Need grieving duck advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by saxonyduck, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. saxonyduck

    saxonyduck Out Of The Brooder

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    OK. I need suggestions about what to do. The situation is that my 20 month old female Saxony, Joey, is now single and grieving after her two male Saxony companions she was raised with were killed last week. We're trying to decide what to do.

    The options we've thought of are

    1) Try to incubate the eggs she continues to lay and the ones she laid just prior to them dying and see if we can get ducklings from our boys. They were great ducks - handsome, chatty, willing to be picked up (though not loving it).
    That will take a month - assuming the eggs are fertile.

    2) Get day olds from Metzers. They have Rouens and Runners available 2/8.

    3) Wait until there is an available grown up duck who needs adoption.

    Our concerns are that Joey is skittish despite being hatched and raised with us. We really, really, really want a duck who tolerates being held. Is being skittish her temperment and genetically loaded - I mean will her offspring be skittish too? If we get two ducklings and have her spend a lot of time with them is it likely that she'll bond with them? Will they learn to be skittish from her?

    And how long will she be OK being by herself? I've been trying to find someone who can take her for a bit so she won't be lonely without a duck - but no luck yet.

    And are Runners friendly ducks? Would they get along with a Saxony girl? Would they be chatty and participate in unloading the gorceries, weeding in the garden? That's what me miss most about the boys - they were just so present all the time. You always knew they were there and they wanted to talk and hang out.
     
  2. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry for your loss. [​IMG] I don't know anything about Saxony ducks & skiddishness so I can't help you there. I do know that ducks generally are very social critters so your decision to get her some company one way or another is a good call. Since you miss the boys, I'd think you would want to get some more ducks for both yourselves and your Saxony girl.
     
  3. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Runner ducks can be little spazzes. Mine is VERY skittish. I have had her a year and if I get closer than 3 feet to her she freaks out. Now I did not get her until she was already full grown, so I wouldn't hold that against the entire breed.

    I also had a rouen I raised from a few days old. He was never very friendly. I sold him.

    You are right that your duck needs a friend or two...or three.

    If I was in your position, I would hatch out the babies regardless. The traits in your drakes sounds like something that deserves to be passed on.

    At the same time I would look for an adult. If you can't find one very soon, get the runners from Metzer. Nettie has spoiled house ducks from Metzer. My Welsh Harlequins are from Metzer and they are awesome.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Oh, so sorry to hear about the boys.

    I agree, you are right to plan to rebuild the flock. I don't know about Saxonies, but generally, even the skittish ducks - most of them - come around if handled gently and well from early on.

    Runners have a reputation for getting along with other ducks. From what I have seen and heard, conflicts arise from overly agressive males more than a specific breed.

    I think whatever choices you make, if you take it slowly as far as introducing the ducks to each other, and stay in there with them, you will be rewarded.

    Ducklings often like mirrors, I wonder if a mirror would be any help with your lonely girl? Or a stuffed toy? At least temporarily.

    Keep us updated.
     
  5. saxonyduck

    saxonyduck Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the advice. Joey is doing remarkably well. The hardest part of the day is when I let her out of her pen in the morning - the boys and she used to have a joyous, excited reunification with some bathing fun. Now she gets out and just makes this gut wrenching non-stop loud quack until she finally comes into the house and hangs out in the kitchen while we get ready for work. But I found a woman in the neighborhood who has lots of chickens and a 12 1/2 year old duck - so I've been taking Joey to duck "day-care" and picking her up in the evening. And tonight we had time to do some weeding and planting together so she got all excited about the mud and worms. She's eating and talking and bathing so I'm not terribly worried about her in the short term. At this point she's not as interested in the mirror as the boys were.

    I got the incubator tonight and am cleaning it up right now. But my concern is what happens if we end up with a bunch of fertile eggs? I don't want two males and one female again (very stressful for her - and me!) and we can only have up to four ducks total here in the middle of Bay Area (CA) suburbia. Do you think there are people in Northern CA who would be interested in Saxony hatchlings if we end up with a bunch? And I really want to try a runner - Nettie's pictures are just fabulous. I want a fawn and white so badly!
     
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I haven't had too much trouble rehoming ducks. Craigslist or Kijiji worked fine for me.
     
  7. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

  8. saxonyduck

    saxonyduck Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks rainplace - I thought I looked at all the Craigslist in CA.....we'll think about it. Right now she gets a bit lonely during the day but we spend time in the AM and again all evening. She's grooming herself in the floor next to me while I type!
     
  9. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    My Runners are friendly, Hershey and Twinkie are over two years old and Babette their daughter will be two on Saturday! I have other Runners and Runner mixes and they really need other ducks around, they are flock animals and need the companionship of others like them. I'd get some babies or juvies for her, it will also help her redirect her feelings with younger ducks to help raise.
     
  10. saxonyduck

    saxonyduck Out Of The Brooder

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    Hmmmm. We're going to wait a few days until we decide what to do. I agree that she needs someone and would be happier - but we just started 10 of her eggs in the incubator this morning. Six from before the boys died and four from after. So we'll know in a few days if any are fertile. If they aren't we can get ducklings from Metzer's starting 2/8. If they are fertile do you think she'll be psychologically able to handle being a single duck for 5 weeks total?
     

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