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We doctored our Pekin ducks back to health after Oppossum attack!

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There was ONE day that we cleaned our duck coop thoroughly, better then usual. Washed it out and poured water inside to get it absolutely squeaky, and then my fiance and I both had to go out to his mom's to get our 3 children. We left the duck's out in their run so that the coup could air out, also because it was a very hot day and we hated to coup them up inside there. So we decided to leave and stop back by and put them up on the way back through. (We're currently doing renovations to a mobile home on the lot our coup is on, but are still living in an apt...or sleeping their at night anyway). 


Our first mistake was that both of us got so busy and distracted that neither of us thought to go back to the trailer and put the ducks in their coop. 


The next morning we went out to check on them and let them out into their run. I went to do some things in the garden and then heard Matt start screaming, "Did we not put them up?!?" which was then followed by, "They've been attacked, Daisy's missing an EYE!!". We were horrified. ashamed, sad, and both felt awful at the site of our battered babies. I started looking on BYC instantly, reading Forums about what antibiotic duck's need, where to get it, how much and what to do, etc. These forums helped us SO much, our ducks are still physically healing, but their personality is back 100% and their acting like themselves again! 



We went straight to TSC and got a small $8.00 bottle of Penicillin, needles and syringes. We also got Rooster Booster Wound Spray, I think it was somewhere between $10-15.00. It was a cheaper option on their shelf but I wanted it because it was a natural, organic option and it was OK for them to eat. When you spray a duck with anything, their wings are going to get wet, then their going to run their bill across it and possibly ingest some of what you sprayed on them. This medicine was OK for them to swallow. 


The Pekins here are Daisy, with the head wound, and Donald. We also have 3 KC ducks that weren't touched, at all! 


Daisy had a wound under her wing, her head wound in the photo, and the eye not shown here was swollen shut for 3-4 days. I flushed it twice with Saline and she was able to open it again! Matt told me not to bother with it because he was sure that her eye was lost in the battle for their lives, but I read on BYC that someone flushed their duck's eye after a dog attack and it helped. I really didn't know what we were dealing with and it was hard for me to look at what I thought was an empty eye socket (because of the shame I felt for being stupid and not making sure our babies were safe before we went back to the apt). We wanted to do everything we could, and I'm SO glad that we did! I really just did the Saline rinse as a precaution, but the second time I rinsed her eye my daughter, who was helping to hold them so I could doctor them asked, "Aren't you suppose to be flushing the bad eye?" And I said I did, and then Daisy looked at me with BOTH eyes! It was such a beautiful moment. 



I don't have the best photo of it, but have a video I can upload that shows the wound on Donald's back end. (I'll attach it as a reply.) It's a pretty bad wound, but we sprayed them in every abrasion with the wounds spray twice daily for a week, and gave them .5 cc of Penicillin twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening for a week. I continued flushing Daisy's eye and she opened it more and more every day. They still have scabs, but they're going to be fine! I'm so happy and thankful that there's a resource that I could find how to care for them and nurse them back to health, and back to their crazy, entertaining self's! 


Hope this information can help someone else! 


As an interesting side note, predators like opossum and raccoons don't usually leave prey to walk around the next day, even with large gaping wounds. If something would have happened to scare the predator, such as a car pulling in or something like that, they would usually just hide in the bushes until it's safe and come back to finish the job. We have a full sized male domestic tabby cat, even though I bottle fed him as a kitten and he's been inside most of his life, sleeping in the bed beside me, we've seen him kill and eat smaller prey items such as birds and mice. I didn't think he even had that in him, but after being a barn cat for over a year, this prowling side of him has come to light! Thankfully, he's only had two wounds so far, and one being something stuck in the pad of his foot, which swelled up but then healed back to normal size. We knew he was fighting, but the amount of opossum fur scattered all over our barn the same morning we found our battered ducks, gives pretty good evidence that our feline friend may have saved our ducks! 


Egypt, our ferocious protector ;P




Predators that have been attracted to our duck pen, thus far:


Caught in a trap close to the coop. 

This snapping turtle was found right next to our run. They like to wait until the ducks are pecking the ground and bite their                                                                                             necks. My grandma said that they would bury themselves in the sand and rock at the creek, and get their ducks when she                                                                                           was growing up. She even remembered finding a turtle next to a poor, headless duck when she came to the creek to check                                                                                         on them. That one got a nail in his head. 

3 ft. Copperhead. Not sure if it was heading towards the coop or not, but we have 3 kids running around so it had to go...

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post #3 of 3
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Oh I meant to say, the snapping turtle caught near the coop was released back into the creek. Our ducks don't free range, at this time, so they aren't as much of a threat. They wouldn't be able to get into our run, or coop. 

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