Help please. New Duckling mom.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dcroll, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. dcroll

    dcroll New Egg

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    Dec 12, 2014
    Hi. I'm new to the group and also new to owning ducklings. My husband surprised the family with 4 ducklings 2 days ago. One of them, a solid black duckling, was much smaller than the others. Yesterday I noticed the others pecking at the small one but it was eating and drinking and peeping very loudly along with the others. This morning my daughter discovered that the others were pecking it and it was favoring one side, couldn't walk and was very cold. We got it out of the pen and put it on a heating pad on low after we dried it off (they like to walk in their water bowl). I laid down with it because I didn't think it was gonna make it and I didn't want it to be alone if it died (I know, I'm weird). About an hour later it did pass away. Was there anything I could've done and could it have already been sick when we got it? Thanks for any advice or tidbits you can share with me.
     
  2. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    What is your set up like? Do you have a heat lamp on them? What kind of feed and bedding do you have available?
     
  3. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Animals usually know when there's something wrong with one of them, ducks are no different. They will often pick on a sick/injured duck, even if we as humans haven't picked up on the fact they are sick yet. They are VERY good at hiding illnesses, but not from each other apparently. Somehow they just know. From what you have described it sounds like that small one was already ill when you got it, and the others knew it.

    It also sounds like you might need to improve your water dish though, to prevent any of the others from getting too wet/cold. That is possibly what ultimately did the little guy in. Very dangerous for ducklings to be wet because they get cold very quickly. They shouldn't be able to step in their water bowl. They need to be able to fully submerge their faces to clear out their nares, but the opening to the water must be small enough that that is all they can get in there. It's easy to make waterers for ducklings that allow this. You can use old food containers with lids, cut a hole in the lid big enough for them to get their faces in and there you go! No more duckling walking in the water and getting themselves (and everything else) wet. :)

    Good luck with your new little ones, and so sorry for your loss.
     
  4. Sfraker

    Sfraker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like you did everything you could. I agree it was probably not in good shape when you got it and the others knew it.

    Sorry for your loss, it's never easy.


    Go ahead and buy some lunch meat/cottage cheese/etc.. in a container so that you can use the container to make a water dish. It will make a big difference on how often you need to change the bedding as the ducklings get older.

    Once they are full grown I use ice cream buckets with a section of the lid cut. It's a great size and... when you need a new one you get to eat more ice cream!
     
  5. dcroll

    dcroll New Egg

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    Dec 12, 2014
    Oh my gosh. Thank you all so much!! We used a glad disposable take along container, and they took to it like a duck to water (pun intended lol). It worked like a charm! We have them set up in a rabbit bin in front of our big electric fireplace and it keeps them warm and toasty. We also have a heat light thing but they seem to like their setup without that and it keeps us warm too. Thank you all for the condolences and advice. I'm super happy to know I have a place to come to. Blessings to all of you.
     
  6. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Is there a thermostat near by that you can monitor things? I believe you when you say they prefer not to be by the light. Mine were the same way. They'll let you know their comfort level pretty well. It's a bummer you lost one, but at least he/she is no longer suffering.

    Enjoy them while they're small they really grow up fast :)
     
  7. EggsnQuackers

    EggsnQuackers Out Of The Brooder

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    You might consider cutting a corner off of the lid and putting it on the container. If you haven't already. It will prevent the babies from using the dish as a swimming hole and the bedding will stay drier.
     
  8. muscovy14

    muscovy14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2014
    you did what you could. it could have been stress too. if you have any more ducklings and notice this behavior you can also separate the one being mean. i had to with my muscovy ducklings now they all get along. it sounds like you have your babies inside please be care if you have a heat lamp on them as well that they do not over heat. have fun with the new babies
     
  9. nate_o23

    nate_o23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Great suggestion with cutting holes in a container. I have also used the chick waters your screw on to a mason jar (TSC has them) just make sure they are elevated enough that they can drink but not walk in them.
     

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