold? Ducks are individuals, and have different abilities to cope with stressors.

What is your feeding routine? Is there food with water available 24/7? What is feeding time like, if not?



Have you introduced new ducks? Einz screamed for weeks at the new ducks.
 

hoompie6

Hatching
6 Years
Jul 22, 2013
8
0
7
We have a fully fenced area of about 1.5 acres that the birds can roam during the day. Night temps are in the 30's-40's and days are still pretty nice (50's-60's). I do feed them a little in the morning and evening, and they get lots of kitchen scraps - but otherwise they have to forage for food. Water and oyster shell are always available. At night they are kept in a fenced run and coop. We did have a coyote attack back in July and one of my adult ducks was taken, but we have since beefed up the fencing and haven't had any more attacks.

When I brought her in to cage her, I checked her over and felt her neck for lumps - she looks very healthy, and she is the heaviest duck I have. No new ducks since the three ducklings in August.

Your questions did get me thinking... when we last had a coyote sighting (it wasn't able to get through the fence to approach the run), my Swedish was the one sounding the alarm! So she does seem to have that dominant, protective instinct. Which would be great if she wasn't abusing her screaming priveleges, LOL!

Thanks for the help!!
 
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