Lost a duckling last night


Apr 6, 2010
Wake County, NC
One of our Indian Runner babies died this morning. He was the second one born on Tuesday. He was lying behind the water bottle this morning and making little sounds with his bill closed. I thought he might be choking or that he might be chilled since he wasn't under the light. I was holding him and trying to warm him and get him to drink when he died. One of my daughters played with him a lot last night. He would follow her around the kitchen. I wonder if he was out of the brooder for too long. He didn't seem stressed last night, but I should have kept a closer eye on him. My daughter is 17, so I wasn't watching as closely as I would have if a younger child had been playing with him. She would die if she thought her playing with him so long would have had anything to do with him dying, and I am hoping it is just a coincidence. I am so sad and I feel like a negligent duck mom. Any ideas about what could have happened to him?

BTW, the others are healthy acting and so robust (as he was yesterday). I will be keeping an extra close eye on them.
So sorry for your loss
So sorry, It would be unlikely that the handling caused it - think of what the little ones who grow up with a mother have to go through -wandering all over the place trying to keep up with her- there are so many things that can happen to them when they are so little. Sorry for your loss.
Sorry to hear about the little baby.

I agree with DuckyfromOz in that wild ducklings are out wandering around for hours and they do OK. Usually, when ducklings that young get tired, they just fall asleep almost right in the middle of what they're doing. So, I doubt she overtired him unless she kept waking him up when he was trying to sleep. It's possible that he was a little weak to begin with and taking him out of the brooder and playing with him a lot didn't help, but I wouldn't say it was the cause of his death.
Thanks folks. I have been worrying all day of what we might have done differently, and I am a little nervous to leave the others to go to bed. I think that he may have choked. He was peeping weakly when I found him, but he wasn't opening his mouth. I couldn't get him to take water and he died in my hands. I never thought I would cry so much over a duck.....they really get to me though. At least we have 7 little sweeties left who are definitely trying to make enough poop for 8!

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