Lost a duckling today

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by julie75, May 3, 2011.

  1. julie75

    julie75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I went out to do the evening feeding and water refill and found one of my ducklings dead.[​IMG] Best we can figure is a snake got into the brooder, because of carelessness on my part [​IMG], and killed one of my baby ducks. She was about 3 weeks old and the calmest one of them all. Her head, starting with her beak, all the way down to her shoulders was wet, slimy, I really don't know what you would call it. I guess it figured out she was too big to eat and let her go. But it was too late. It had already smoothered her. Cried, got mad and now kicking myself in the butt! My brooder is a 5x5 box that sits on a concrete slab. We have another slightly raised box joined to this one that is approx. 10x4 with a small ramp so they can travel between the two. Their bedding, heat lamp, food and drinking water is on the 5x5 side and their "run" contained their swimming bowl and it gave them room to run and play. I had a problem with the water not draining when I cleaned the box out so my hubby put me a drain hole in one end with a plug. Well dummy me forgot to put the plug back in this morning after cleaning. One simple mistake cost me one of my babies.
    I really don't understand what this snake was thinking. I had 3 ducks and 15 chicks, all about the same age, in the brooder together and he had to get my favorite duck! We did lose a chick also, I'm assuming because of panic, it had gotten into the ducks swimming bowl and obviously drowned. Atleast that is what I'm thinking happened. With the chick being wet, I couldn't tell about any other marks. But I think the snake would have been able to eat the chick if it had gotten a hold of it. It was a Buff Cochin, and not very big at all.
    I'm just confused as to why it tried to eat a Rouen duck and not a chick. I'm glad their weren't any more fatalities that what there were, but why did it just stop with trying to eat the duck, then leave?
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    So sorry to read what has happened. It really must have been a shock. I dont know much about the eating habits of snakes- but know that they do often stop swallowing or bring back up something it has eaten. Maybe it was trying to escape back out the way it came and realised that with the duckling as well it would not fit back out the hole- or possibly just the chicks and ducklings disturbed it too much for it to finish the sad meal. I know all animals have to eat...but somehting like this is just so much sadder as the little life was taken and the snake still went away with an empty belly. Dont be too hard on yourself- It was an honest mistake and the snake may well have found some other way in if it was determined enough.

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