Two drunk geese and a drunk duck..... watermelon wine??

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Gator113, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. Gator113

    Gator113 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2009
    Port Angeles, Washington
    Well, I thought I was watching two of my young African geese and a Muscovy duck die.

    The duck is about 8 weeks old. The 2 geese are about 5 weeks old. We have been raising them in the house in a dog crate, until they get old enough to put with the non-related adults.

    Today the weather was great here, 60* or more, so I took them outside for exercise and a dip in their pool (new small oil change pan). I like playing with them and I have done this several times.

    We had been outside for about 30 minutes. They, along with their buddies were having fun playing in the pool and eating fresh grass. My wife had purchased an over ripe watermelon about 2 weeks ago. I ate a bit of it and decided we would toss it to the chickens.... they love the stuff. I forgot about the melon and it wasn't until today that I decided to treat the gang. It had been in the refrigerator for about 12 days. I had given them small bit shortly after we bought the melon and we didn't have any trouble.

    Today I had about 8 young birds all in a small exercise pen. I tossed out enough melon for them all to enjoy. About 15 minutes later, I noticed one of the geese having trouble with balance, soon he would fall forward, backward and to the sides. The poor guy looked very drunk. Then I notice that another goose was having the same problems, and then a duck began doing the same thing.

    I picked up the birds and I had to hold their limp necks from folding over... I was concerned their airway might be shut off. I held them for as much as 30 minutes. My wife brought me a heated rice pillow on the chance they needed to warm up, but they were not cold and there was no reason for them to be.

    All three of these guys looked very drunk. I'm surprised that a watermelon would ferment so quickly.... I don't know that one could. Anyway, about 30 minutes into this ordeal, the birds regained their ability to function, yet they still seemed dazed. I put them into their crate and monitored them for the next hour. They got back to looking completely normal. I took them out again and introduced them to the big guys. They all did fine and ate some fresh growing grass. We were out there for about an hour and they seemed as normal as ever.

    So, did I inadvertently get my pals drunk? Is watermelon poisonous to these critters? Does anyone have any other ideas as to what happened?

    These guys looked seriously smashed.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  2. Alicia G

    Alicia G Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2010
    Nova Scotia
    Watermelon is not poisonous to my knowledge. Ive fed it to my waterfowl for years. If something has sugars in it, it has the potential to ferment. So ya it sounds like your Birds got smashed off some watermelon wine! [​IMG]
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Yes, alcohol has the same effect on birds it does on humans, and it can also poison them in excess. I wouldn't repeat the experience if I were you - if something smells like wine, compost it instead.
  4. critterranch

    critterranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Red Creek, New York
    i've gotten my chickens drunk before like this. they will be fine. its too funny though
  5. Gator113

    Gator113 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2009
    Port Angeles, Washington
    Thank you, Folks. I really appreciate your time on this.

    I'm new to all of this and I'm loving it, except when I lose one.

    When I first noticed that something was going on, I was extremely concerned. As time went on and I began seeing a bit of improvement, it looked quite funny.

    If my crew is suffering a hangover, they're sure not showing it.

    This morning they are full of life and just as chipper and playful as ever.

    Over the last 1 1/2 years of living with birds around, I have experienced a few sad times--death from predators (crow, raccoons, owls, murdering chickens, etc.), death from unknown reasons and even my own dog tried to play with one and killed it. My German Shepherd dog truly felt bad about what he'd done.

    Yet, even with these losses, these guys have added very much to my life. It would not surprise me if at this time next year, there will be 100 or more Geese and ducks around here. LOL Yes, I love this stuff that much. ;>)

    Anyway, I'm glad they were just drunk and that it didn't get more serious. I do wish I had this on video, but at the time I had my hands full, literally. ;>)


  6. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    Same thing happened a couple of years ago when my Indian Runner ducks were young. I didn't realize the watermelon had gone "bad"..... lol. I tossed it in the compost pile with other over ripe veggies I got from a friend. Funny though, it didn't affect the chickens just the ducks. They were fine but I won't do that again.

    I have to admit, it was kind of funny. LOL.
  7. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Durham, Connecticut
    My geese and ducks love watermelon and we've never had a problem with it- but I always give it to them fresh then remove the rind when they are done.

  8. Gator113

    Gator113 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2009
    Port Angeles, Washington
    Quote:Great pic. I'll keep it fresh from here on out.

    I was surprised that it fermented. Had I known, I may have eaten it myself. ;>)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

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