Drowning/freezing ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by billw, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. billw

    billw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am a bit frustrated. Four days ago, we dug in a 150 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank for a pond in our duck pen with a 2x8 ramp to get in and out.

    The first day, everything went fine and the ducks loved it.

    The second day, I went out in the morning to find three ducks floating listlessly and making unhappy duck sounds. When I pulled them out, they couldn't stand, so I warmed them up in the truck until they were happy again. I added a second 2x8 ramp, running in the opposite direction so that no duck had to go very far to get out of the water.

    The third morning, I found a dead duck and the other two in similar chilled condition that had to be rewarmed. I figured that there must be something wrong with my ramps, so I puled them out, drained the tank, and put in a pile of 12x12" pavers at a slight incline, right up to the edge of the tank. I watched the ducks use the pavers to easily climb in and out and figured I had the problem licked.

    This morning, two unhappy ducks floating in the tank again. I thought one was a goner, but she revived after three hours in the truck.

    It has always been the same three ducks. The one that died was never quite right physically or mentally, so I figured that was nature taking its course. The other two seem normal and healthy, other than apparently having a death wish.

    Am I missing something? Should I change my ramp design again? Should I just let survival of the fittest kick in?
     
  2. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old, what breed?
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I am sorry to hear you lost your duck, you don't say how old the ducks are. And I am just taking a wild guess here but I am wondering if they just get too cold slowly and that could be the problem, kinda like when they put the frog into warm water and slowly heat it to boiling? Like I said just a guess, But I do think I would not let them swim at night till you figure it out.
     
  4. billw

    billw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are about 13 weeks. The one that died was a white crested, but as I mentioned, not one that was up to spec. The other two are a khaki duck and a black swedish drake.

    It is not particularly cold here for ducks - occasionally dipping down to freezing, but they have been living outside in that weather without the pond with no problems.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Well like i said It was just a guess, at 13 weeks they should be able to hold their own in cold swimming water. Hopefully maybe someone else will be on it a bit that can give you an idea, but I wouldn't let them swim at night till you have figured it out. I know you don't want to loose the other 2.
     
  6. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    whens the last time they ate maybe let them gorge themselves with high energy food before bed time so they have enough fuel to keep there core temp up
     
  7. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Miss Lydia sounds about right to me. They are still young and may not realize how tired they are and then have trouble getting out of the cold water. Just a guess. I would try to keep them out of the swimming pond at night for now, hard, I know, but it sounds best.
     
  8. billw

    billw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Easy enough. I can put a sheet of plywood over it at night and trial them again in a few weeks.

    There are going to be some sad ducks. They have a 28x16 pen, but they seem to spend 90% of their time now within two feet of the pond. ;)
     
  9. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to mention that maybe because the pond is new to these guys, they may not know their limits with it yet.
     
  10. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My ducks stay rather close to their pond too.

    Ducks can survive without a pond, but in my opinion, they are not happy without a place to swim.
     

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