Anyone else's ducks scared of thunder? Is it dangerous?

Royaly Ducked

Chirping
Aug 21, 2019
28
113
59
We have 4 ducks. 2 adults(4 months old): Fish and Chips, and 2 babies(1 month old): Cheese and Quackers. This morning there was a thunderstorm. I went out at 6:30am to let them out of the garden. (a 15' by 15' raised garden with fences and a kiddy pool). Fish and Chips have never flown before - but they did this morning, with lightening lighting up the sky (no loud thunder, just rumbling) they flew about 200 feet to my back door. I rushed over to open it as they were slamming themselves against the dog door trying to push it open. They then ran threw my house to my front door. The next 10 minutes were a flurry of diarrhea covered tile flooring and huddling. (not sick poop.. just.. LOTS of it.. I swear these guys are like reverse pacmans)

A couple hours later it was still sprinkling but not storming, so I let them back out. I fed them a healthy dose of meal worms and shut the door to spend the next 2 hours finding and cleaning surprise poop piles. Thank GOD for tile and hard wood!

Tonight it might storm again so I went out and got them, making their old 3 ring pool bed like I did when they were tiny babies. But when I picked them up they were drenched.. it isn't even raining right now, nor has it been in a couple hours. Usually they are dry instantly after leaving their pool.. Did they make themselves sick today? Should I be worried?
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
17,197
58,840
1,267
Melrose Park Illinois
First,,,, I have no idea where you are located. Is it summer, or winter where you are at now. If it is cold,,,,,, I suggest you dry them up and keep indoors, or in coop where it is DRY.
Thunderstorms can frighten any living thing,,,,,,, including people. Best option when there is one,,,,, is to lock them up in coop until storm passes. They may be frightened during the ordeal,,,,, but there are few options, so just do it.
Your ducks are young, even the 4 month old ones. Their feathers are possibly not as waterproof as when they will be as older. Keep an eye on the wetness they encounter.
ABOVE ALL,,,,,, DON'T WORRY. It will not solve anything.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and:welcome
 

Royaly Ducked

Chirping
Aug 21, 2019
28
113
59
I have an enclosure in the garden they can go under - Due to medical issues with me I don't want to lock them in anywhere without food, water and an exit in case I am unable to physically make it out to open it.. (The garden has lots of plants which they love nesting under, and a waterproof 10ft umbrella placed at 4 foot up so it's sure to cover them in any rain. (i have a brain tumor that sometimes decides I should take an extra couple hours to get out of bed and a husband who travels.)

This morning I let them back out, they seem to be fine. They are chasing the dogs and eating and being normal - Thanks for the vote of confidence.

I am in Dallas Texas so even with the rain the temps are over 80F
 

Duckworth

Songster
May 15, 2017
671
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U.S. Prairie
You will have a lot of storms in the Dallas area, so I would build your ducks a coop or increase the closure of your shelter so that they feel safe inside of it during storms. Sheltering under plants isn't enough, as evidenced by their behavior. It doesn't have to be a large space, but should give them meaningful shelter from wind, rain and lightning.

We have big storms in Nebraska, too. My ducks have a 4x4x4' house raised four inches above their enclosed run. This keeps it above any water that may collect in the run during big storms, but low enough that the ducks still like it. I keep dry straw in the house so they have a place to stay warm and dry in any weather. The house has plenty of ventilation, but is sheltered from rain and wind. They live there year round, even in subzero weather, without any issues. Their run and house complex is predator proof.

My girls do not like storms, but they just go into their house and settle in for the duration. I don't close the door between house and run because predators can't get into the run and that way, they can have access to food and water in the run if they want it. In winter, I will position some straw bales to block wind from the doorway.

My ducks are over two years old and have experienced plenty of storms now. Yours are still quite young and not fully mature, so they may not have the experience to know how to handle storms without panicking. Just give them meaningful shelter so they can feel safe. It doesn't have to be large or elaborate, but it does need to give them protection from wind and rain. A 3-1/2 sided structure raised just enough above ground level to keep water from running in can be enough. Putting the doorway toward one corner can give a larger protected space inside. Putting one side on hinges makes for very easy cleanout and collecting of eggs, since my ducks usually lay in their house in a nest they have established.

Also, there is a difference between being waterproof enough to swim and shake off water afterwards and being in a soaking rain for hours. Even in moderate temperatures, being wet can lead to hypothermia if it goes on too long.

I hope some of these ideas may work for you to both meet your ducks' shelter needs and not conflict with your medical needs. On mornings when I have a severe migraine and getting out to the yard is tough, my ducks will be fine until I can get my pain under control enough to see to them.
 
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