Still chillin' with my peeps
- Mar 13, 2008
I just lost a Pekin female, approx. 1 1/2 yrs. old. About 1 1/2 mos. ago, she had a severe bout of coccidiosis -- yes, I took her and her companion to the vet, and that was his Dx. His recommendation was to keep ALL the poultry on this place on the medicated chick starter as their everyday feed. (He was the vet who helped me deal with the coccidia and Marek's issues last Spring). I had switched everyone over, and all seemed to be doing fine. The two ducks seemed to be feeling fine, and were putting on a little bit of weight. They are not tame, apparently they weren't handled much as little ones and do NOT like to be touched. Nevertheless, a few days ago I got in a quick "feel-exam" and noticed they were both putting on a bit of weight and were not as thin. Yesterday they were both acting normal, and went in for "bedtime" just fine. This morning when I talked to them as I was coming through the run gate to go to their pen and open their door, only the drake answered, very softly and tentatively. I stepped inside, and sure enough, Abby was on her side, dead. There was a caramel colored liquid that had pooled around her beak. There was no liquid/poo around her vent at all. I had to go somewhere and did not have time to bury her immediately because the ground is like CONCRETE here (10" and counting short of normal rainfall for this time of year) and would have to be deeply soaked b/f I'd be able to dig. When I got back this evening, he was still sitting beside her (I had moved her out of their sleeping enclosure (wire-wrapped 10x10 chainlink kennel w/ a doghouse inside) with plans to bury her when I got back. He refused to leave her -- the only way I could get him into the sleeping pen for the night was to bring her body in first, and then he came in. I took her body back out with me while he was busy eating. Two questions -- any ideas on what might have caused her death, and should I try to find him a companion? If so, a very young one? An older hen? ??? I need you duck owners' expertise & wisdom, please!