Duck playing dead

RJKnott

Songster
Mar 25, 2020
282
578
119
So yesterday I let my dogs out to play in the yard for a bit and walked over to my duck pen to check on the ducks.

first thing I noticed was that my 4 females were milling about like they normally do but I didn’t see my drake, Nibbler.

I went around the side of the pen and found him leaning against the inside wall, eyes closed and was unresponsive. I called to him, normally he responds, and tapped the wall next to him and no response I thought he was dead

I went into the pen and went to pick him up. As soon as I touched him he freaked out. Jumped up, running around, flapping his wings and started rasping at me angrily

he seems fine today.

this something I should be concerned about? Or was it just a deep nap
 

RJKnott

Songster
Mar 25, 2020
282
578
119
Wow never heard of that before. Hopefully just a deep nap but I find it very hard to walk up on any of my waterfowl without them knowing I’m close. @Isaac 0 ever seen this? How old is Nibbler?
hes less than a year old. Got him around Easter time this year as a duckling. Normally Nibbler is pretty alert and they all wakeup at the slightest noise
 

RJKnott

Songster
Mar 25, 2020
282
578
119
Never any signs of seizure. He had always had weak legs but aside from that he’s been healthy. I’ve been keeping an eye on the camera I have in the pen a lot and check on the regularly. He’s seemed normal since I woke him up
 

WannaBeHillBilly

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Sep 2, 2018
7,053
24,429
1,227
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
During hard molts I have had ducks sleeping really deep in what they think are safe spots (under the tiller blades for example) and i could scare the eggs out of them by suddenly petting their heads, but i had to be absolutely silent.
Calling out to such a duck or a tapping sound provoked an immediate quack-response.
How does nibbler react now when you call him? - I am concerned that he may has an ear infection, impacting his hearing abilities.
 

RJKnott

Songster
Mar 25, 2020
282
578
119
During hard molts I have had ducks sleeping really deep in what they think are safe spots (under the tiller blades for example) and i could scare the eggs out of them by suddenly petting their heads, but i had to be absolutely silent.
Calling out to such a duck or a tapping sound provoked an immediate quack-response.
How does nibbler react now when you call him? - I am concerned that he may has an ear infection, impacting his hearing abilities.
He was dead to the world. No response at all
I called to him. TApped on the wall next to him. Nothing. After I woke him up he was fine. Responded when called. Today he seems normal too
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
22,555
90,269
1,101
Iowa
I can't say I've ever seen that. Waterfowl by nature, are quite alert as their often victims to predators, so the fact that he would be in such a deep sleep, seems quite unlikely to me, but I very well may be wrong.

With Passerines, a lot of the times when they hit a window, or are traumatized in any way, they'll go into a "stance", which they soon come out of. If your duck was attacked, or possibly got hit in the head, that might have caused such behavior.

It's good that he's acting normal now. If you do see any behavior coming from that duck again, It may be good to do a basic neurological exam. More tests can be found online, but ones such as the menace reaction, wing/leg reflex withdrawl, and pupillary light reflex can test the birds neurological functions.

https://lafeber.com/vet/avian-neurologic-exam/
 

RJKnott

Songster
Mar 25, 2020
282
578
119
Awesome thanks

my first thought was if he was hurt but no visible injuries and he’s alert and normal today. I just went out and checked on them and he is laying dow in a big puddle of mud they made foraging for worms and bugs. His favorite hobby.
I will check out the neurological exam though just to be safe
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
22,555
90,269
1,101
Iowa
Awesome thanks

my first thought was if he was hurt but no visible injuries and he’s alert and normal today. I just went out and checked on them and he is laying dow in a big puddle of mud they made foraging for worms and bugs. His favorite hobby.
I will check out the neurological exam though just to be safe
A good amount of times, the trauma will be blunt, and there will be no noticeable injures. A few days ago, I actually saw a sparrow hit my car window, and proceeded to sit on the ground in a still, until I went over and touched the bird, it flew off.

For the LabferVet, you will need to create an account, which is free, but it's a great resource for anything medical.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom