ducks drowning themselves?

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In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 24, 2011
63
1
29
I have a question. I am new to ducks. We have hatched out 9 baby ducks-and i have lost 5 of them. I put a small waterer in there with them, filled only half-full, and put gravel around the inside of the base so it wouldn't be too deep. I am thinking these ducks somehow drowned themselves. When they would drink, they would gorge themselves. Any ideas?
 

spish

De Regenboog Kippetjes
9 Years
Apr 7, 2010
1,853
29
206
Belgium
baby ducks lack the oil on their bodies which enables them to float and stay 'waterproof'. they get this from their mothers when they snuggle under her until they are old enough to produce it themselves, but as yours are 'motherless' they have no protective coating on their fuzz. the water saturates the fluff and pulls them under.....
chicks (both chicken and ducks) can drown themselves in the shallowest of water....its best to give them a chick waterer that they can just dip their beak into and nothing more.......
sorry for your loss
sad.png
 

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In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 24, 2011
63
1
29
Thank you for your reply. It is a chick waterer that i put in their with them and put gravel also in the base so it wouldn't be too deep. Can i just offer it to them while i am right there with them and not leave it for them?
 

mamaKate

Songster
11 Years
Sep 9, 2008
1,113
6
161
SE MO
I'm sorry about the lost ducklings. If I understand the situation, you're wondering if they drank themselves to death not drowned (water in lungs) right? I've raised ducklings and always kept water available. I've heard that if they are away from water too long, maybe the water goes dry or is spilled, it's best to ration them a bit until they've quenched their thirst. Are you giving them medicated crumbles? I'm not sure what the current thinking is on this. It used to be a no-no.
 

Speceider

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,169
125
161
"baby ducks lack the oil on their bodies which enables them to float and stay 'waterproof'. they get this from their mothers when they snuggle under her until they are old enough to produce it themselves,"


Actually, this incorrect. The oils are not what allow a duck or duckling to float. The oil allows the feather to remain pliable so they do not fray. floatation comes from the air trapped in the plumage. Most duck have a contact angle of the barbules that is similar to Gor-Tex that provide water resistency. Ducklings are farther from the optimal contact angle, and therefore are less water resistent.

Clint
 

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