I just happened to catch the mama and ducklings feeding under the tree. The last few times I've seen them I've noticed that one of the ducklings is a bit of a runt. Well today, the runt duckling - whom I have christened "Homer" for no explicable reason - was staggering around while feeding. Occasionally Homer would plop down for no real reason, and then when the ducklings/mother headed back down to the pond, Homer was way, way behind.
I remembered reading something about ducklings that staggered around, and I just found it again: "Ducklings are also extremely fragile, easily chilled and can be injured due to overhandling. An improper diet can rapidly lead to hypoglycemia. A very young duckling that is staggering or appears "drunk" is hypoglycemic and will die unless it is provided with some source of sugar. "
I'm not sure why this one duckling seems to be sick, and the other seven look healthy and strong. But now I'm debating whether or not Homer needs an intervention. When the family was heading back to water Homer was a good 10-feet behind. If there are predators around, it's going to be picked off easily.Posted by Highwaygirl on May 31, 2004 01:10 PM to the category Animals