Puzzled by this runner duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Harriet&Lucy, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Harriet&Lucy

    Harriet&Lucy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2010
    Puget Sound
    Raccoons killed two of my three ducks, and I couldn't bear to leave the survivor by herself until I could brood new ducks. So I bought two adult ducks to keep her company. The drake is no problem, but the duck (which I bought from another source) has me scratching my head.

    The seller brought her to me saying, "Sorry, she's been playing in the mud." So now it's been a week, and the duck has yet to take a bath! She stands and watches the other two ducks bathe, but all she's done is stick her head in. As a result, she still looks pretty awful. And the mud seems to be oily or maybe greasy. So I worry that she might be getting cold, too.

    I've been changing the water in the pool every other day. And I put out a second, smaller pool in case the other two weren't letting her in the big one. Nothing seems to work.

    I just don't know what to do about her. I hate to chase and catch her, since she's just beginning to be comfortable in a new place. And then, if I put her in the pool and she jumps out, I'd have to chase her again to actually bathe her. If it turns out she feels greasy, do I use Dawn like they do on those birds that get caught in oil slicks? Or would that take too much of her natural oils off, too?

    Also, she doesn't quack. The sound she makes is more like the peeps they make as ducklings, and she's a year and a half.

    Boy! I could use all the advice anybody has for me.
     
  2. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LP Michigan
    @Harriet&Lucy

    Whenever I have a duck here who looks too dirty for my liking, then yes I do grab them and give them a bath myself. Luckily I've only had to do that like once or twice! I would not use Dawn or any soap at all, just water, perhaps with a tiny amount of vinegar if you choose. I don't know where you are located, but as long as your temperatures are reasonably warm/mild, then I would just fill a tub or pool, go grab your duck, and dunk her feet first into the water. She might pick up her feet and try to float a bit, that's good if she does but I would not let go at that point just yet. Go really slow, enlist a helper, or get creative and run water over her head and back. I would not try to "dunk" her head, but you might carefully dip her bill into the water. She does need the water to clean her bill and her feathers, and also to preen and make sure that oil gland is working as it should. But you do want it to be as less stressful for you and her both. Temps are really important tho. you do not want her getting overly chilled after a bath. HTH
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Sad to read of your loss, it was good to get her friends.

    I admit I think I would get the dirty girl into a lukewarm tub, no soap, and see how she does. She may be getting ready to molt, so you might want to think about making sure she stays warm enough until the feather situation is improved. Take a close look while she is in the tub - well, as close as two or three feet, anyway.

    And I would give her treats in the tub. I wonder if she would like thawed frozen peas? Some do.

    Squeaky, eh? Not like a drake, right? Do you suppose she has a respiratory infection? I know my runner Einz has gotten all squeaky on me - it's hormones, I believe, she did this last year, too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  4. Harriet&Lucy

    Harriet&Lucy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2010
    Puget Sound
    Ok, I'm going to give her a bath tomorrow. Thanks for the encouragement. I've never had this problem before, and I was totally at a loss. All of my ducks have been gleeful about a clean pool! My husband has agreed to help me catch her before he goes back to work after lunch, so I'll have a lukewarm tub of water ready. We're on Puget Sound, and the temperature should be mild enough tomorrow.

    Yes, like a squeaky toy, not like a drake. If she has something respiratory, what else should I be looking for? She's generally lively and normal acting - except for being the only duck I've ever seen who didn't want to frolic in a pool - and who squeaks, of course.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Elfie is not really keen on getting into water, either. She is a splasher - will stand next to the swim pan and dip her little head into the water and then let it run down her back . . . hard to describe the little dance she does. But I would say she gets in the swim pan one tenth the frequency that the others do.

    While your new girl is in the tub listen to her breathing, and watch her breathing - labored, or clear? Something I like about tub time is it is good for making observations including smells and sounds.

    Try a little apple cider vinegar in their water (by the way, I would not use a galvanized metal or aluminum container for that because I feel there is a possibility of metals leaching in the higher acid environment . . . just overly cautious, I am) for four days or so. It is supposed to be a tonic and mild antibacterial. And I make my own little throat soother from ACV and it seems to work.
     
  6. Harriet&Lucy

    Harriet&Lucy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2010
    Puget Sound
    Well, we did it! [​IMG]

    She went from looking like a chocolate duck with a white head to looking like the pencilled duck she's supposed to be. She didn't like it much. And the dirt on my jacket looked like flannel. But I'm thinking that's a good looking flock now. Thanks for the advice and encouragement.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Right fine looking flock, that is.[​IMG]
     

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