Found my duck dead in the pool...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by vanillachai, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. vanillachai

    vanillachai Out Of The Brooder

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    What is the likelihood that the Drake killed her? Any signs that would let me know?

    They are all about 16 weeks old. The drake is a Rouen, and there were two hens, a Cayuga and a Welsh Harlequin. The Welsh is the duck I found dead in the pool this morning upside down with her neck bent very awkwardly underwater...almost seems like it might have been twisted or broken. However, this is the same duck that had health problems growing up and a seizure at 6 weeks. She's been healthy since and I haven't seen a single seizure after the first one, but could a seizure have been what killed her instead?

    I know the drake wouldn't kill her on purpose, especially since he's young and inexperienced, but I've also heard Drakes can kill hens in mating. I'm not sure I could handle finding another hen dead if he's the cause, and for the same reason I'm not sure it would be a good idea to re-home him. In that case he may be doomed to the freezer. But I also don't want to jump to conclusions if it was a seizure relapse.

    I'm super lost on what I should do next. Try to find some new hens and give him a second chance? I just don't know.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    The way to know cause of death is a necropsy. Without that, all you can do is guess.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Young Drakes are clumsy when first mating...He possibly drowned her in his excitement to mate?
    I always stay outside when I let my Ducks into the pool to watch for aggressive breeding..I have three Drakes, one is very young..The two older Drakes love my one Buff hen..She gets dunked in the pool so I have to save her on occasion. My one Drake is a Call so he really only breeds my other Welsh Drake right now....Lots of water flying when things get silly!

    Hard to know?
    Sad that happened...
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry for your loss. I agree that you'll just have to make a guess on this without getting a necropsy. One clue to it being the drake would be if there are feathers missing from the back of the neck. But if you haven't seen the drake being excessively aggressive with the hens I would hesitate to blame him, especially considering the health history.

    I would suggest trying to find some hens of the same age to add to the flock. If you do keep the drake it would be better to have more hens. If you do end up culling him, it would be better for the hen not to be left without a flock.
     
  5. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    So sorry to hear of this. I agree a necropsy is the way to go to get answers.
     
  6. vanillachai

    vanillachai Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the responses everyone. It's too late for a necropsy even if I could send her to one. I've never considered that before and disposed of her after checking her over before I even made this post. If I'm ever in a similar situation in the future I'll try to look into it.

    Obviously I can't make any solid conclusions. Maybe she did relapse while I wasn't there. If it was the drake, I think it was just that he's a young drake. I've seen him mate with the Cayuga, and he does seem to get a little too aggressive at times. The Cayuga is more headstrong than my Welsh was though. This morning when he got too rough she made a lot of noise and pretty much kicked him off. As for neck feathers, hers were intact, but so are the Cayuga's, and she's the only one I've seen him mate with over the past few days.

    I'm still trying to decide what to do. As Lomine said, I am looking into getting more hens no matter what. Can't have my Cayuga either over-breed or alone. I'm thinking about seeing if I can find my drake a new owner. He's handsome and I love him, but it might be best for everyone if he went to another flock and I stick with females for now.

    Should I be worried about his behavior if I manage to find him a new home? I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt as a young drake, but I don't want to give someone a drake that will cause trouble for another flock.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  7. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would just disclose all the information you have to the new potential owners. Tell them what you have personally witnessed and tell them it is possible he caused the death of your other hen but you can't be completely sure. If they decide to take him then you know they were fully informed. Not much more you can do.
     
  8. vanillachai

    vanillachai Out Of The Brooder

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    I think that's what I'll do. Thanks for all of your advice.


    Good luck with your flock by the way! Sounds like you have a lot of excitement each day.
     

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