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What's wrong with my duck?

 
gardener
Posts: 1295
Location: Little Belt Mountains, MT
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I have 3 white peking ducks, and I thought they were all female because I was pretty consistently getting 3 eggs a day, sometimes two. The past two days, one of them has been acting weird though. She'll come out of the house in the morning reluctantly for food, but has been sitting around quite a bit, and when she walks, she walks like a runner, neck extended, chest upright, tail tucked under.

I don't think I have a drake, but who knows. Nobody has ever exhibited any dominant or sexual behavior.

Today I only got one egg, and she's still acting strange, even sitting at the feet of 3 people and letting them pet her. So questions:

1 - Is it possible for a duck to go broody without a drake?
2 - Are these the symptoms of a broody duck?
3 - And if so, should I leave eggs be for a few days and see if she sits on them?
 
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Posts: 10011
Location: Pacific Northwest
3922
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I have drakes, but I'm pretty sure they can (and will) go broody without one. My ducks keep going broody over wooden eggs. Since your eggs aren't fertilized, nothing good will likely come from her sitting on them, unless you buy fertilized eggs for her to sit on. I've never actually tried to make a duck hatch eggs--they always just went and hid somewhere and rarely came out until after they'd hatched the eggs.

Your duck sounds like she's trying to go broody, but I don't have very much experience with broody ducks. I've only had three broody ducks, and they were all rather cranky with their feathers all ruffled out and very vociferous when they were away from their nest. But, they didn't start acting that way until they'd been broody for a while. One way you might be able to tell is if their house/poop has started smelling a lot more foul than it used to. Broody ducks make BIG, STINKY poops when they're broody (I guess that's because they hold it in for a while.)

I hope that helps!
 
Destiny Hagest
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Location: Little Belt Mountains, MT
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Thank you, that does help! Maybe I just need to leave an egg or two in her house for a while. She seems to be alright, just acting a little off.

I'd love to have a bunch of little duckings running around, but gosh, I just don't think I have any drakes :/ Maybe I should try to find one locally.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Check craigslist! In my area, there are often drakes for sale or very cheap because people end up with too many of them when their ducklings hatch out. We've actually rehomed some of our drakes that way, too! You only need one drake, so it hopefully shouldn't take too long to find one .

And, FYI, fall and late summer are really a great time to check craiglist for ducks, chickens, etc, as people have had their babies get big and realize they don't have room for them all...or people started caring for them in the spring and then realized it was too much work. So, if you eventually want more than just three ducks and a drake, check in the fall for more fowl!
 
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