Help dealing with death of a duckling

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by pizzaduck420, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. pizzaduck420

    pizzaduck420 In the Brooder

    May 28, 2019

    I have 3 ducklings that I hatched just under two weeks ago. I did my best with them, giving them good food, clean fresh bedding twice a day, they'd nap on me and I'd take them out on warm sunny days. They would play and swim and try and catch bugs or dandelions...And I was momma to them so they always followed me around. I love them immensely.

    Yesterday, my worst nightmare happened. I was tired but it was so nice outside and I wanted them to have some playtime, so I did what I usually do; March the duckies out with a handful of lettuce and a few peas and a board to chop it on. I sat and started chopping, they were playing in the little tupperware containers filled with water that I had put out, and I sprinkled some lettuce on top and hand fed the chopped peas. I went to put the knife and cutting board down on a stump and as I was leaning and looking at where I was placing it, one of my ducklings, Angel, ran under my foot and I stepped on her.

    She squealed, I screamed, she started wobbling and blood was dribbling out her mouth. I picked her up and I held her and within a few seconds she had died. I rushed and put my two other ducklings in their brooder and went to a pet hospital nearby but the Doctor just confirmed she was gone.

    I was so careful. I'd had a few instances where they'd bump into my foot even while watching closely and I'd panic and feel such relief seeing they were okay. But yesterday I was wearing clunky sandals, and even though I tried to make an effort to watch every step, it took me looking away from my feet for a second to carefully place something down for this horrible accident to happen.

    I'm so broken hearted and feeling intense guilt and shame and horror and anger with myself. I wish one second of the day went differently; one second would have been enough for things to have changed. I'm trying to reason with myself and my family and friends are being incredibly supportive but I keep replaying the scene in my head, and how I was so worried about that happening and I didn't shuffle my feet but I should have...Right now, I hate myself.

    I've been spending a lot of time with my two I still have. They are fine, still cuddling with each other and with me, enjoying the tub with shallow water and enjoying the lettuce and the peas and the kisses. In my guilt and feeling like I need to do something, I searched up some duck sanctuaries and I found a local wildlife rehab that does wonderful work so I sponsored 3 mallard duckies. I don't want to eat meat anymore after this, knowing how it feels to have directly took a life, I don't think I can stomach it. I felt so much love and wanted to give them the best duck life I could but in doing so I lost my Angel.

    I am very new to this, I haven't had to deal with loss that was a result of my own action before. In the past when my kitten was sick and ended up having to be put down, I felt guilty wondering if I should've had her checked out sooner, or if I had administered her medicine properly, or if I put her down too early. That haunted me for a long time. But my duck was ripped from me in an instant from my own self going into autopilot mode for a second. I don't know how to forgive myself. I feel like I'm not allowed.

    If anyone else has lost a loved duck or other animal, would you be able to share how you coped? I could really use it.

    Here was angel a couple days ago.


    edit: I'm sitting here bawling and my two ducklings came out from their brooder and are looking up at me with the most quizzical expression. They melt my heart
  2. katiebrock

    katiebrock Songster

    Apr 7, 2019
    Milledgeville, Georgia
    It is hard to lose a pet. Even though it seems unbearable now, it will get a little easier with every day. :hugs
  3. pizzaduck420

    pizzaduck420 In the Brooder

    May 28, 2019
    Thank you, I hope so. Life feels so unbearable right now.
  4. DuckyDonna

    DuckyDonna Free Ranging

    Aug 26, 2018
    Dallas, Georgia
    I can still remember when I was a little girl and my grandfather got baby chickens. I stepped on one and killed it and it's been about 65 years. I guess it's just something you don't forget and unfortunately you can't change it but you sure can love the ones you still have and I know you will. :hugs
  5. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    I am so sorry this happened.
  6. I'm so sorry, the loss of such a sweet baby would be bad enough but the added anguish of the accident makes it even harder to bear.
  7. Eggscaping

    Eggscaping Enjoying Life!

    Dec 4, 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    When I was about 16 I had my first little mouse - a little white one. I named him Frisky and when I was outside cleaning his cage, which hung under the eaves of a low shed for protection from any ground predator, I'd take him out of the cage and put him on the ground. White mice with pink eyes don't see very well and he would run back and forth in a short area...from one end of the building to the other - always doing what mice do and sticking close to the wall. I was looking at a very old picture of my mom as a toddler that was hanging on the inside wall of the shed, and I stepped backward to see it better and unexpectedly stepped on something soft. I looked down as I lifted my foot up and horror of horrors, it was my sweet little mouse! He had never run around the corner before! He ran quickly back around the corner and I froze in an instant of agony before following him. He had run away...maybe he was ok?
    He was lying on the ground, gasping for air. I scooped him up and yelled for my mother, who came to the door, but couldn't do anything, of course. We watched as he died, gasping in my palm.
    How did I cope? I did what you did: Why did he have to be THERE right THEN? Why hadn't I looked before I stepped back? Why, why, why?
    I felt guilt for a long time. Yes, he was 'just a mouse' but he trusted me and I loved him. And I'd killed him. I kept replaying the scene over and over in my mind.
    I don't know that there's anything I was able to do to actually cope. I think that time just had to pass and the horror of the situation - and my guilt - faded. I hadn't killed him on purpose. Neither did you. Accidents happen, all that stuff that people say that's trite but true.
    My folks got me another mouse, just a tiny baby, and I bent over backward to be careful with him. I never let him down onto the ground, and he lived nearly 3 years - very old for a mouse. I learned from Frisky's death. That's about the only good thing that happened from the situation. And the sadness faded, though I can still feel it after typing all this...even though I'm 72 now and was 16 then. AGES ago.
    I'm so very, very sorry for your accident. I understand your pain and your grief. You didn't mean for it to happen. If there was such a thing as a little duck ghost that could come back to say farewell to you, it would nuzzle your hand and say "I know you loved me and never meant to hurt me. I do not blame you. I forgive you. Give another duck your love when you're ready."
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Enlightened

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    I am very sorry for your loss :hugs
  9. Chirpingchickies

    Chirpingchickies Hatching

    Jun 4, 2019
    I am so sorry, losing a sweet baby animal is hard. I hope you feel better soon, it will get better day after day. We had a tiny baby chickie and she got squished by the door, and we felt super sad and guilty but its okay, and maybe just a lesson to be more careful around babies. :) hope your duckies are good and I hope you feel better. :hugs
  10. Wolfefarmyard

    Wolfefarmyard Crowing

    Aug 18, 2017
    Gansevoort, NY
    I recently went through something very similar.

    I lost my sweet silkie hen, Kiki. I’ve had for a long time, she was one of my first silkies. Her father was the sweetest, so when he passed away she was all I had left if him. She loved people and would run right over to you to be scooped up. I always used her at the fair for showmanship since she’s so docile. I love her!

    However I was building a new pen for my silkies, so I was letting them wander around. I heard someone yell and to my horror, our neighbor had ran over my sweet KiKi with her car. She felt very guilty so I did my best not to bawl my eyes out in front of her. But as soon as she pulled out, I knelt down and cried against the lifeless body of my KiKi. I was the one who felt guilty. There was so many things I could have done to have prevented it. I should have just kept them inside the pen while I was working on it. Or I should have been keeping a better watch of them. It just hurt so bad. I kid you not I was actually completely depressed for over a week. It just didn’t feel the same without her and so many things reminded me of her.

    It’s a lot better now, the best thing for me was distractions. And then time... I feel that time has helped to heal me a lot. It’s not like I’ve forgotten her, I’ll never be able to do that. I have pictures of her everywhere. At night I always remember to pray and ask for god to tell her how much I love and miss her.

    Everyone says to not blame yourself, but I still do. It was my responsibility to take care of her and do everything in my power to keep her safe. But I also try to remind myself that it was an accident and that I can’t change what happened.

    I feel for you, I really do. Just know your not alone. And thinking about it isn’t going to change what happened. You loved her, which is all that matters. She was even able to die in your hands and feel that love.

    I hope things get better, I know they will but it’s going to take time.:hugs

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