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Pekin Passed Overnight - Need Help on Possible Causes

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Knucker Hatch Farms, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Hi all,

    This is our first season with ducks. We have 10 beauties, 2 are Pekins. Everyone is fully feathered out and was doing swimmingly until last night. Last night I noticed that one of our Pekins was panting (not unusual in this incredible heat we've been experiencing over the last two weeks), however, what was different was that her panting sounded "honkish".

    I figured she might have been a little stressed as I had just taken our young Aussie down to the barn with me and done a short 1 minute session of training on guiding the ducks. The Aussie was on a lead and was never allowed even close to the girls - just enough to get them to move in the direction of the barn door. But perhaps this was mistake number one.

    The evening was still quite stifling and I should have probably listened to my instincts and not closed up the barn doors until midnight, but I did - mistake number two.

    This morning, the ducks had devoured all 3 gallons of their water and there wasn't a drop left. I found my girl by the food on the ground.

    The girls have plenty of water to swim in, and shaded cool shelter to retreat to during the day while they free range around our house. It is only at night that they wander down to the chicken coop and coop up with the chickens and 2 roosters.

    I would like to make sure that I don't lose any more of my sweet girls. Can anyone give me an idea if this was a choking issue, a heat issue, or a sudden respiratory illness?

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch
  2. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Songster

    Jun 27, 2007
    I'm afraid I have no idea on what the cause of her death could be. I just wanted to tell you that I'm so sorry you lost your Gal [​IMG]

  3. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress 9 Years

    I wish I had an answer for you, as I lost my Pekin girl sometime during the night on Friday. Didn't show signs of anything being wrong with her either. [​IMG] I thought maybe its the heat as well, but I've got her kiddie pool always filled, and lots of water dishes too. Plenty of shade also. [​IMG] [​IMG] I know how it feels.
  4. what age was she? did she have any other symptoms? just curious
  5. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Wow weird you posted this.I have been raising duck's for about 5 year's and they have never had any problem's other than pesky predator's BUT>>>Today We were just talking at the truck and duck's were in the shade chilling and DH said what is that one doing?He was like panting also and his bill was like quivering and funny weird stuff.It's been Hot here too and the creek and pond is almost dry but I keep them a tote of fresh water at least twice a day.They have lot's of trees and they move several time's a day during free range.I have lost a few baby duckling's along the way of brooding but never an adult for an unexplained reason.I hope you don't lose anymore and I am getting ready to get mine up for bed shortly so will double check everything with them.Sorry I don't have a better answer for you and SOOO sorry about your duck. Hugggzzz.
  6. JosieR

    JosieR Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    Orange County, NY
    You said you found her by the food? And they drank all the water? Maybe she choked trying to eat without the water? I don't know, I'm new to ducks myself but I take the food out at night because Storey's Guide says to give them all the feed they can clean up in 5 minutes (although I give them 30 or so usually so even my slow poke, get pushed around, runner has a chance to get her fill).

    Sorry for your loss [​IMG]
  7. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for the condolences and the brainstorming.

    She was about 7 weeks old and beautiful. I've read more about what signs to look out for with illnesses, and she didn't display any of those. I did inspect her body and neck and nothing seemed to be bulging. Kicking myself a little bit today, wondering why I didn't take the time to cut her open and at least make sure it was or wasn't a foreign object impaction. I didn't notice a "how to" in the back of the Storey Guide until tonight.

    I wonder if it was a combination of something stuck in her throat, trying to eat and then not being able to wash it down with enough water.

    I would take away the food at night, but my hens are in there, and I don't want to short change them an early breakfast. I'll move my new 7 gallon waterer from the house area down to the coop to help with water supply esp. during this heat wave. And keep my fingers crossed that this was an odd ball instance and not the beginning of something contagious.

    I hate learning experiences at the expense of a life!

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  8. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    I had a similiar situation with my chicken. The chicken sounded like she was wheezing. She too was panting. She had plenty of shade, plenty of food and water too. The wheezing and panting made me realize a respitory problem. She was also wet and dirty on her belly. I cleaned her up, put her in a cage and got her in the cool house. Kept her in the cool ac in the kitchen where I could keep an eye on her. I massaged her crop to make sure her food was moving. It felt good to her. That night she started eating and by the next day she was good enough to let back outside. She has been good ever since.

    I have a feeling the birds are getting heat stroke. No matter how much water, food or shade they have this heat is just to much and they need to get into some cooler air. Just my thought.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010

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