Sunday, May 10, 2009

First farm fatality

We had out first animal die today. It was Sage, one of our ducklings. I moved them outside 4 days ago. They have been in a large pen on grass with a dog cage to sleep in. They had shade and water, so I don't think he overheated.

He was lying on his side, he had a wet neck and a little bit of blood by one of his eyes. The only thing that could have gotten to him was the other duckling. So, I'm not sure if he was attacked, or got overheated or what.

So now Thyme is alone. He/she is too small to let out with the hens, but too big to put with the chicks. I'm not sure what to do if anything.

Any ideas on why Sage may have died or what to do with Thyme would be appreciated!

In other news, scissor beak is hanging in there. He is smaller than the rest but seems to be getting enough food to stay alive.


Ron said...

Sorry to hear about that. I wish I had helpful advice, but I don't.

I have a lonely turkey... I know what to do with him but don't have permission. :(


Amy ~ 12 Acres said...

I'm sorry to hear about your duckling. That's very sad. Losing a duckling or two is normal. Sometimes they have congenital conditions that aren't obvious to the naked eye. I lost 2 out of my 10 last spring and not for any reason that I could detect. A wet neck and a bit of blood tells me a predator was involved. I think it's very unlikely that he was attacked by another duckling. Ducks just don't operate that way from what I've observed. Chickens do, but not waterfowl.

ChristyACB said...

I'm so sorry you lost the little one but glad to hear Chicken Scissorbeak is hanging in there.

You asked about movies. Some recent Doomer movies that were good, but not stellar, were The First Next Time, Wild Palms, The Happening, Equilibrium, Imposter.

A few that were really, really good were On The Beach (both versions), Panic in the Year Zero and WALL-E.

Seen any of those?

Berte said...

That's so sad about Sage. Was your fencing large enough that he could have stuck his neck through and a dog or something tried to "play" with him? I've never heard of a duckling attacking another duckling like that. If he's still too big to put in with the smaller ones, I would keep him in close proximity with the others so hear can hear and see them because soon they will be big enough to let Thyme in with them and by then, he will be accustom to their group and not be an outcast.
RiverBend Farm

linda m said...

I am so sorry to hear about Sage. A wet neck and blood does suggest a predator, maybe a large bird. Hopefully Thyme doesn't get too lonely. By the way, Happy Belated Mother's Day! :)

berryvine said...

I am sorry to hear about the duckling.Could a cat have reached in the bars? It is really hard to tell with animals especially birds.

Anonymous said...

Hey Christy,
I am sorry to hear about Sage.
It sounds like a snake.(maybe)
The snakes will get in through the tiniest wire and wrap around good size fowls.
Last year we had a snake strangle several of our chickens when they were several weeks old and too big for the snake to swallow.
Then this year we had that snake in the quail pen that actually ate 2 of the grown quails and killed 2 more.
Yesterday we had one snake in the duck pen and one snake in the chicken house.
Sorry, but there are lots of snakes in the country here in Georgia.
Hopefully, it wasn't a snake in your case though.

Christy said...

Pam - That makes the most sense. I know it wasn't a dog or a cat. It is possible one of our chickens did it through the wire, but a snake could easily fit into their pen. We've seen a big black snake hanging around the last few weeks. He's been in the barn and in the bushes by the house. I guess I will move Thyme to somewhere safer until he is bigger.

Melody said...

If you could get another duck soon, that would be best so that they can pal around together. They might ignore each other at first, but they'll warm up to each other.

Animals form cliques, so if you wait, your duck will just hang out with the chickens or alone. (You'd notice the clique thing if you got another batch of chicks. All the chicks that grew up together "hang out" with each other and ignore the others. It is an interesting thing to see. - Eventually after living together for a while, they all live peacefully, though usually having pals they prefer)

Babies die. That is my motto, though a disturbing one. For no reason sometimes, they die anyway. They are fragile. By the time they reach adolescence their survival rate improves dramatically, and live unless there is an accident, so just getting them to that point of maturity is the goal.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Sorry to hear about the duckiling especially since that only leaves one, I hope you can get another one.

About the clover - I read that you don't want the goats eating strickly clover (too much of a good thing I guess), I sowed the seeds in grass, along fence line, in some bare spots among grass, etc.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so sorry to hear that Christy. It is never easy to lose an animal, even though it is part of farm life. I agree with the others, in that it sounds like a snake, and that the other duckling would probably do better with a bit of company. You have some very well informed readers girl! What a blessing! Here's hoping thee are no more loses for your budding farm this year.

Wendy said...

I'm sorry to hear about your duck. It's always hard when one of them dies.

Kelly said...

Its tough, when any of them die. I know. Sometimes weeks go by, things go so well, and then BAM it happens, someone dies. I am not sure, but it sounds to me like maybe something tried to pull it through the pen? If the neck was wet and blood. Possums and raccoons are notorious for that neck chewing. I am sorry she is all alone now. Maybe you can find another friend for her soon. I read up on your chick with the crossbeak. I have one too right now. Its one of the silver laced polish, but he seems to be eating and drinking fine, and if he wasnt, well, he wouldnt last long. I wont breed or show him, but he can live out his days here without worry. I hope your little one will be okay too. :) Hugs, Kelly

Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

awww such sad news! I hate it when we loose one of our family-critters! I sure wish i had some advice but I just know NOTHING about ducks except that I like them! LOL My guess tho would be that another duckling got to him....such is life on a farm!
Your others guys seem to all be doing nicely! Loved the updates on the post before this!

CeeCee said...

So sorry!
I too, was thinking the duckling stuck it's head out the fence and it was attacked by something.
You'd better run right out and find it two more friends. The best rule to have when having flock animals---get at least three, that way if one dies, the others still have a friend.
Good luck with your snake situation. We have enormous black snakes, but they are only interested in the eggs. I just put them in a bucket and relocate them about a mile away. They are soooo good for the environment that I can't bear to kill them.

warren said...

Bummer...sorry. Happy to hear about scissorbeak though!

Gayle said...

The chickens would peck as well as other birds. A weasel or something of that sort would have taken him away. Snakes never entered my mind since we don't have any here, but that may be it. I'm so glad I don't deal with that. I would complete lose it if I saw a snake in my barn or greenhouse or anywhere. And after I was done losing it I'd get an axe. Ick! Good luck with not losing anymore animals.