Caring for Your DUCK

 

Feeding

 

        A balanced diet is important for your bird. Turkey and/or chicken pellets should be available at all times and should be the majority of the diet. Duck pellets are used for birds being bred for the production of liver pate and should not be used for pet ducks.

        Feed and water containers should be at least 10cm deep and 30cm square to allow for the duck's "shovelling" feeding action.

        Access to grass and grazing is essential, as is fresh water, as ducks need to drink 4-5 times the weight of the food they eat.

        Your duck may be supplied a balanced selection of fresh vegetables such as spinach, beans, parsley, broccoli, silverbeet, etc.

        Seed, wheat and corn etc. should be fed as a treat and should not form the majority of the diet

        Do not give your duck chocolate, coffee or avocado these are toxic to birds.

 

Health Care

        Worm every 3-6 months and have a crop tube worming at least once yearly. If eggs are to be eaten care must be taken to check withholding periods.

        Spray for mites every 6-12 weeks.

        Book a yearly check-up to detect general health problems, chlamydia and parasite infestations.

        Test or treat for chlamydia annually. Chlamydia and a similar disease, mycoplasma, are very common in ducks. Chlamydia can spread to humans. Birds may show signs such as sneezing, weight loss and/or green watery droppings, or no signs at all.

        Botulism, caused by a bacterial toxin, is also observed in ducks and immediate veterinary care is essential. It is usually contracted by consumption of rotten food, decaying vegetation, or wading in stagnant water. The first sign of poisoning is usually a drooping head with progression to paralysis of the wings, legs and neck.

Remember Birds often mask the signs of illness and may only show signs of being unwell when they are very sick.

 

Heavy Metal Poisoning

Heavy metal poisoning is extremely common. Lead, zinc and copper are the metals involved and are found in galvanised wire, paint, copper wires, metal ties, rusty metal toys, costume jewellery, solder, old material in the yard, sump oil, flaking paint and high lead soils in the inner city etc.

 

Housing

        A nesting area should be provided

        Place food and water bowls so that your bird does not defecate in them.

        Avoid using metal objects such as galvanised food bowls or plastic-coated bag ties in the cage.

 

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