Cayuga Duckling Dead on Arrival.. another three dead in the following 5 hours..

Shroppy

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 23, 2013
44
3
69
Summersville, West Virginia
Ordered 6 Cayugas from Ideal Hatchery.. shipped Wednesday. Picked up from PO today, Friday. Box contained 10 male chicks "for warmth", 5 live ducklings and 1 dead one .. we reckon that one had been dead a day. Brooder ready to go.. heat lamp.. thermometer, 94F at one end of the prooder.. 85 at the cool end. Pine shavings, starter duck feed down, water.. none of the ducks seemed particularly active although the chicks.. probably Rhodies.. were very active and running around, feeding and drinking. The smallest duckling lay on her side, beak opening and closing about an hour after we got them into the brooder. Another, the largest of the six, started to have massive seizures and was dead in minutes. Back to the smallest duck.. she had stopped breathing.. gone! That's three out of five.. the others seemed quiet and sleepy. I checked back half an hour later.. number 4 was laid out on her side. I am absolutely devastated.. and am afraid that they will all succumb.. spoke to Ideal and they said it must have been severe stress caused by shipping. The box had a fibre/straw base with slits all the way around. Wjhen we collected these ducks it was proably 65F in the warehouse but obviously who knows what extre,mes they went through with USPS.. is there ANYthing that I can do to improve the survival chances of the last two?
 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
106,580
112,131
1,892
Mountains of Western N.C.
Ordered 6 Cayugas from Ideal Hatchery.. shipped Wednesday. Picked up from PO today, Friday. Box contained 10 male chicks "for warmth", 5 live ducklings and 1 dead one .. we reckon that one had been dead a day. Brooder ready to go.. heat lamp.. thermometer, 94F at one end of the prooder.. 85 at the cool end. Pine shavings, starter duck feed down, water.. none of the ducks seemed particularly active although the chicks.. probably Rhodies.. were very active and running around, feeding and drinking. The smallest duckling lay on her side, beak opening and closing about an hour after we got them into the brooder. Another, the largest of the six, started to have massive seizures and was dead in minutes. Back to the smallest duck.. she had stopped breathing.. gone! That's three out of five.. the others seemed quiet and sleepy. I checked back half an hour later.. number 4 was laid out on her side. I am absolutely devastated.. and am afraid that they will all succumb.. spoke to Ideal and they said it must have been severe stress caused by shipping. The box had a fibre/straw base with slits all the way around. Wjhen we collected these ducks it was proably 65F in the warehouse but obviously who knows what extre,mes they went through with USPS.. is there ANYthing that I can do to improve the survival chances of the last two?
Warm and quiet and have you been able to get them to drink at all? use warm water not cold. Very sorry for you and the poor ducklings. Might be dehydrated also so very important to get them drinking try just dipping their bill into the water to see if that helps. Do you have any save a chick or poultry vitamins you can mix into their water. Also your temps are too high 85 on warm end and let them get out from under the heat as they want. Are they going to replace the ones you lost? https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711
 
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Shroppy

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 23, 2013
44
3
69
Summersville, West Virginia
They had all managed to drink with a little assistance .. the water was cool, but not cold.. I have since added Vitamin C, Apple Cider Vinegar and B Vitamins to the water. Ideal have refunded for the dead ducklings. They say that if we lose 5 out of the six they will re-ship.. The remaining two ducks have been staying close by the water feeder, where the temp is about 80F. How long can they go without food before I need to start worrying? The person we spoke to said that we should put the waterer in for 15 minutes, remove it for 15 minutes and repeat, as ducklings can become over-hydrated. This was not something I had come across before. Up until now we have the seven rescue ducks ,, 4 female, one male, and wanted to correct the "surplus of males by adding more females.
 

Shroppy

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 23, 2013
44
3
69
Summersville, West Virginia
The (male) chicks they sent are pecking at the two remaining ducks.. feet, wings, beaks.. and eyes. This is not good and surely must be stressing these worn-out babies even more :( so we have decided to separate the two remaining ducks with their own food, water supply and heat lamp.. from the ten chicks. We had no idea that our ducks would be shipped this way. The chicks are now in a cardboard box inside the brooder, inside the greenhouse. They have definitely picked up a little with the supplelements. Both are drinking.. I have Countryside Organics duck crumbles which they have not yet shown any interest in. Should I start them with a small bowl of these mixed with warm water to help get them to eat? All and any help appreciated.
 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
106,580
112,131
1,892
Mountains of Western N.C.
The (male) chicks they sent are pecking at the two remaining ducks.. feet, wings, beaks.. and eyes. This is not good and surely must be stressing these worn-out babies even more :( so we have decided to separate the two remaining ducks with their own food, water supply and heat lamp.. from the ten chicks. We had no idea that our ducks would be shipped this way. The chicks are now in a cardboard box inside the brooder, inside the greenhouse. They have definitely picked up a little with the supplelements. Both are drinking.. I have Countryside Organics duck crumbles which they have not yet shown any interest in. Should I start them with a small bowl of these mixed with warm water to help get them to eat? All and any help appreciated.
Separate fast. glad to see you did it already yes make them a warm mash and see if you can get them to eat a bite or 2. Packing peanuts are what the chicks are called this way the hatchery doesn't have to dispose of the extra roosters that hatch. hope if you don't want them you can find someone who does,
 
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jessylee

Songster
9 Years
Oct 11, 2010
136
0
101
Olympia
I am so sorry to hear about your ordeal, I am going through a similar situation and my eggs were not shipped anywhere! I am learning and wish I could give you more advise, Hopefully others will chime in
 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
106,580
112,131
1,892
Mountains of Western N.C.
They had all managed to drink with a little assistance .. the water was cool, but not cold.. I have since added Vitamin C, Apple Cider Vinegar and B Vitamins to the water. Ideal have refunded for the dead ducklings. They say that if we lose 5 out of the six they will re-ship.. The remaining two ducks have been staying close by the water feeder, where the temp is about 80F. How long can they go without food before I need to start worrying? The person we spoke to said that we should put the waterer in for 15 minutes, remove it for 15 minutes and repeat, as ducklings can become over-hydrated. This was not something I had come across before. Up until now we have the seven rescue ducks ,, 4 female, one male, and wanted to correct the "surplus of males by adding more females.
Follow their directions about the water. I was thinking they became dehydrated in shipping and yes they can over drink . why vit C?
 

Shroppy

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 23, 2013
44
3
69
Summersville, West Virginia
I am so sorry to hear about your ordeal, I am going through a similar situation and my eggs were not shipped anywhere! I am learning and wish I could give you more advise, Hopefully others will chime in
Thanks so much for your replies. I am feeling so dejected right now.. didn't figure on losing these little ones :( BTWThe Vitamin C helps with any sick or stressed bird, the adrenals literally empty the body's supply and this hammers the immune system. After calculating the level of vitamin C in nectar, I now add it to my humming bird solution. It was found that a sugar solution without vitamin C caused low calcium levels and endocrine problems in these creatures and that Vitamin C mitigates this. They seem happier now they are separated from the chicks. I have placed a 40 kw heating mat in the chick's side of the brooder, along with a separate water supply. Thy are much more relaxed now the chicks have been separated. So, we hadn't planned on acquiring roos.. but looks like once they hit 3 to 4 months they will be for the freezer.
 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
106,580
112,131
1,892
Mountains of Western N.C.
Thanks so much for your replies. I am feeling so dejected right now.. didn't figure on losing these little ones :( BTWThe Vitamin C helps with any sick or stressed bird, the adrenals literally empty the body's supply and this hammers the immune system. After calculating the level of vitamin C in nectar, I now add it to my humming bird solution. It was found that a sugar solution without vitamin C caused low calcium levels and endocrine problems in these creatures and that Vitamin C mitigates this. They seem happier now they are separated from the chicks. I have placed a 40 kw heating mat in the chick's side of the brooder, along with a separate water supply. Thy are much more relaxed now the chicks have been separated. So, we hadn't planned on acquiring roos.. but looks like once they hit 3 to 4 months they will be for the freezer.
Very good alternative to being ground up at the hatchery. I sure hope your ducklings pull through. keep us updated. I know feeling dejected has got to be normal when something like this happens, one reason i won't order from a hatchery, I think there has got to be a better way, local breeders etc. rescues. Thanks for sharing about the vit c I didn't know this at all.
 

Shroppy

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 23, 2013
44
3
69
Summersville, West Virginia
Living in central West Virginia we are a LONG way from resources. We have been looking for female ducks within the state that need rehoming.. rescue or not.. since we took on the seven rescue ducks on last August, with no joy. (From the friend-of-a-friend.. "my friend's American Pit Bulls are killing his ducks .. I figured you guys have a pond so I thought you might like them...") Well, they DID finally start using the pond after almost 8 months and now have a splendid 300 sq ft duck pen (heavy dog kennel quality) with a small drainable pond.. we call it "Le Chateau du Canard" :) I know Tractor Supply have ducks but they do not offer sexed ducks and we are already top heavy on males.
 
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