2 dead ducklings- please help

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jonibc, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. jonibc

    jonibc New Egg

    Aug 14, 2009
    Our 10 Welsh Harlequin ducklings came in from McMurray Hatchery yesterday morning. They are our first ducks. We have them in a cardboard box with pine pellets as bedding, a one gallon waterer, and we're feeding Dumore chick and duck feed from a plastic trough. It doesn't say it's medicated. We're using a 250 watt heat lamp and the temperature is between 90 and 95. They seemed very healthy, ate, drank water, slept, and ran around the brooding box all day yesterday. Everything seemed fine until last night when one separated from the others and seemed to sleep more. She died within hours. The rest seemed fine until this evening when another one died suddenly after doing the same thing. They are not kicking their feet when they die or arching their backs like I've read they do if they are dying of a viral infection. They just seem to get sleepy and weak, lay down, and then their heads fall over and they're gone. What can be causing this and what can we do to stop it?
  2. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    Could they be eating the pine pellets? Sorry you are experiencing this. Hopefully someone can help more.
  3. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    You keep water in there at all times when food is avaibable, right?
  4. jonibc

    jonibc New Egg

    Aug 14, 2009
    They don't seem to be eating the pine pellets. And the water is in there all the time. (It's fun to watch the stampede from the food to the water and back again).
  5. Duck Keeper

    Duck Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    Out in the Boonies
    I would think maybe a 250 watt bulb is too hot, but apparently you have a thermometer in there soooo....

    I would keep them on a different bedding altogether until you figure it out.

    Amprolium medicated feed is safe for ducks, but don't use any other kind of med in their food. It's only to keep Coccidosis from killing them though, and I would think they would have diarrhea if it was Cocci.

    Put them in a different container too, it may be a moldy box, which would kill them really fast. Check your feed to see if it's moldy or sour smelling. Maybe it's environmental, but maybe it's just McMurray's.

    One of the Cayugas I got from them almost didn't make it once she got here.
  6. geosheets

    geosheets Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2009
    Maybe post a few pics of your brooder setup. How big is the box? How close is the heat lamp? Are they huddled together? Can they get away from the heat if it gets too hot? Can they get into the water and are getting chilled or drowning?
  7. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

    Jul 9, 2008
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I hate hearing about the little ones getting sick or not making it [​IMG]

    Yes, i agree with changing out the box and bedding - is it an open top for ventilation? Make the bedding something not edible by duck sstandards - maybe ... Well paper towles and newspaper are a little too messy for 8 ducklinsg, but id give the papertowels a try.

    I hope non more of your babies pass [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Sometimes ducklings don't make it. It doesn't sound like you are doing anything wrong really.
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    [​IMG] I'm sorry about your ducks.

    I would put them in a separate container and thoroughly sterilize everything they've been using--waterer, feeder, etc. If it's something contagious, that should limit the spread of it. Also, as soon as one shows symptoms, remove it and put it somewhere by itself.

    I think mold is a good possibility, and switching containers will eliminate that possibility too.

    It's also possible that they just weren't ready for the world. Sometimes ducklings die for no apparent reason--we had one in our last batch go too.

    But I think it's a good idea to take a few precautions, just in case.

    Fingers crossed that you won't lose any more! [​IMG]
  10. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    Quote:Wifezilla is right. Sometimes it can be out of your control. They may have 'caught' something during the shipping and you wouldn't know that. However, I would change out the bedding just in case and I hope you have not lost anymore. Don't put the blame on yourself. This is not an uncommon thing that we all experience one time or another. I know it is easier said than done, but tell yourself you did everything possible to help them. Good luck with the rest.

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