Two mature runners just dropped dead with 24 hours; heartbroken

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2018
3,085
17,963
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North Central Iowa
i have no idea what's going on, but I'm scared more ducks will die. In both cases, the ducks were fine at breakfast, out with the rest of the flock and dead by dinner.

Tonight, I was putting the ducks into their shelter for the night and only found eight. My beloved Quinn, my first runner hen, was lying dead on the ground. She was my favorite, the most personable duck I've ever known. Quinn would jump up and down with joy whenever she saw me with feed or treats, and this morning, she was trying to get into one of the chicken coops to steal their food. I had to push her back -- like always -- because she was always an enthusiastic thief.

Yesterday, Skylar, one of my original drakes, was dead in the shelter at midday. Neither he nor Quinn have any visible marks nor were they acting differently. Suddenly, they were just dead.

Both were from the same breeder, same hatch and about 5 1/2 years old. The weather has been significantly colder and wetter lately. They were eating the same feed for the last several months, a duck feed by Nutrena. They sleep in a semi-enclosed shelter, where they've been living since they were ducklings. During the day when I am home, they range freely with chickens and geese.

I have no idea what's going on. I'm sad about Sky (only one of the original four is still alive), but I am heartbroken about Quinny already. She was so special. Quinn was the only one of my runners that laid green eggs, and she once laid a completely shelled egg within another shelled egg. I miss her already.
 

FunnyfarmMidwest

Call Duck obsessed! 🦆💕
Mar 14, 2020
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i have no idea what's going on, but I'm scared more ducks will die. In both cases, the ducks were fine at breakfast, out with the rest of the flock and dead by dinner.

Tonight, I was putting the ducks into their shelter for the night and only found eight. My beloved Quinn, my first runner hen, was lying dead on the ground. She was my favorite, the most personable duck I've ever known. Quinn would jump up and down with joy whenever she saw me with feed or treats, and this morning, she was trying to get into one of the chicken coops to steal their food. I had to push her back -- like always -- because she was always an enthusiastic thief.

Yesterday, Skylar, one of my original drakes, was dead in the shelter at midday. Neither he nor Quinn have any visible marks nor were they acting differently. Suddenly, they were just dead.

Both were from the same breeder, same hatch and about 5 1/2 years old. The weather has been significantly colder and wetter lately. They were eating the same feed for the last several months, a duck feed by Nutrena. They sleep in a semi-enclosed shelter, where they've been living since they were ducklings. During the day when I am home, they range freely with chickens and geese.

I have no idea what's going on. I'm sad about Sky (only one of the original four is still alive), but I am heartbroken about Quinny already. She was so special. Quinn was the only one of my runners that laid green eggs, and she once laid a completely shelled egg within another shelled egg. I miss her already.
So very sorry for your losses. :hit Quinny and Skylar sound like they were very special ducks! You gave them both a wonderful life! :hugs
 

BirdsBeesTrees

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Premium Feather Member
Mar 10, 2019
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Iowa
We lost 2 feeder piglets within a couple days so I had my husband drop one off at the vet for testing. He gave us a couple shot in the dark diagnosis and we decided to send it off to Iowa State for testing.
We still haven't heard anything from them so they must be pretty backlogged. It hasn't ever taken this long before...
So I don't know if this is an option for you, but it may take extra time to get some answers.
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2018
3,085
17,963
766
North Central Iowa
Thanks to everyone for their kind words.

Skylar was usually content to just hang out with the flock. But going out yesterday to take care of the ducks and not having my silly Quinn jumping up and down for breakfast then trying to sneak into the chickens coops to steal food actually made me cry.

The good news is, the other eight were okay.

I won't be getting Quinn or Skylar tested. Maybe I should, but as I think about it, with the exception of the drake killed by a mink, all of my runners that died pretty much went the same way -- suddenly and with no symptoms. Maybe there's something genetic about these runners, all came from the same breeder.

The ISU testing lab is about an hour away; in the past, the process has been pricey and takes a while. I am hoping the deaths are over; I will probably blame it on my runners' age and the sudden change from warm, sunny weather to cold, rainy overcast stuff.
 

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