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Chicken death - fowl play?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CandylandRanch, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. CandylandRanch

    CandylandRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I came to check on my chickens and found one dead in the small kiddy pool I keep inside of the enclosed run for my two pekin Ducks who live with all my chickens and hAve since day one in the brooder. What happened? The water in the pool was so shallow that she should have stood in it without drowning. The chickens drink from it often.. My husband has it out for our drake and seems to think he killed her.. I think it's unlikely.. He chases my poullets to mate them but I've never seen him do anything to hurt them. Could he have knocked her in and tried to breed her in the water and drown her? Did she slip in and maybe get scared and get over excited and drown herself? Did she die of other reasons and someone drug her in ? I just want answers, this is my first flock and I want to prevent this from happening again. I have since removed the pond now heading into fall (we live in Michigan) . Any speculations would be helpful.
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    It's not uncommon for ducks to forcibly drag chooks into pools and drown them.

    You already have a problem with your drake mating them... Ducks have what are called 'explosively erectile' penises capable of breaking glass and plastic, and chickens are not equipped, at all, to cope with that. It's not uncommon for animals to be killed by matings like that, horrible way to die... Male chickens do not have penises, so female chickens are not designed to cope with that sort of mating. That problem needs taking care of before it kills your hens (if indeed this wasn't the first death due to it).

    Best wishes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens are supposed to be separate from waterfowl, turkeys, and game birds.
     
  4. CandylandRanch

    CandylandRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for letting me know this, what should I do with my drake? I did do research on raising chickens with ducks and I never read a thing about a drake dragging a hen to watwr and drowning her, I feel so ashamed and neglegent ... And only recently I have read that a hen can die from being mated by a drake.. I have tried so hard to be on top of things and I feel very irresponsible:( if either of you have suggestions on. What to do with my drake I would appreciate it. Will my female duck be okay to be the only duck?
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    You're not irresponsible, there's much info which plenty of textbooks don't tell you... I've read heaps of books on chickens that never covered many important facts.

    Don't beat yourself up about it, it's genuinely not your fault. You're trying to be responsible and that's the best you can do, so that's good enough. If only perfection was good enough none of us would be able to keep animals, it's a lifelong learning curve.

    Your female duck may well be ok to be the only duck, but it could pay to get one or a few more, for a few reasons.

    If he's a very aggressive bird, the sort to abuse his mates, then whatever females you let him access will have a miserable life no matter how many there are, since violent animals always choose favored victims to repeatedly attack even when they have alternative victims. If he's that sort, I wouldn't keep him myself, but plenty of people do.

    There's also the chance he won't be a good father, if you let them breed, in which case you'd need to separate any offspring from him, so having another female or two could be handy for ensuring a more peaceful situation there, so he doesn't have to be isolated in solitary, basically.

    Definitely worth separating him from the chooks though.

    Best wishes.
     
  6. CandylandRanch

    CandylandRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for all your help and words of encouragement. Today I was able to trade my drake In for a three month Muscovy by a couple who owns a heritage farm a couple towns away ;) they were very happy to help me out and i was happy to have an answer and a friend for my other female duck.

    So now I wonder how long after introducing a new bird to my flock will it take for all to adjust? She's a couple months younger than the rest of my ladies. Two ducks, 10 hens and a rooster. My other duck fits right in with my pullets but also was never without the drake right by her side. Since the Muscovy entered scene today there has been chasing and flapping of wings and if she's in the coop they are in the run, and vise versa..

    When should I expect all to return to normal? When will she be accepted? What behavior during this time is normal and what should I watch for (if anything) ?

    Thanks again, I'm forever grateful (as silly as it sounds- true)

    Chelsea
     
  7. emmajane07

    emmajane07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Chelsea,

    Sorry to hear about your loss :(

    I'm not sure why the individual above said that chickens and ducks can't be housed together. They most certainly can and there are a TON of people who do this. Fortunately, my drake does not try to mate my chickens. So, I do not have that issue on my hand.

    I'm glad you were able to find a home for your drake and bring a new ducky home :) I have only recently started introducing new flock members, so---I am not the person to be answering your questions on this. My plan was to have them separated for a week, still seeing and hearing each other just not able to touch. After a week, release them all and see how it goes. I'm sure there will be a little bit arguing since they have to re-evaluate the pecking order. But, things should calm down.
     
  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    When your hens get injured by the drake, or they get sick from drinking fouled water, just post in the Emergencies section of the forum, and the common preventative recommendation of separating ducks from chickens will be echoed. Chickens can contract diseases ducks may be immune to. Consider that waterfowl have more immunity to Fowl Cholera, whereas chickens do not. That can be quite an involved subject when you consider that cross viral mutations can occur, and are only perpetuated by housing different species together. They also have different nutritional needs, different housing needs, etc. Ducks prefer a moist environment where chickens require drier environments to maintain health. Ask any professors of poultry science departments from any university about keeping chickens and waterfowl, turkeys, or game birds together.
     
  9. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Best wishes.
     
    1 person likes this.

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