My duck suddenly died


In the Brooder
Jul 26, 2016
Hey everyone. So this week I lost a duck to a fox when they were free ranging in the evening (not sure why it didn't kill all 4 of my ducks, but I saw the fox coming back shortly after) so since then I was nervous and I kept them fenced in in their coop. The one that was killed had seemed off for a few weeks. Her sister had been acting strange for a few weeks as well but I didn't think much of it and she sat by herself after the fox got the other. Today, I went into the coop to let the last 3 out for the day and found her laying there dead with her eyes open. I wrapped her in a towel and am going to bury her in the garden but I have no idea what would have caused this. both those ducks came from the same farm where they were going to be used for meat or eggs so I am not sure if it is a genetic problem in them or if I am doing something to make them sick. last night my boyfriend had to pick her up to put her in her coop for the night (which he didnt tell me until this morning). Can anyone give me some advice? I give them scratch grain, let them free range and give them new water in a large litter box every other day nearly and lock them up every night so I am not sure if it is something I am doing to make them sick or if it could be a disease I am not aware of. I am devastated right now as I lost 2 ducks in a week but I suspect they were both sick. any help is appreciated.
Do you feed them any real feed?.....Possibly the one that survived the Fox attack had internal injuries?......
I don't think she was attacked. She was just walking around the night I came home and found the other one missing. The other 2 we're down at the coop ready for bed. The surviving two seem okay. For weeks the ones who have died seemed off but they were always very tame so I thought they were just being lazy. They all get fed chicken scratch as that's what I was recommended.
Sometimes I give them veggie scraps too but I let them free range and keep their food dish full.
Is scratch the brand name or the product?....Chicken scratch is not balanced nutrition it's a treat....
I went down to check and it is chicken scratch. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to give them that. I had 4 ducks and they had a dog dish full of that and then they free ranged all day. The person at the farm supply store told me it was okay to give them that but I'm reading that it's not. However they've all been eating the same for a year now and the two who seemed sick came from the same farm so maybe their bodies have reacted differently.
I agree with @chickens really. Ducks need a complete feed. If they're free ranging, they might not need as much, but keep it available anyway. Proper nutrition is important, no matter what type of poultry you raise, but an inadequate diet will cause serious problems for ducks in particular. There's just less room for error with waterfowl and game birds. Over time, nutritional deficiencies can lead to death, or contribute to death via weakened immune systems. Fresh water daily, deep enough for them to dunk their heads, is also a must.

All this being said, we can't really give you a definite cause for the death. It may have been completely unrelated to diet. However, as a general rule, healthy birds are less likely to die from unknown causes, so I'd still recommend improving their diet.
Scratch is fine mixed with Chicken feed for Ducks....Do yours lay eggs?.....Do you provide oyster shell?
those two did lay eggs and my remaining female has a few times but not as consistent as the others. I will improve their diet with a real feed. I do not give them oyster shell.

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