Saying Goodbye To Mandy [long and graphic]

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Haunted55, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2012
    Central Maine
    Mandy was an eight month old Pekin. Out of all the Mallards and Pekins that share my life, she spoke to me the most because of the gentleness of her spirit. While the other ducks were busy eating the flowers in the garden, Mandy was more apt to be looking at them and watching how they moved in the wind. She was always the one to be found closest to me, while I watched when the ducks and geese were allowed to free range in the yard. Never was she a "problem child" as some of the other Pekins could be.

    Yesterday, I had to go out and take care of somethings that we as humans find necessary in our lives. Before I left I made sure that everone was well taken care of, the kiddie pool was filled, as the day was above freezing, and that the "safe area" was all set for any of the girls being bothered by the males. Everything was good and I left at about 1:00pm.. We got home a bit after 4:00pm. and I called my son when I got in as I got ready to go outside and do the night chores and close everone up for the night. It seems he had come to my house while we were gone and found three male Pekins in the kiddie pool with Mandy, holding her down so they could take turns with her. After he shut off the fence and opened the gate he could tell by then it was too late. Evidently quite a while too late but that hadn't stopped the males. My son, horrified by what he found went after the males and left poor Mandy in the pool. I found her about an hour later, the ice already forming over her on the surface of the pool water. This is going to stay with me a long, long time.

    If you read this and are new to ducks, or if you plan on having ducks in the future, please, please read and believe what someone who is an 'old hand' with ducks tells you. Don't think, 'I have time to get to that' or 'that would never happen here, I'm always here and can stop that', 'Oh my ducks would never do that! They are so well behaved.' Mine for the most part, were too..... until they weren't. While I was in the process of providing seperate pens, and getting my equipment made for processing some of them, I was too late to save this gentle little girl.

    Lessons learned;

    If you don't have the proper space and pens built before they are out of the brooder? It's already too late.

    If you plan on using some of your ducks for the table, you need to have the equipment and a plan already in place months before you need it. And, if you can't build it yourself or buy it, make sure you have an alternate plan to carry you through. Set a date and when that date comes around, act on it then. No good comes from putting something off.

    Finally, we lose sight of the fact that ducks are not totally tamed. Cute and cuddly, the antics of a duck will always bring a smile to my face, but I have remembered something very important because of Mandy. Ducks, like all animals, humans included, are hardwired to procreate. They are driven to complete this task before they die. This was not the duck's fault, I am solely to blame for this incident. I, as their keeper, should have been better prepared and knowlegeable long before this came about.

    Rest in peace, my little girl and know that because of you, no other duck here, will ever see what you did.
  2. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    oh Haunted, so sorry you and she had to experience this first hand.
  3. Going Bhonkers

    Going Bhonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2012
    SW Florida
    Gosh you are so right, "we lose sight of the fact that ducks are not totally tamed" , and that goes for any animal really. We definitely forget that they have instincts. I am so sorry at the loss of such a small & gentle spirit. Rest in peace, Mandy [​IMG]
  4. Nebraskagirl

    Nebraskagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2012
    Oh I am so very sorry for your loss and how you had to "find her" after all that. I had my first experience "finding" my favorite drake a bit over a week ago. I like you thought, "Eh, they are fine. They are ALWAYS fine and nothing will happen." I let my duck and drake out for JUST A MINUTE and in that short amount of time a hawk swooped in while I was around on the other side of building. Found him face down, wings spread and dead. I don't think that way ANYMORE. It is sad it takes a dead favorite duck to make us realize that, but sometimes learning the hard way is good.

    Again, I am so very sorry for your loss. I understand where you are coming from.
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    So sorry. You are right that this should be read by new or perspective duck owners. Many do think that it won't happen to them. [​IMG]
  6. TweetyNPetey

    TweetyNPetey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aww! So sorry for your loss. I am a duck lover, and I have had the same problem. Rest in Peace, Mandy[​IMG] You are a loved duck :)
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    How sad.
    Very sorry for your loss.
  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    I'm so sorry for your loss [​IMG]. Male birds can be so unpredictable at times and I'm so sorry you and your son had to witness tragedy.
  9. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    Northern Wisconsin
    Death in your flock (not to sound harsh) is just something that as a breeder you will have more then you want. That being as duckilngs from dieases or problems, the enviroment around them and predator.

    We have been breeding ducks for almost 6 years now. I have learned a lot and experienced the loss of many ducks over the years.

    Being prepared is something that is a must. Having proper ratio of drake to duck is a huge thing that many newbies learn the hard way. I find around this area that many people come to buy and tell me stories about drakes basically trying to kill each other over not enough females. Just because they were raised together from ducklings does not mean a drake will not become violent.

    I actually had a lady call this past spring who bought Sliver Appleyards from me a drake with 3 ducks. Called me freaking out after the drake took the ducklings that were 3 weeks old and killed them all by pickign them up and basically swinging them around by their necks! She was very upset and I would be too what a horrific thing to watch! But of course she didn't do her research. No duckling should be around any drake or adult duck unless its their mother till over 12 weeks period. She learned the hard way but is now buidling the proper pens to be able to keep her ducklings and mother duck safe from harm.

    Ducks in general have the most interesting behaviors to watch and learn from... I am truly sorry about your Mandy she had a good life!
  10. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2012
    Boise, ID
    So sorry to hear about your duck, Haunted...I had a Pekin drake for a while before I got my female Runners. I got him when I got my chicken hens last March and raised them together (I didn't know he was male for about 3 mos.) I learned the hard way then that you can't keep drakes with chicken hens. It started when I saw him chasing my Americauna one morning, but she was too quick for him...I had started my research on what to do about this behavior...he was beloved to us, he was a very sweet boy...but one morning my mom told me she had had to run out to the chicken pen because Paul had managed to capture Xena and grabbed her neck trying to bring her down...She had seperated him from the poor hen, who was unhurt thankfully except for some pulled feathers, but there was my lesson...thankfully a lady at the hatchery he had come from wanted him back for her own duck flock and he has a great home now, but you are indeed right about being totally prepared for anything before owning any animals.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013

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