Not My Year For Water Fowl.....Lost My Last Duck Today

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dreamcatcherarabians, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    And I have no idea why! She just keeled over and died and the barn girl found her on her back, cold & dead.

    I started out with 2 goslings and 2 ducks this spring. They were healthy, hilarious and we were really just getting to know each other. The geese had gotten pretty big and the 2 ducks were good sized too. One day I noticed that my gray goose (gander) wasn't around all day, but since he kind of roamed the pastures and harrassed the horses I didn't think too much about it until evening when I couldn't find him. That really upset me because he was my favorite goose. He used to peck the barn cats and tell them to get off my lap so he could cuddle a while. Amazing! The cats would skeedaddle when he said so. The white goose, smaller, more feminine looking was also a little shyer and wouldn't come up until the gander sat in my lap.

    The next day she and my favorite duck, a darling crested one not sure if drake or hen, had both disappeared. Never found a feather of any of them. That was all back in May. Until today, my 2nd duck has been doing fine. I have no idea what breed she was, just a pretty fawn colored duck with some white on her wings, and sweet. She was just starting to lay eggs, maybe had laid 2 dozen in all and today she just flipped on her back and died. I have no idea why.

    All of my chickens are fine, everyone got along fine, all the duck, geese and chickens were raised together and roosted together at night. The barn cats are well fed and don't see any of my chickens, geese or ducks as something they want to eat, plus I never found any 'parts' anywhere.

    I had a blast raising those ducks and geese, taught them to swim in my jacuzzi bathtub (they LOVED it when I turned on the jets and let the faucet run), they did laps and had a blast. Then my husband taught them how to swim in the stock pond and they followed him around like he was momma. Made me mad, a horse crushed my foot and I haven't been able to swim all summer (I wanted to swim with them and never got the chance), so he got to do the 'quack quack honk honk waddle waddle' down to the pond with them all.

    I want to get more goslings and ducks next spring, and obviously will be more diligent about keeping them where I can see them rather than letting them range the pastures, but I'm a little nervous about what may have killed this last duck. I get really attached and don't want to lose any more ducks to unknown issues if I can avoid it. Any suggestions, ideas what may have caused this duck to die? She was probably about 6 months old, give or take a month.
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    She could have gotten egg bound.
  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010

    So sorry for your loss. I had a perfectly healthy duck die recently- It was a spider bite. At least I had some of her eggs at the time to put into the incubator, but it was still a very sad time. I thought at first maybe she was egg bound- as it was the first thing I thought of- It can bring them down very quickly.
  4. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Could she have gotten into something? Poison? Bad feed? Moldy hay? On the others, it sound like a predator that is large enough to run off with an entire bird. So sorry for all your losses.
  5. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    Thanks everyone for your posts. On Duckie, I don't know about the egg bound because my husband saw how upset I was and took her and buried her immediately. I read up on egg binding and she was the right age and where we found her is where she liked to lay her eggs, so it's very possible.

    My first thought had been a snake, we have copperheads and water mocs in this area, but I couldn't find a mark on her or any blood from a bite. I never thought about a spider.

    The other 3, I agree it was a predator of some kind, but not sure what. We're a farming area so folks train their dogs or keep them fenced if they don't want them shot for harrying cattle, so I'm not thinking dog. Possibly a momma coyote, I have heard pups yipping in the area.

    Just makes me sad, I so enjoyed my ducs & geese. I'll start over next spring with a larger number and make some management changes and see how things go. I like them too much to not want to have them around.
  6. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Sorry for your loss. It looks like you have a plan for next year. [​IMG] Glad you're not giving up on waterfowl. They are such a joy to have around.
  7. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    Quote:I'm tellin' you what!! That gander was a caution. He'd make me laugh so hard I'd cry and of course, the ducks with there little quack quack and slappin' their little feet on the ground.... I just love them.
  8. jacyjones

    jacyjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    I lost ducks cos they were able to get at the wood chip bedding for my horse and if they ingest this it is fatal. Got rid of the bedding and not lost any more ducks. Just a suggestion.
  9. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    Thanks JacyJones. I don't use wood chip bedding for the horses, just stall mats and pellets and Duckie never went out to the barn. She always hung around my front yard and stayed with the barn cats [​IMG] and then roosted at night with the chickens.
  10. maggiemmm

    maggiemmm Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 26, 2010
    Kewadin area
    We had 4 Indian Runners. 2 Drakes and 2 females. I came home from teaching and 3 ducks came up to meet me but I did not know where Gandalf was - I looked all over ..... he was dead in the pond...looked like he was sleeping. But dead. My husband thought it was a contract killing by the other drake , so he could have both females to himself. ??? Still do not know.[​IMG]

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