Help - 3 week old ducklings dead in 18 hours!

Dees ducks

Songster
Jan 19, 2019
149
341
112
UK
Hi all,
This is my 3 Rd hatch. All 5 ducklings were doing brilliantly and just at 23 days old.
Yesterday morning I let them out and they were fine, playing and eating and being cheeky. I checked on them several times during the day and all ok. At about 4pm I noticed that they were all lethargic and two of them severely docile. I quickly picked up the worst looking one and in the 1 minute it took me to carry it inside it gave a slight shudder then arched it's neck back and died.
ONE MINUTE!
I quickly got the other in danger, brought it inside made it comfy and warm, gave it some water with electrolyte. It seemed to be ok but woke this morning and it was dead.
Went out to brooder and another duckling had died in the night and another had wedged itself into the corner. Once again, I picked it up to rush inside and it died within seconds in my arms.
Last duckling left is inside, warm,alert but "not itself"
Does anyone have any idea what happened because in between bawling my eyes out I'm stumped.
FYI - nothing changed - all food, water same as usual, dry clean bedding, access to clean deep water changed 5 times per day. Heat lamp and so on.....
 

DuckyDonna

Crossing the Road
Aug 26, 2018
5,211
16,636
806
Dallas, Georgia
I am so sorry. I know you are just heartbroken for loosing all your precious little ones.

Are they in a secure run where they are foraging all day or just free ranging? I'd guess poison? They might have eaten something that they shouldn't have? Maybe a plant, somthing in the soil?

Let's get @Miss Lydia and @casportpony @WVduckchick in here to see what they think about this awful event.
 

WVduckchick

🐓🦆 For the Birds! 🦆🐓
Premium Feather Member
Feb 9, 2015
48,093
124,173
1,682
West Virginia
My Coop
I would have to think something toxic also, for it to happen with multiple birds at the same time.

You mention heat lamp -- did you possibly change bulbs and get one of the ones with the wrong coating? (I can't remember the exact thing, but if its a possibility, someone else will know what I mean)
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
Oct 3, 2009
113,519
130,281
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Mountains of Western N.C.
I would have to think something toxic also, for it to happen with multiple birds at the same time.

You mention heat lamp -- did you possibly change bulbs and get one of the ones with the wrong coating? (I can't remember the exact thing, but if its a possibility, someone else will know what I mean)
Teflon is the coating? Bedding would be cedar. Neither safe for our birds.

Very sorry for your losses. :hugs
 

Dees ducks

Songster
Jan 19, 2019
149
341
112
UK
Thank you all for your replies.
They were in a secure run, separate from big ducks in back garden. Same area that I used for previous hatch and those ducklings are now 11 weeks old and thriving. Area and duck house completely sanitized prior to new baby ducks being introduced. Same lamp, bedding, food all good no difference, all fresh and dry?
Little one left lasted through night but some really touch and go moments. He's fighting still but losing. Bloody pink diarrhea most of yesterday but this morning more browny/clear.
No weedkiller, poisonous plants just patchy grass Which is hosed down every night.
 

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