So, earlier this year my father decided he wanted some chickens, and he also bought a duck. He kept them in a cage about 6x14, and once the Pekin was
grown, we both figured he would do well with some space...and pond. So, I brought that duck back to my place, where there's a 1.5 acreish pond.
Growing up with chickens, the duck thought it was a chicken, and was scared to death of the water. Oh, he's friendly, he just seemed a bit lonely, so
I thought maybe I should get him a couple friends.
So I did. About 2 weeks ago while at Tractor Supply, they had Pekin ducklings, so I bought two. Keep them in a cage during the night and when I am not
at home, otherwise I let them out as much as possible. They LOVE each other. The ducklings follow him around, and he follows them around, especially
when it's treat time. When I bring out the mealworms, the ducklings go crazy, pipping and squeaking like a crackhead needing a fix, and the big duck
chimes right in, quack-quacking like no one's business. They follow me down to the pond but won't get in.
One week ago, after going to TS again, they had some rouen ducklings, so I got two of those, too. I left the two duckling breeds apart for almost a
week, and introduced them day before yesterday. After pecking order, they are all the bestest of best friends.
Today, I get up and I go outside to check on them, making sure they have food and water, which they do. The big duck is sitting right by their cage,
wondering why they are inside and can't come out to play. At night, boy does he give me an earful when I put them up, getting six inches from my face
quack quacking like "What the # are you doing?!" Then he tries to get in there with them, and I let him once, but he knocked over their water tray. As
I have explained to it multiple times, once they get bigger they don't have to be locked up. Anyway, they were fine when I left.
I went to my uncle's house for a birthday bash for a few hours, and came home. The first thing I went to do, before I even went inside, was to let
them out of the cage. When I approached the cage, I didn't know what the # was going on. One of the pekin ducklings was rolling around, the food was
scattered, and he was covered in filth, rolling and flopping around, unable to stand. I let the other one out quickly, and picked up the other,
examining it. What was wrong? Did he break his neck or leg, but how? He seemed fine, except for rashes where he struggled to stand. He could move his
neck fine, feet worked, just had zero balance or coordination, like the ether had set in. I set him down, he tried to stand, feet extended but he
just fell over rolling around, head going this way and that, flopping around. That scared the hell out of me.
I had NO idea what to do or what was wrong and thought I was going to have to put him down. I put him in a smaller plastic tub with some straw, food,
and water, and propped him up in the corner, then on to the internet. Is it a vitamin deficiency? They eat the proper food and it happened in the span
of a few hours, but I decided to immediately go buy some supplements, especially electrolytes and other vitamins. As I was driving, I started
thinking. Did he get stung and have an allergic reaction? There were red rashes on his wings from rolling and flailing around, and his stomach.
I get home, and he is much calmer, propped up on his back in the corner of the plastic tub. Nursed him to get some damned electrolyte water in him,
and he drank a little, but still couldn't properly sit for a while, poor thing, just reclined in the corner. Not long after he was able to actually
properly "sit" without falling over.
Then a light bulb went off in my head. "Did he have a #n heat stroke???" Took back to the internets, and those symptoms seemed to more closely
resemble what had happened.
So I took him into the AC, where it's like 68, and put him in the basement bathroom. Then I went and got a cold pack from the freezer and stuck that a
few inches from him.
Every 30 minutes or so I check on him.
First, he took the initiative to eat a little food.
Second time I went in there, he was standing, and said a few things.
Third time, he was standing there raising hell, looking at me like either "Thank you thank you!" or "Let me the hell out of here and back with my
friends!"Fourth time, he's just chilling, lets me caress him, snuggled up to the cold pack, and he seems much happier and to be doing much better,
Fifth time, he's ready to get the hell out!Sixth time, just chilling.
That was scary, and I had no idea what to do or what was wrong. I never knew they could get heat stroke like that, and the cage is always in the shade
So I'm going to start freezing some water bottles and keeping them in the cage when they're in there.
He (it) has since and so far recovered, but I'm going to keep him inside for a day or two, just in case. .
I just hope he (it) continues to do all right.
edit on 8-8-2020 by Liquesence because: (no reason given)