Lost a duck today :(


10 Years
Aug 2, 2009
Southwestern Washington State
We are not sure exactly what happened, but one of our muscovy hens was dead this morning. Last evening we noticed she was having a hard time getting out of the pond and seemed thin. We put her in a place by herself and gave her food to herself and she ate and drank. But this morning she had died!

We had just rearranged the feeding spots and I think it is possible she did not figure out how to get in to the food area? We did not notice as the ducks can go in and out at will, and she showed no obvious signs of anything and my ducks sleep outside, not in the food shed. She did not look thin and my ducks don't like to be picked up so we didn't feel how light she was until last night, which was apparently too late.

We feel terrible..........what are the reasons young ducks might die like that? My ducks get to free range within a large goat pen and have a man-made pond. They had only layer pellets and sunflower seeds in addition to leaves and alfalfa is in that pen, and they constantly are looking for bugs. They sometimes forage on the grass but this one that died had not been out on the grass for at least a week. She was just hatched last spring so I just don't understand what could have happened. I'm very much afraid that she just didn't figure out how to get into the food area....we had just put it inside a hut to keep nice and dry and keep goats out of it, and cut a hole in the hut just big enough for a duck. We saw the other ducks going in and out and assumed they could all do it, given incentive. Could one duck just be stubborn enough to not try it and starve herself? There was a small lip they need to go up and we put a nice rounded rock there to help them step up. The others have no problem (we've now checked them all for thinness and they are all chubby).

Any insight would be appreciated!

Enchanted Sunrise Farms

12 Years
Apr 26, 2007
Fair Oaks, California
So sorry about your duck. i'm not sure what to tell you as i'm fairly new to ducks and just learning their behaviors. But my little crew seem to be good at following each other, so i can't imagine one would not figure out how to go where the others do. But i do know most animals are creatures of habit. So i suppose it's possible your duck never found the new feeding spot. In any case, i'm very sorry for your loss.

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