Friday, April 22, 2016

brownie the immortal?

a couple of days ago i found brownie (our little chocolate duck) collapsed and limp.  she'd been fine half-an-hour before, running and foraging and splashing in the pool with the rest of the flock.  it's possible she ate a bad mushroom or something, i really have no idea.  she was breathing and somewhat conscious so i filled a needleless syringe with honey (a tip i'd learned from @apricotvalleywf , some duck keepers i talk to on twitter), hinged her bill open and started putting honey down her.  she seemed sort of like she was in shock (a gut feeling more than anything else.  in dogs you can press on their gums with a finger---if the pale spot you make with finger pressure doesn't turn pink again immediately they're getting shocky---can't really do that with ducks but the skin on her legs seemed kind of shriveled and i took that as an equivalent to pale gums)  so i massaged her vigorously between shots of honey, rubbing and patting and squeezing her to try and get her blood circulating.  after every round of honey and massaging she got a little stronger.  when she could hold her head up on her own and started paddling her feet when i'd pick her up i knew she had a chance.  at that point i decided to take her into the greenhouse where she'd be safe and warm and i could continue to look after her.  just as i was opening the door to take her inside she nibbled my shoulder and sort of looked at me like "thanks for the help, don't worry, i got this".   i gave her a little more honey (she started fighting the syringe at this point) and then it seemed best to let her have a quiet rest on the greenhouse "lawn".  within about 30 minutes of hanging out in the greenhouse she was on her feet, rooting around in the grass and yelling her head off at me.  brownie is our smallest duck but she's also the loudest and most talkative so it was great to hear her giving me hell again.  
staal made her some rice which she hogged down enthusiastically and i watched her a little while longer.  she seemed completely normal, i never would have believed she had been practically dead an hour before that if i hadn't seen it.  i returned her to the flock before she started showing too much interest in my succulent collection.