Three dead ducks, no blood, no bite marks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by JHaller, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. JHaller

    JHaller Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Austin TX
    I had 5 healthy adult ducks this morning, this afternoon I found my WH drake, a WH duck, and a KC duck dead in the yard. All were on their bellies with their heads turned backwards, as though napping; all were barely warm to the touch. I cannot find a bite mark or a blood drop anywhere on them.

    They were found within 6 feet of one another, near my beehives. One hive was very excited, enough to make me go get my bee jacket to continue the investigation. The rooster and six hens were unharmed, the other two ducks were taking shelter behind their coop,

    Does this scenario sound familiar to anyone? I was thinking a hawk tried to carry them off, but one of the ducks was slightly under a table. I cannot find a claw mark or any loose feathers.

    Could something have poisoned them? I've been doing internet searches and coming up empty.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Ashleymarie529

    Ashleymarie529 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2017
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    That's terrible! They looked like they were napping? That's not a seizure... would a poisoned duck just lay down and die?? I have no idea but I hope someone can help. I'm at a loss....
     
  3. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any chance they got stung by the bees? Do you see any bee stings under their feathers?
     
  4. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seesm reall strange unless they all ate the same thing and all died that fast......
    i am thinking bees too... but seems like they would try to get up and move if the bees were bothering them...
    so crazy, and so sorry for your loss. What a mystery [​IMG]
     
  5. JHaller

    JHaller Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Austin TX
    OMG, I was going to do a necropsy on one of dead ducks. When I looked at the bird under the bright light, I tweezed out some "dirt" that turned out to be stingers! I pulled about 80+ bits of dirt and feather which mostly turned out to be stingers. Against the background of a white paper towel, it was unmistakeable that I was pulling stingers. I'll post some pictures.

    The other two birds were also full of stingers. One girl was particularly hit hard because her head was a little bare from rough mating. She also had a congenital eye issue, and her eye areas were badly covered with stingers.

    I was surprised I didn't notice the stingers in the daylight, because they looked at first like dried soil from dabbling. I think the ducks must have curled up trying to defend themselves and then succumbed to the apitoxin.

    How awful...I worked one of the hives yesterday, and the bees were sweet and docile. They were highly excited a few weeks ago, to the point where I opted out of opening the hive. I'm in my ninth year of poultry keeping, 7th year of beekeeping, and never seen bees go after the birds.

    I'll be discussing this with a poultry expert in the morning, if possible. I'll update when I can.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh no! Sorry to hear that, but at least you know what the culprit was.
     
  7. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow poor ducks! Thats so sad [​IMG] But yes now you know
     
  8. Ashleymarie529

    Ashleymarie529 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is absolutely insane... do you have a lot of dead bees? Don't bees die when they sting?
     
  9. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    I will be following this and waiting to hear. Gosh that is so sad and awful. :( I was planning to set a beehive near my duck pen...not now.
     
  10. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps

    I see you live in Texas. Could have your bees become Africanized?
     

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