Is this just heat stress?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by truegrit farm, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. truegrit farm

    truegrit farm In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2008
    I have 5 WH 11 week old ducks. Very spoiled ducks I may add [​IMG] They normally are very friendly, get treats of peas/corn everyday and usually lately a slice of watermelon plus their dry feed. They have a large plastic pool that they LOVE.
    I moved them to my LARGE fenced back yard a couple weeks ago and am putting them in a 6x10 covered chain link dog run .......actually set up for my macaw to go in during the day, but they are using it at nite as it is on cement pad under huge tree and very secure for critters and I knew it would offer them more air circulation at nite than their indoor pen in the barn.

    Anyway, they did great came out in the morning had their big pool, and have started forging around in the yard and getting lots of grasshoppers.

    Now, this past week it has gotten hotter than before which was hot enough in the middle 90's but has been l00+ now for about 5 days. They have suddenly started acting totally NUTS! They won't go near their pool, won't hardly eat or drink at all. I have thrown them treats not any interest just sitting under the tree and panting. I put a smaller pool in their nite time pen and got them to go in it when penned up but out in the yard are just acting nutty! They are also mottling right now to add more stress. I got to really worrying about them. Awhile ago I put the small pool in their night time pen and the watermelon that they hadn't touched and some feed that they hadn't touched all day and I now finally got them in the pool and eating.

    Is this typical of heat stress/exhaustion the not even wanting water!!! Should I just keep them in the pen where they food, pool right in front of them during this heat?

    I just don't get why even when they come out in the morning being fairly hydrated from night that they won't go near water? Is it that they are still too young to know what is the right thing to do or are their little brains just fried now?

  2. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    Well moving generates heat, in fact doing anything generates a bit of heat, so that is probably why they are just sitting there panting... I assume they have some sort of water source under this tree or wherever they go to sit? Maybe sprinkle them with a hose if that's possible. My girls seem to like that and nibble at the droplets. My boys on the other hand hate it and run away from the hose whenever it gets too close. You could always try that though?
  3. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    During our nasty heatwave my babies enjoyed a shallow dish of ice water. I used a casserole dish 1/2 ice 1/2 water placed in the shade. That way they could lay next to it and drink without moving. I also put frozen peas and corn in it. Then they would eventually just sit in the ice water.
  4. truegrit farm

    truegrit farm In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2008
    Most times they've been sitting not near the tree where their pool and water pan is (we have lots of trees in the yard) and they have not touched food or water all day even when they are close. I am sure of that and when I throw their peas or even throw them in their water they just ignore it and even the watermelon just would sit and pant, like not reacting to anything they normally do. I did squirt them with the hose and they tolerate that pretty well.

    They are young and maybe haven't got this hot weather figured out, but you'd think they would want water at least! I guess I'm just going to keep them in this pen for most of the day with their pool because when I finally penned them this afternoon and forced them into the pool then they didn't get out for 2 hours! It's like they suddenly are missing the link that tells them to get in or drink water. Like they just get so hot they are shutting down. Almost 110 today!

    Apparently copperheads like this weather tho, because I just put them up and about 20 feet from where I was doing that in my yard the dogs found a copperhead...........geeeeeeeeezzzzzzz I'm not liking this summer in Missouri too well!
  5. srsmith69

    srsmith69 Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Is the pool in the shade? If not, it can heat up quickly. Do you refill the pool with cool water regularly? My ducks use the pool throughout the day, but when I refill it with cool water in the evening, its a party.

  6. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    Animals aren't always able to understand that they can get to a cooler spot when they are hot. I had a friend whose dog had shade and water in her fenced backyard, but instead laid in the sun until he got heat stroke. Your ducks might not be associating pool = coolness, though I'm sure they'll catch on soon. This is just a theory, though. I wouldn't worry about them as long as they have access to food, water, shade, and their pool.
  7. ShuckyDuckyQuackQuack

    ShuckyDuckyQuackQuack In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2011
    Put them in ice water with shade so they can cool down.
  8. truegrit farm

    truegrit farm In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2008
    Ok, I give up they are not even close to the same ducks that they were before the 100+ degree heat we had! These are not little babies they are about full size fully feathered almost 3 months old. They loved their pool actually pools as they had a small and a large one. Would go nuts for their peas/corn went nuts when I came out to fill their pool. Pools are always in shade, pools are the same, feed is the same and if I put them in small pen with pool they will get in, but pool outside of their pen in the yard now (where it's always been) they won't go near as a matter of fact they won't hardly drink out of a pan of water in the same area not even enough all day to dirty it up. It's not the area as they stay within 4-5 feet of the pool/water dish.

    It seems the ONLY way I can now keep them where they will drink is to pen them up all day as they will go into the SAME pool that I move into their pen in the evening. I just don't understand! Is it possible because they did suffer some heat exhaustion a few days back when they quit going to water and just stood and panted and acted like they mentally were disoriented that it did a permanent damage to them?

    They act like the water, pool whatever is not there even if they go up and stand within a few feet of it. I can throw their peas in the water and around the pool and they look and don't move. They are not as hot as it's cooled down some and they kinda stay in the shade and quack and kinda hunt for bugs in that one area near the pool.

    I just don't understand why this huge change in them?? Ice water won't help since I can't get them to even try it.
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Quote:I don't know if ducks have a keen sense of smell even though I've had ducks for 7 years, but could a predator been around that particular area and maybe they are picking up on it?

  10. truegrit farm

    truegrit farm In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2008
    I kinda doubt that and also they are in the area staying within sometimes 2 feet or so from the pool. This is basically where they are hanging out all day it's under a big tree. They just stand around and peck at stuff and stay in a small area for most of the time. They are basically not drinking almost all day. I just gave them some grapes and they went nuts over those again within a few feet of the pool and water bowl. I try throwing peas into the pool and they just look but don't make any attempt to go after them.........before they would dive in in a second.

    I can go squirt them with the hose and they like that pretty well.
    It's a total mystery. They have been molting could that have anything to do with it? But, if so why will they get in their pool (same pool) that I put in their pen at nite?

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