My duckling drowned!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Bring, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Bring

    Bring Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2009
    New Mexico
    I put my three 8 wk old ducklings in the bathtub for their bath. The water was just deep enough that if they wanted to swim all they had to do was lift up their feet. If they didn't want to swim they could just stand up. I left them to bathe while I made dinner. My 5 yr old son came running into the kitchen and told me to follow him. I opened the bathroom door and there she was. Her body was floating but her beak was under water. I tried to resucitate her. All I heard was bubbling in her chest. I held her upside down to get as much water out as I could. She was gone. The two survivors were huddled up with eachother. I wrapped the poor chocolate runner up in a towel and drained the tub. I took the little duck to my husband and told him I killed his duck. I handed her over to him an went and got the other two out of the tub.
    I know not to allow young ducks to swim until they are a week or so old. But eight weekers? I thought they would be ok. They have most of their adult feathers. I just don't understand it. I shouldn't have left them alone. When is it okay to let them swim alone? These were my first ducks. I got them when they were just two days old. I just don't understand.
     
  2. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    Same thing happened to me with some of my first ducks. They get tired and want to lay down and just can't do that in water, and technically that age they are still children and children drown in shallow water too. Sorry about your duckling and goodluck with the others. [​IMG] Just don't leave them alone in water they can't get out of w/o supervision. You know when you watch them in their cage and they fall asleep standing up? [​IMG] Don't feel bad you didn't know, I didn't know either at the time.
     
  3. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    I'm so sorry. [​IMG] It is so sad to lose them like that. Eight weeks is generally plenty old enough to swim in a bathtub. They are 99% grown by that time. Could the water have been too warm or there have been cleaning or soap residue in there? Of course, there may have been something wrong with her that had nothing to do with swimming in the tub. You just never know. Try not to beat yourself up over it.
     
  4. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Adair Co., KY
    At 8 weeks old?? No offense, but I would be checking with the 5 year old to see how the duck drowned. At 8 weeks old, my ducks are on the pond!

    Sorry you lost the duck [​IMG]
     
  5. Bring

    Bring Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2009
    New Mexico
    My son went in the bathroom to use the potty. He saw there was something wrong and came and got me. I have absolutely no reason to suspect my son. The duckling that drowned was always the first to want out. I lost track of time. They were probably in the tub too long.
     
  6. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    I would really look to some other factor. I doubt the duckling would have drowned at that age from being in there too long. Ducks that age can literally be out on open water for several hours at a time, if not a full day on the water. Don't blame yourself for leaving them in there too long. It had to be that there was something wrong with the bird or there was some other factor (heat, etc...). Again, as Shelley said too, no offense at all. Just trying to help you get to the bottom of it. I'm sorry you lost one of your babies. [​IMG]
     
  7. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    Hahira, GA
    Captive raised ducks need to be slowly acclimated to water as they dont have oil on their down when born. Ones hatched by their mother, get her oils at birth, and therefore can immediately go to water and stay there.
    However, our "home raised" ones dont have this luxury, and should be allowed short trip to water until they have built up there own, heavy coat of oil. Otherwise, they will get waterlogged, and chilled, then die. By this age, he should have been fine, but, just curious, were his feathers watery, or was he dry and fluffy? This may have been the cause, I have lost several that way. If not, then there's just no telling...Sorry either way, these things happen
     
  8. High Roost Ranch

    High Roost Ranch The Chicken Whisperer

    Don't beat yourself up too badly over this. It happened to me about 15 yrs ago when I got my first ducklings. Being duck ignorant at the time, I thought ducks, well, of course they'll swim. I ran a deep pan of water from the hose for them, and put them in. They looked like they were having fun so I left them to play for a short while. That short while was too long, I found two cold and drowned. I've since learned that ducklings raised not with the mother will not want to be in water for very long at all, if at all, until they get much older. It must be hypothermia that gets them. I wouldn't suspect your son really, as this has happened without interference.
     
  9. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    It is, until they get that water proof layer of oil in their feathers, they will be no different than tossing a chicken inthe water, they will get wet and chilled, then die. As I mentioned, short trips in moderation are best, til they get fully coated and water proofed. If you notice the feather holding water, it's time to take them out for that trip to the pool, do them again the next day, so forth and so on, and before long, they'll have what they need to be ducks...
     
  10. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    I really don't ever leave them unattended unless they can get up and out of the water. Even in the tub I put a folded up towel so they can climb up for a break at any time. I had two 3 month old, fully feathered ducklings drown in a kiddie pool last year. They had always been able to get out by themselves, but obviously not easily enough. Now there are always steps to get out of the pool as well as in. Don't feel bad they are really clutsy for the first 6 months...I've seen them try to jump up on something and fall on their backs...I'm sorry but I know you will learn from this like I did and the others will be safe and happy.
     

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