Upon eagerly opening the box, we found ten of them dead, five alive.
We nursed the remaining frail five ducklings as best we could throughout the day, but lost one after another until by night time, only one was left. So to give him (her?) some chance of survival overnight, we put him in with the five goslings who arrived this past Wednesday.
As the saying goes, one is not like the other.
Lo and behold, "The Lone Ranger" (as we've dubbed him) made it through the night and is happily running around with his new brooder buddies this morning.
Needless to say, it's been a rocky start, in many ways, to our season of building our own breeding stock of geese and ducks. Here's hoping the sailing gets a little smoother from here on out.
I so feel for you. It is slow going to build your own flock and losses are just so sad. Our poor turkey hens got off to laying well but it has been hard on them [one died from it]. One wanted the ducklings and abandoned her nest to chase them around. We do have 8 of the sweetest Australorp X Buff chicks though and of course MR house chick. Good luck and hang in there!
I hope that Lone Ranger has a long and healthy life at your place. Do you have any clues as to why so many of this order died? Too long enroute? Too cold? Too hot? Diseased?
Fiona - We're gonna keep trying. It's just going to take longer than we hoped.
That's funny (but not when you wanted her to hatch out her own clutch of little ones) that your hen turkey decided the ducklings must be hers!
Fairview Farm - We contacted the hatchery with the bad news and he said he's had lots of trouble shipping to Minnesota saying he believes there's a "bottleneck" somewhere in the postal service and they get stuck in that location too long. The poor, little duckling bodies looked healthy, but the stress of the trip was obviously too much for them.
Thanks for commenting!
That is just the saddest sight. My chicks took almost five days to reach me - bottleneck was in Minneapolis. Will they send a new shipment?
Susan - The hatchery guy said he can't afford to lose any more ducklings. But he is refunding our money in full. We'd still rather have had the ducklings. :o(
Oh dear, how sad...poor little things...The Lone Ranger will be a special one. At one point in my life I wanted a little hobby farm, but the more I read about the losses, the more I realize I'm not emotionally cut out for it. That would have made me a tearful mess! I'll stick to my dogs and cats I think! I hope you're okay Mama Pea!
Rain - I have to say it was a very depressing day for both hubby and me. Kinda took the stuffings out of us as one after another of the four ones that arrived alive died. At least we didn't feel losing them was because of anything we'd done . . . or not done.
Good to hear from you again, Rain! :o]
I am very sorry for your loss. It is so sad, physically emotionally drained. But you do not give up easily.
Oh my goodness! Sorry about your loss. Hope The Lone Ranger continues to thrive.
Terrible loss for you and for the hatchery. What state were they being sent from?
That's too bad about your little ducklings. It's a shame they have to be shipped from so far away. I do love the name you gave to the survivor, though.
We have something called "The Fur and Feather Show" twice a year in a 'nearby' town where people buy and sell all sorts of small animals and fowl. It's where we got our very first flock of Rhode Island Reds. We were total newbies and got sold older hens who were not in their laying prime anymore. Live and learn. -Jenn
DDD - I know birds/animals certainly aren't the same as human beings, but you just hate to think what they may have suffered. :o(
Laurie - Thanks. So far, so good!
Tami - They were shipped from Oklahoma, 3-Day Priority. Shipped on Tuesday morning, arrived on Friday morning.
Jenn - I do wish we had something like your "fur and feather" show but we're in a very sparsely populated area where there aren't many folks raising animals of any kind.
Shame on those people who sold you the old hens past their prime!
She is showing a maternal side and that is so good. When we got our turkey poults last August they came from New Mexico where they were hatched for Meyer. Then flown to Roanoke VA. and USPS to us 25 miles from there. We lost several right away. A breeder we talked to said that some of the facilities they come through have very cold AC and that can affect the chicks/poults etc.. If we ordered again from anywhere we are going to ask how far the baby birds travel so we have some idea. Meyer Hatchery is in Ohio so the New Mexico poults were quite s surprise.
That's so sad! Maybe they should ship Fedex over night!
Nancy - We thought of that. The hatcheries all say the U.S. Postal Service is the only carrier that will accept live birds. :o(
Fiona - You probably did pretty good with your turkey poults because I've always heard they are quite susceptible to not making it the first month or so!
We had thought of perhaps the heat being a factor for the ducklings shipped from Oklahoma . . . but I had never thought of AC affecting them adversely also. It's a touch and go situation getting birds shipped, period! Sigh.
Is this a new hatchery for you? Doesn't sound like they do a very good job of shipping.
I'd demand a refund and find local (?)
Craigslist often has good folks that have young for sale.
So sorry this order had such a bad turnout.
Best to you
dang! that's awful. so sorry. I hope you can get a refund or try and get more ducks... :/
Oh my! Kind of makes you think you need to look for another way to get ducks. Our location in the 'heartland' makes shipping a pretty low risk proposition. Do any of the local farm supply establishments take custom orders?
I'm so, so sorry to read about what happened -- I hope the others continue to do well!!
So sorry about this. It makes me realize the ups and downs we are in for when we eventually get to the farm full time (still a few years way). Can't wait to see Lone Ranger's progress!
Sue - Unfortunately, in our remote, sparsely populated area (which is NOT farm country in the least) there is no local place to find Muscovy ducklings which is what we want to try. We don't even have a Craigslist within 120 miles.
The hatchery man said he doesn't want to chance shipping another batch because of just losing money again. But he is giving us a full refund.
Patricia - Yes, we are getting a full refund and husband has located another hatchery in Ohio which may have some Muscovies. We'll see . . .
Mark - Our nearest farm supply store is over 100 miles away (yep, we are far from everything!) and all they handle are run-of-the-mill, most popular varieties, no Muscovies. We'll figure something out.
Kim - Our little Lone Ranger is still happily cavorting with the five goslings. He/she sleeps right on top of the pile of goslings when they take their naps.
Thanks for commenting!
1st Man - No, it doesn't always go as smoothly as one would like it to. The old saying that when you are dealing with livestock, you're gonna have dead stock is, unfortunately, sometimes true. I'm happy to report little Lone Ranger is doing very well in with the five goslings! We feel good about that.
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