Cowart's Common Room
Duck - more help pls

Hi, here's the duck update and a photo as requested. Thanks for all the info last night.

I've named him Joby - he seems to be a Mallard drake but doesnt have a green head. He's a bit lame, and I was given him at Claremont NT to look after and bring back when he's better - when I do my blog, he'll be in it with his full story and I'll put up a link. He came at the end of the current blog and I'll put a link up to that in the post above this one.

Some of you suggested that ducks eat left over veg - could you be more precise please... exactly what veg, cooked or uncooked?

Today, I gave him more dove grain, lettuce/cucumber chopped up, a few slugs I found in the garden, soaked wholemeal bread and I went and bought him Wild Things Swan and Duck Food which I put in his water - is that the right thing to do? And what quantities of food does he need?

Any help is much appreciated. I have again brought him into the conservatory for the night because of foxes. He seems content. Bill went off for the weekend this morning, and I introduced Joby to him just before he left - he was fine with him. Just said ducks need plenty of water. Well, he has an old cat litter tray of water, and a bowl - is that enough?

He doesnt fly away as he is in the hospital - plenty of room.

Thanks.Uploaded Image

Posted at 17th Aug 2012 - 08:57PM   Posted by Faith   Duck - more help pls Comments: 6

Pimsonthelawn's Avatar Faith are you sure it is a he? Look like a she to me.

Posted by: Pimsonthelawn on 17th Aug 2012 at 09:07PM

Cowgirl's Avatar Hi Faith, He wil eat both raw and cooked veg leftovers although raw is probably more similar to his natural diet. And any bugs or beetles, worms and slugs etc you can throw his way. Bread is always well received and chook food is a staple and good way of getting balanced nutrients. Contrary to common opinion ducks don't need enough water to swim in but they really do need more than just a bowl of drinking water - a large cat litter tray should be ideal, they need to be able to splash in it and swish their bills around. It sounds as if he has got what we call "duck foot" - no-one seems to know the exact cause but the duck goes lame, and the foot seems to cramp and shrivel up quite alarmingly. However it comes right by itself, and they are as good as new - the foot sort of unshrivels! It can take several months though, but ours never let it stop them getting around with the rest of the mob. It is what we would a common river duck or wild duck. Both sexes start out that colourway, then the males develop their distinctive green neck and head plummage. A clue is that the drakes have curly tail feathers. Hope this helps.

Posted by: Cowgirl on 17th Aug 2012 at 10:07PM

Faith's Avatar I thought he was a she too, Pims, but the lady at Claremont said he was a he and he has the blue side feathers. Cowgirl obviously knows her stuff and says he will get his green head.

Thanks Cowgirl, very helpful. I've given him a tin bath now as well as the litter tray and bowl, so he has plenty of choice. His foot seems better already but we'll see.

Posted by: Faith on 18th Aug 2012 at 07:36AM

Fennie's Avatar Drakes lose their green heads when they moult at this time of year but I too think you have a duck and not a drake as I can't see any obvious signs of moult. I think Cowgirl offers sound advice. I would keep the water clean rather than put food into it. The duck will eat until its crop is full and then stop eating, but beware of feeding too much of those things that swell up after they are eaten, so better to soak grain etc beforehand or make a mash. Perhaps worth examining the lame foot just in case it has a splinter or thorn, but I have yet to meet a duck with such a problem. Any sort of swill the duck will take, though things like potatoes are probably best served cooked. Good luck.

Posted by: Fennie on 18th Aug 2012 at 09:14AM

Camilla's Avatar Oh how lovely Faith, I adore the Ducks, lucky you. I know Joby will be in the best possible care with you looking after him Faith. Look forward to reading an update on Joby later in your blog Faith.


Posted by: Camilla on 19th Aug 2012 at 12:25AM

KitKatCot's Avatar Faith, sorry I've been away and just seen this. Himself is an animal food supplier and I've just asked him your question and he agrees with all that Cowgirl said. He suggests chicken corn, raw veg and bread plus letting him ratch (it's a Northern expression for range) around for his own stuff.

I have to say at first glance I thought it's a duck not a drake.

Posted by: KitKatCot on 19th Aug 2012 at 06:22PM

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