It's a cruel world...

21 November, 2013

Note: this post contains pictures of dead animals. Do not read if you feel this may offend.

I have sad news. The duckling has died.

When I went out this morning to feed the ducks, I couldn't see the little one doing its usual running around. I was immediately worried. 

I had been a little concerned as last week the adult male ducks Bloom and Thal had started going after the little one. Just a few badly aimed nips, and Heston the mother duck had well protected the little one by keeping the boys at a safe distance. But I had read that male ducks can kill the ducklings, so I was concerned. I then put up some barriers in the duck pen dividing the pen in half so that the boys had their half and Heston and little one had theirs.


This seemed to work pretty well, although on the odd occasion I saw little one run into the boys' half and then run out pretty quickly.

Maybe this time it didn't run quickly enough.

So this morning when I went into the pen I couldn't see little one anywhere around mum as usual. And it didn't appear. I was hoping it might have just been under the duck house, or in some of the greenery.

But no, I found the little duckling body in the boys' half near the pond.


It was so sad.

I picked up his little cold body and smoothed out his wet little feathers and cried. I'm tearing up writing about it now.


It was the first time I held it.

I felt terrible. Could I have done something to prevent this? Smaller lattice to divide up the pen so little one couldn't have gotten into trouble, maybe.

I buried it in the corner of the garden where there are lots of green plants and snails and bugs it will never get to experience. I hope there are lots in duckling heaven. Not that I believe in that, but its a nice thought.

So to finish, here are some bittersweet pics of the little duckling doing its little duckling things.



So long little one. It was a joy to know you.

16 comments:

  1. Oh no, nature is so cruel, and it is such an awful thing to lose a little creature who has just been born, and who is in your care. So sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is sad, but I like to think it had a happy life for that week.

      Delete
  2. The problem with being a sentient species is that we can't take it when we see the cruelty of Mother Nature, but it's not cruelty really. It's just well...indifference. It's an evolved system that works well for MN and for all species. But I share your tears all the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right, indifference is the right word. It still hurts though...

      Delete
  3. That's so sad Bek, poor litle thing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We had to put down a pullet who was sick. Not exactly the same thing but it's still sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe not the same, but related. It is sad when circumstances thwart our best laid plans of caring for happy, healthy animals. But that's life I guess.

      Delete
  5. Oh, I'm so sorry! What a shame. I have recently lost two of my chooky girls (Myrtle and Mavis) to a respiratory problem and that was very hard too! The rest are on antibiotics now and should be fine but I miss them and their eggs.

    Its very nice that you popped the little duckling somewhere appropriate. Cute little fella...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear about your chooks. I think it is harder in some ways for animals you've had for a while and become attached to. Even when you get replacements if you choose to do so its just not the same.
      I feel the ducklings' resting place is apt. It comforts me a little.

      Delete
  6. I wonder why the boys attack the ducklings. I guess it serves some sort of purpose but from a human perspective it seems unnecessarily harsh. Sad for you and the duckling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe its a survival of the fittest thing?

      Delete
  7. Wow- what a sad thing to happen.I can imagine how sad it would be. Nature works in mysterious ways- I suspect its like lots of animals- kill the babies and get .a go at mum. I wonder if this wouldn't be such a problem if you only have 1 boy. With 2 boys there's no way for them to know who's the daddy- so perhaps that's why one of them attacked the poor little thing. I hope mama duck hasn't been too distressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That may be it. I was thinking of getting rid of one of the male ducks, either by selling (although I'm not sure who would want a single male duck...) or by the axe. Mama Heston hasn't been distressed at all. She did seem to want to get into the boys part of the pen so I'm guessing she knew that little one had gotten in there but not gotten out. I showed her the body before I buried it. Since then she has pretty much gone back to her pre-sitting usual behaviour, though she hasn't started laying again yet.

      Delete