Worried about my 27 adult ducks.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by clbarley, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. clbarley

    clbarley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope I am simply being paranoid but do you ever just get the feeling that something isn't right? Well I am overwhelmed with that feeling.

    My flock consists of 27 khaki Campbell's. 9 males and 18 females. We started out with 7 and one of my momma ducks managed to hatch out 20 babies. Needless to say we were so happy and blessed. They all have grown up and are strong young adults now, they hatched July 5th.

    Starting 3 weeks ago there food went way down, and when I say way down I mean they are not eating more than 4 cups of food a day currently between the 27 of them. They used to eat freely and we would go through 2 bags a week!! I haven't had to open a new back now for two weeks! They eat flock raiser btw.

    They are also soooooooo loud at night now, they never used to be, but they are non stop quacking at the top if their little lungs all night right now. We check all the time for predators or anything and there is nothing out side.

    The only other thing that has changed is we have had a raccoon come around. Our pens are pretty locked down, the raccoon has not managed to get in.



    So any thoughts? I am at a loss!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  2. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With the weather changes, it is migration time. Even though they are domestics, it doesn't mean that changes in day length and temps don't affect them. I wouldn't worry for a couple of weeks.

    Clint
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    The fact you had a coon come around is likely some of the unrest, ducks are not stupid just simple creatures and if a predator has made itself known they will be concerned, no matter whether your secure or not. One year i lost two drakes within a small timeframe due to a neighbours dog my flock was super uneasy for quite awhile.

    Food usage, well, do they forage? tell me about what the have access too. Usually as frosts return, crops die food increases although i have yet to see it in mine, they still forage a great distance so feed for now is pretty stable, i would bet with the with it now being super wet here(rains almost daily) the bug level is quite high as there are literately being washed out of the ground.

    I'm a real trust your instincts and watch my birds type, they do speak to us just not always in a way we get at first.
     
  4. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agree with Clint and GQ. My flock was eating less, foraging more, then last night they were all starving and are double the norm. I once read a quote about gardening: "There is no substitute for the watchful eye of the farmer." (Or something similar) ...And I am constantly the butt of jokes around here due to the amount of time that I spend observing my flock... But the truth of it is that their behavior and physical condition tells us a great deal if we take the time to carefully observe. As far as the noise at night, I notice that mine will do that if they are hungry -or- if there is some kind of upset. Have you thought about adding an extra layer of predator protection? My neighbor houses her Svovies in an open roofed chain link dog pen, and she uses a strand of electric at the top and has had zero predator losses over several years. Easy and relatively economical, she says. I too have an open roofed pen, so its something to consider.
     
  5. clbarley

    clbarley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only time currently that they forage is on the weekends when I am home. They used to be able to during the day but with the raccoons coming around I have kept them locked up because we would have to let them out before the sun was up!

    I am not concerned with the raccoon getting in. Our pen is pretty awesome. But I wonder is the ducks are just scared......I just have a hard time believing that they are getting their nutritional needs met with that little amount if food.


    I'll watch them....le sigh......I want my happy, playful babies back :(
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Can you mount motion lights outside close to where their house is, that way if something is coming around disturbing them the lights would most likely scare it off. Or a game camera to see for yourself what the problem maybe, My gander was hollering yesterday morn before dawn so last night I put the game camera out to see if I can see any activity around their house. Preds coming around will keep them upset until you some how eliminate the problem. Try giving them some greens along with their feed, Chopped romaine lettuce is one my flock likes. This time of year mine are eating like there's no food left on the planet. I mean they are eating a lot right now.
     
  7. clbarley

    clbarley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I actually started to supple my spinach into their diet. They seem to be a little bit better. I am going to watch it over time. Raccoons have not been back for 5 days now! Fingers crossed!
     
  8. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I recall, spinach is not supposed to be good for them. I honestly don't recall why. That drastic of a food drop would be concerning, at least to me. I have had predators come around and everyone is fine within a short time period.

    The noise at night also points to something. They are not typically going to be loud as that would attract preds.

    Can you tell us more about your setup? 27 is a lot and overcrowding could be a concern. Also, your young ones are going to start feeling their hormones soon and a 2:1 ratio is not very good. The boys could be going after the girls or the boys could be arguing amongst themselves. This type of stress can cause them to go off their feed.

    How is their body condition?
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Did you recently open a new bag of feed? Could there be some mold or something in the feed that is putting them off?

    I like your idea of giving them some greens - see if they will take lettuce, or try sprouting some seeds (less expensive than buying sprouts) and see if they will eat that. You can buy whole wheat seeds in bulk - not very expensive, especially short-term - and sprout them.
     
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    My flock will knock you down for Romaine.
     

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