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Male Pekin, 3 yrs old hurt leg and 4 months later died

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sarahgriswold, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. sarahgriswold

    sarahgriswold In the Brooder

    May 2, 2016
    Goshen, Vermont
    I'm hoping for some insight as my partner and I are new duck owners:
    This past June our very young flock of 3 pekins and 3 runners adopted a 2.5 yr old drake pekin. He was gorgeous. Very large, active and healthy.
    He was in a barn with about 20 chickens, 1 disabled pekin and 1 drake mallard. When we adopted him and the drake mallard, they hadn't swam in almost a year. Nor even went outside.
    When he first started swimming again he went crazy...happy crazy, I assume. A few weeks into his new living situation he started limping. I thought because he was a bit overweight that he might have pulled a muscle with all his excitement. He seemed fine, healed, then started limping again and eventually his leg was "stuck". He was unable to stand on it and he learned to waddle using his wings and beak and I picked him up. He was able to swim everyday and be outside. He loved the water. They are were fed organic feed, organic veggies from our garden and foraged.
    Over the past few months the other male drakes have been standing on him and biting his neck. I kept him separate, treated his neck and it was getting better. He was loosing feathers especially in the rear as he wasn't able to clean properly.
    On Saturday I noticed he became incredibly tired. He stayed far in the corner with his eyes barely open. I just knew it was his time. A few hours later I went to visit him and his whole body contorted. He flipped himself over as if he was writhing in pain. I can't get the image out of my head. My partner picked him up and held him, where moments later he died.

    I know he wasn't living the best life but I tried to do all I could for him as he genuinely seemed ok, just couldn't walk very well.

    I wonder what I could have done differently (besides being him to the vet when I initially saw the limp).
    How can I stop the drakes fighting? Is this because we have more drakes than females?
    Why did his body flip, turn and twist before he died?
    Should I worry for the health of the flock?

    Thank you

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hi, Sarah, welcome to BYC. It sounds as if you gave this drake the best moments of his life. He may very well have been weakened from his existence prior to coming to you. This does not sound like an infectious problem. Drakes are extremely sexually aggressive creatures. Too many drakes can be a serious problem as they may start 'gang breeding' your duck hens. This can lead to injuries and even drowning if they have water to swim in. How many drakes do you have.
    1 person likes this.
  3. sarahgriswold

    sarahgriswold In the Brooder

    May 2, 2016
    Goshen, Vermont
    Yes, I've noticed the breeding aggressiveness. Now 2 Indian runners and 1 pekin and 1 little mallard. 1 little runner female and 2 pekin females. Trying to find a female mallard

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