how do ducks drown???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CrazyFowlFreak, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. CrazyFowlFreak

    CrazyFowlFreak Pine Hill Farm

    Apr 24, 2009
    I got five ducklingd last week. They were 5 weeks old then. On Tuesday morning, I went out to their pen (they're in w/ my once mean- now thinks she's momma BEI) and I found one floating in the pool. Now we made sure to make rocks into a step out of the pool and a ramp for them to walk up into the pool. They were doing wonderfully. But how does a duck drown?? They float for pete's sake! I am heartbroken, it was my favorite Khaki Campbell baby [​IMG] Is there anything I should do now to prevent this from reoccurring? Help! Never had ducks other than the BEI that we've had since she was a week old and she's now 6 months.
  2. TillinWithMyPeeps

    TillinWithMyPeeps Waiting for Spring...

    Aug 22, 2008
    Although I'm sure someone will be able to answer this better than I do, here it goes:

    Ducklings are only waterproof because the Mother Duck coats them with some sort of oil from her glands. Ducklings can't be waterproof themself until they are full grown.
  3. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

    Apr 7, 2009
    Baby ducks will drown. They can only swim til they get tired of paddling and then they sink if they can't get out of the water until they get their big duck feathers. I am so sorry for your loss. Maybe you can make them a little ramp so they can come and go in and out of the water with ease.

    Edited to say that the previous poster is correct on that I just typed slow.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  4. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    5 week old ducklings have their own oil glands and can cover themselves with oil, though probably not as much as a mother duck would. But if the duckling can't get out of the pool, they will get exhausted from trying to get out and they will eventually drown.
  5. tdkmom

    tdkmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2009
    Rural Valley, PA
    Yes, they can only swim for so long. They haven't built up the muscle they need yet. We only let ours in the pond for about 5 - 10 minutes at a time and you can tell when they are starting to get tired. They start to "lower" in the water and we get them out right away. Their mom's will take them for short swims until they build up endurance and know when to take them in.
  6. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    Maybe I should worry about mine. They are only 3 weeks old and have free rein of a 50 gallon stock tank. They do seem to self-regulate and only swim for 2 or 3 minutes at a time. Then a couple of minutes later they do it over again.
  7. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    Not sure what could have happened. OP did state that there was a way out of the pool for the ducks. Could the bigger bird have drowned it?

    Sorry for your loss [​IMG]
  8. CrazyFowlFreak

    CrazyFowlFreak Pine Hill Farm

    Apr 24, 2009
    I HAD stated that there was a ramp;)
    we made sure to make rocks into a step out of the pool and a ramp for them to walk up into the pool. They were doing wonderfully.
    Not sure if Maddie ( Mean A$$ Duckie) was in with the baby, beating it up. I would doubt it because she cleans them and takes care like they are her babes. Who knows. DH is burying the pool and were putting in cement pavers for stairs out of it. Think that will help?
  9. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

    Jul 9, 2008
    Ive got tons of duck ramps. In the pool, out of the pool, leading into hutches, over logs, as bridges / perches - GET RAMPS. My dad works at a Copier company - like they deliver copier machines and stuff. He gets theses peices of wood ( about 6in x 2 1/2 ft) and brings them home for me - free [​IMG]

    Seriously - check at your local "warehouse" copy place. Some of their more expensive copiers come in these huge wooded boxes. Just slap some water proofing on it and its a nice duck hut.
  10. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    Very sorry but live & learn hey?
    Just because you have a ramp doesn't mean a baby duck will figure out how to use it every time or have the sense to come out when it should.
    Baby waterfowl DO NOT have to have deep swimming water. I give little ducklings & goslings small dog crocks to play n' splash in. They don't have to swim.
    When they aren't being supervised they do not have access to any containers they can't easily get out of (step over the edge without a ramp) on their own.
    Only when they are big enough to get in and out of a molded kiddy pool very easily on their own do I give them access to water they can get into.

    Baby bath...
    Bigger babies get bigger pool...
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by