Sudden Death In 2 Ducks

sjgagli

Hatching
Aug 13, 2020
3
1
3
Hey BYC, long time follower, first time poster.

We recently ended up with a pair of pekin ducks that had been abandoned at a local park. They were mostly grown, but still young, just losing the last of their fluff when we got them. Judging by their temperament and lack of duck sense, I gather they had been raised indoors in a small cage and did not experience the outdoors much. They never seemed right, never grazed, had zero desire to explore to do anything but chill in a kiddie pool all day. They also had issues walking, and often stumbled about "drunk" and fell a lot. Their feet turned inward, but not as bad as some instances I have seen on BYC. I'm not sure what that was all about, maybe due to how they had been raised, or maybe niacin deficiency. In any case, they were on duck food with niacin, plus additional niacin supplement for good measure. This seemed to help a little I think.

Anyway, this morning I found them both dead in their small coop. I had immediately thought heat stroke, as it's quite hot here right now, but the coop is ventilated by a window, and partially shaded by a large tree. We've had them like this for a little over a month like this with no issues in that regard. They were also very stiff and cold, so I gather that they had probably expired some time over night, and not more recently this morning. I had also just cleaned their coop last night, so wondered if maybe it was something in the pine (not cedar) shavings, or perhaps a contaminate in their water... I really have no idea. A number of waterfowl diseases sound like they could cause this, but both birds, at the exact same time?
 

sjgagli

Hatching
Aug 13, 2020
3
1
3
Thank you all for the suggestions and resources. I have buried them, and did not get a chance to do or arrange for a necropsy. I've set up a temperature sensor in the coop under identical conditions (without ducks in there) to see how hot it could have got. It reached 95F by mid morning, but was much cooler overnight when I suspect they had died, so I'm not sure. We've had many hot days before, and they seemed to handle it fine. Separately, I have also lost a ton of honey bees this morning, and do not suspect overheating, so it has me wondering if there is something toxic that has been spread locally.
 

Duck mommy 2019

Songster
Apr 1, 2019
1,924
1,805
188
they were abandoned before you got them, right? domestic ducks are not meant to live out in the wild so not having proper nutrition early in life could have caused this, or they could have caught something from the wild ducks (ducks hide illness well, so sometimes you won’t know until it’s too late), the only part i find weird is that they died the same night.
 

sjgagli

Hatching
Aug 13, 2020
3
1
3
they were abandoned before you got them, right? domestic ducks are not meant to live out in the wild so not having proper nutrition early in life could have caused this, or they could have caught something from the wild ducks (ducks hide illness well, so sometimes you won’t know until it’s too late), the only part i find weird is that they died the same night.
They were abandoned, but I'm pretty sure we scooped them up the very same day. They were just alongside a road sitting where they were probably left. Their behavior had always been very odd, and they did not act like other domestic ducks I've seen others keep. I don't doubt that from wherever they had been raised at that they were probably not properly cared for while they were growing. Dying in the same night (and same time best I could tell) is quite strange, and I wonder if something had poisoned them. I also lost a beehive today very suddenly, from what also seemed like a poisoning.
 

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