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mousjoos

Here we go again

Went to let the ducks out this morning & 9 out of the 11 were dead or dying
Those still standing had their heads right down on their chests & could move but not quickly
One dead one had been partly eaten...rats most likely

I hope this is not a repeat of last year...we're having less & less luck with all things "poultry"

Recently-sick-goose is also about to pop off...was found lying on the ground, & when picked up, had the head-rolling going on
Chez

Can you get a PM done? It's about fifty quid in the UK.
mousjoos

Haven't asked, but vets here don't seem that keen from what I hear

I've burned the corpses this afternoon, & most of the straw from their pen

I imagine it's something to do with rats, but I've not seen any, & all the other birds seem very healthy
SandraR

Have you considered botulism
mousjoos

Have you considered botulism


yes but the chap from whom I bought most of my chooks told me to look for a green lump in white chicken poo, when this happened last time...I don't know if the effects are the same in ducks

the ducks were fine yesterday, if appearances are anything to go by
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Can you clarify, the ducks were all fine the previous evening? Scary how fast it's taken effect. Any sign of loose or bloody droppings? Any poisons/pesticides nearby? If they access a stream, has anything happene upstream?
mousjoos

There are 2 females left; no signs of injury or illness (so far), just a bit depressed

spoke to my neighbour & explained that 1 of the drakes was badly eaten, & he reckons it's not rats, but possibly "une bellette" (vicious weasly type thing; or something I can't spell, but that is similar to a marten

looked for signs in the duck poo but nothing out of the ordinary...also they'd spent the previous few days running around the newly-fenced field, so probably pooped away from home
Chez

If it's a weasel, they will have puncture marks at the base of the neck, disguised by the feathers, and the ones not immediately dead will often have difficulty controlling their head movement. They usually don't survive. Horrid little things. They have huge territories and only meet at the edge with other weasels occasionally to make more weasels - even their own species only tolerate them long enough to have one night stands.

I wondered about either botulism or duck viral eneritis. Both very quick. Or some sort of poison or contaminated feed?
mousjoos

I think it's weasel-related

The corn we give them lasts long enough for the effects to not be overnight (hope that makes sense) & all the other birds eat the same stuff

the short-lived survivors were very wobbly, & the dead ones were very dead

The field has no pesticides or anything of that nature, & we use nothing close to the house

I cremated everyone just in case
Chez

Arvo caught the one that was working through out stock by accidentally standing on it's tail as he wrestled the cockerel off of it.
mousjoos

My neighbour has the necessary licence here to catch & kill vermin....he's coming over later
Chez

Better than beating them to death with a spade as they're attached to the toe of your boot and trying to climb your trouser leg.
mousjoos

I see your point, sounds unnecessarily complicated
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