Chicken killed, one left. What to do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies, Illness, Meds & Cures' started by Nicol, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Nicol

    Nicol New Member

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    When we moved into this house there were four chickens that came with the house. One hung itself in the coop, one somehow got out and died. And last night a raccoon got the third one. Now there is one left. Can chickens live alone? That seems cruel. We are moving soon and so are not attached to keeping her but she has scaly leg mites and I’m guessing no one is going to want her. What are the options here? Could we get her another chicken? We had two Plymouth chickens and two buff Brahma chickens. The Plymouth chickens never got the scaly leg mites. The buff Brahma is left. The other bb died last night. Any advice so much appreciated. We don’t want to leave her alone and traumatized. I’m sure she’s scared.
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Put her somewhere secure because the coon will be back.

    It would be wonderful if you can take her with you and yes, she does need a buddy. Chickens are very flock oriented. About like horses are herd animals.

    Don't know if you read how to deal with scaly leg mites but I raised mostly feather legged birds and the normal way didn't work with them. I did find using Ivermectin pour on, 1/2 cc for large fowl, was effective in clearing them. Repeat in ten days.
     
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  3. Nicol

    Nicol New Member

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    Hi there. Thanks so much for the quick response.
    Yes - I closed the coop door. I had mostly left it open because we have layers of fences and nothing has ever happened. That was wishful thinking obviously.
    Would we just get a little chick for the farm store? We’ve never had a little chicken. Or would we try to find an adult?
    I was told that getting rid of scaly leg mites is impossible. The owner before us said she had no luck. I read that the Chicken Chick says to dip their legs in gasoline, but i couldn’t bring myself to do it.
    Also - would we have to sterilize the the coop before and after treating the chicken? We are in colorado so it’s really cold. Not sure if we would do this now, and if not, are their breeds that we could get that wouldn’t get the scaly leg mites? Also would we just get one more or more than one?
    Sorry for all the questions. I’ve read a lot but not about this situation. And we’re city chicks ourselves.
     
  4. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Your instincts are spot on, don't use the gasoline. Since she is feather legged use the Ivermectin cattle pour on, you just put that half CC on the skin. I usually put it between the wings. A bottle lasts a long time and it will get rid of any other external parasites that might be residing on her.

    It's not impossible to get rid of them. It just needs paying attention to. I only ever had one that had to be watched but he was ten years old and more prone to them than the others. Plus I used the Ivermectin for external parasites so that kept them at bay on all of the others.

    I'm not sure what to tell you on getting a chick. Some hens are fine with it but if you get a chick you're going to have to keep it in under warming lights until it's fully feathered. If you can find another older hen for her it would be a bit easier.

    If you want to have more than two, I'd wait on getting more than one for right now. She needs a buddy. If you bring in two or more that already know each other they can make life rough for the one you now have.

    You can spray their coop down with Permethrin premise spray. Making sure to cover every surface, especially the roost.

    Don't worry about questions. Questions are good if you don't know because it's the birds that pay when we do something because we were afraid to ask.

    And one more thing, chicken personalities can be quite complicated. So be prepared.
     
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  5. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Never ever listen to the chicken chick, she is a ...quack...lol (I have ducks so it's funny to me). Seriously though, she gives the worst advice, I doubt she's ever raised a chicken.

    I agree she absolutely should have a friend but you should try to find an adult probably. I don't know the personality of this chicken but if you get a baby chick, there is a chance that she will "mother" it, she may raise it as her own. On the flip side, she may kill it. it's a chance you'd have to take if you were going to go that route. If you want to hand raise it yourself, you will absolutely need to get 2 chicks, trust me...I've been there, done that, a lonely baby chick is louder than a police siren 24/7. No one for miles around you will sleep.

    If you buy a couple of baby chicks to raise, yes they will need a lot of care at first. Heat lamps or those brinsea warmer things (never used one myself but they are very popular for people that raise a lot of chicks). special chick starter feed, a draft free enclosure away from inquiring other pets. It will take about 6 to 8 weeks for them to be feathered and mature enough to introduce to your current one so think about that too, the one you have left will be alone for the next 6 - 8 weeks.

    Now, all of that being said..I am not recommending that you do this but in a case where you have no other choice, it is possible for you to have a single chicken. You just have to be it's buddy, you have to keep it with you at all times, If you have a job, it will not work unless you get a babysitter. You would probably need to get it some diapers to keep it in the house with you and you have to be outside with her whenever she goes out. I've seen it done but it is highly NOT recommended. It's just too hard for you and also, she is already used to having chicken friends, she may reject you and die of loneliness.

    I really think getting her an adult friend is the best option.
     
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  6. Nicol

    Nicol New Member

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    Thank you so much for the responses. So, we got an adult chicken that someone gave us. She is smaller than our other chicken. Different breeds. The senior chicken, Thelma (a buff brahma bantam), has not liked the new chicken, Louise (a polish). We added her at night. There was squaking the next day. And Thelma was chasing Louise around, but I never saw them make contact. Now they seem more peaceful, no squaking or chasing, but I noticed today (maybe 2 weeks after getting her) that Louise is missing most all of the feathers from the bottom two rungs (I don’t know the lingo) of her wings. She looks otherwise healthy. And she is laying eggs already. Thelma doesn’t lay anymore, I don’t think. So first question,
    1) what is causing this and what to do about it? I haven’t seen her being pecked, and I’m checking on them 3 or 4 times a day. Though this morning when I went out, Thelma had feathers in her beak. Also - they do things separately. Not hanging out together.
    2) what do i do about the fact that both are sleeping in the nesting boxes, not the perch bars. (And the boxes are getting poopy)
    3) We want to get 2 more chickens and 3 ducks. We are not allowed to have ducks in our neighborhood so we are thinking we should get males, so they will be quite. My daughter is set on Cayuga ducks. (We’ve heard Muscovy ducks are quiet but we don’t like how they look - sorry to be vain!). So we need advice - should we get babies or adults, given our situation? My daughter wants babies and has been doing all the research and with all the social isolating for COVID 19, a new chicken and duck project is excellent for a 19 year old, out of school who can’t see her friends! So we’re wanting to do babies. We have space in the house for them while they’re tiny. And in the chicken area of the yard we have a separate chicken house we’ve never used for any animal, as once we built it it seemed too small for our chickens. So when they’re ready to be outside, they could transition from the smaller hen house to the adult chickens hen house and expanded yard.
    4) Will adding the 2 chickens and 3 ducks to the existing adults help Thelma and Louise with their relationship problems, or make it worse?
    5). Are there some other solutions to these issues that you can think of that I haven’t brought up?
    6) Do ducks need water or not? We’ve read both things. We were planning on buying a water trough or something it they need to swim.
     
  7. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    A picture of her would be super helpful since you're still learning the terminology.

    Try blocking off the nest boxes at night. It will not allow them to roost in them.

    I can't answer your questions about the ducks, Sylie can since she has them.

    There is just no way to know which direction will work best. Chickens are far more complicated than people realize until they have to deal with their personalities.
     
  8. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi!
    I'm so gladthat you came and asked these questions, so many people don't ask and then wonder why they are having problems.

    The very first thing that I will say, and this cannot be stressed enough, do not under any circumstances let male ducks around your chickens. Drake (male ducks) have a vicious sex drive. They WILL attempt to make babies with your hens. It is highly likely the act will kill your hens. Drakes have a corkscrew shaped penis that corresponds with a duck's (duck is the appropriate word for a female duck) corkscrew shaped vagina. Chicken hens do not have the same shape and the drake will get stuck. When he attempts to disengage from the chicken it tears it's way out and she bleeds to death in a very short time.
    I apologize for the visual here but it's vital that you keep the drakes away from the chickens.

    Now for your questions lol

    I'm on Tapatalk right now and it won't let me see your post while I'm replying so this may come in several replies

    I remember you asked about water, yes, ducks absolutely must have water. They cannot digest their food without it and will choke. They need water to clean their nares (nostrils) and eyes. The nostrils get clogged with dirt and dust as they plow the ground digging for worms and bugs. They do not scratch like chickens, they use their beaks to dig. If you have ever noticed, all ducks have a spot on the end of their beaks that is a different color than the rest of their beak. Either lighter or darker depending on breed. This spot is called a bean. It is tougher than the rest of their beak in order to help break through hard dirt, to push rocks around etc without damaging the beak.
    Now back to water, they CAN live without swimming but it's not a good idea. They are water fowl, they are most at home in the water, they bathe in it, drink it, sometimes lay eggs in it, if they are egg bound the water helps them get the egg out partially because they are more relaxed in the water than on land. You would find your ducks to be very dirty and unhappy without a pool or pond.
     
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  9. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi again lol
    Question 1 was about missing feathers, like Robin said, a picture of the area of the wing that is missing feathers would be helpful. In the meantime I can take a stab at a couple of things that come to mind.
    Could she be molting? Sometimes they molt in patches, wings included.
    Maybe the other chicken is pulling them out.
    Have you inspected the area for things like mites, sores, infected pores?

    We Will wait to see if you are able to get a picture for us to make any recommendations.
     
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  10. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Question 2
    I agree with Robin, block the nest boxes and see if the will get them to roost.
    2 of my chickens sleep in their nest boxes also, I blocked them off but they just made a bed next to the blocked nest boxes lol. They will not roost (sleep on the perch which is known as a roost) no matter what I do.
    I don't know how far off of the ground they are but you could try lowering the roost. It may be either too high or too low for them.
     
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  11. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Question 3

    I would suggest that you get babies of both/either/or ducks/chicks for several reasons.
    1. Like you mentioned, it would be good for your daughter to have a project. She would have a fun distraction and learn a lot from raising them.
    2. If you try to get adults you could be bringing in illness or disease from the previous place that could wipe out your flock.
    3. Babies are more adaptable/flexible to the new home and routine.
    4. Babies are MUCH cheaper to buy.

    If your city or town is strict on the law you could have problems with the ducks. Drakes are quieter than ducks but they still quack and grunt etc. If they get upset they make a very loud, obnoxious QUUAAAACCKKK QUACKQUACKQUACK. It can be heard for blocks. This goes for drakes and ducks both.
    The choice and risk is yours but it's hard to rehome ducks of either gender if you get caught.

    Question 4
    (Ha, I figured out how to make this work)
    Adding 5 birds to 2 could overwhelm the 2 and you would have bigger problems. It's not hopeless but it would be much harder.

    Question 5
    If you could get pictures of your housing set up, the small coop included then we may be able to help you with that. I can't think of any more solutions at this point.

    Question 6
    I already answered this one before but just a couple of other thoughts on the swimming. The pool or whatever you end up using needs to be deep and wide. You mentioned a trough which makes me think long and skinny, that won't work. A kiddee pool would work. Those 9 or 10 dollar hard sided ones from walmart works, they aren't as deep as the ducks would like but they still get to splash and play and bathe. That's what I have for mine.

    Please keep in mind that ducks are very messy. They love to make mud puddles and stomp in them, they splash in their pools, slurble water everywhere when they drink.
    They do not need food or water in their coop where they sleep at night but they need access to both all day long.

    Also, ducks do not roost, they sleep in ground nests.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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  12. Nicol

    Nicol New Member

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    OK - I just saw all of your responses! Thank you so much!!! I’m going to attach the photos.
    1) I’ve heard Cayuga ducks are quiet. Is that true?
    2) Do you mean just the little baby pool you get a the store? We already have one of those!
    3) Got it on the drakes. I’d heard a podcast on what sounded like duck rape a while back. I’d totally forgotten about that. Thank you so much for that info.
    4) Today we bought 3 chicks (one each of a silver laced Wyandotte, a well summer, and an Americana). If one is a rooster, we’ll have to give away, I’m guessing. We are already pushing the limits on how many. Our zoning says 4 birds.
    5) I don’t see anything wrong with her feathers today. Maybe I mis-saw it, or maybe they were tucked in or something today. IDK.
    6) when we had the 4 chickens (2 Plymouth Rock or something and 2 buff brahmas) they all roosted. But as one and then the other died, they stopped.
    7) I assume the ducks and chickens could live together?
    8) I’m worried not that we got three chicks and in another week I think the Cayuga ducks come in and we thought we’d get three (with the plan of keeping 2 for the long haul). Only getting three in case one turns out to be a male. But if they imprint so much seems cruel to get rid of them. There is a farm we talked to who said they’d take any chicken or duck that turned out to be male. If male and they like the breed they’ll keep them, otherwise they may kill them - in which case I’d need to find a different home for it). This means in total we’d have 8 birds (5 chickens and 3 ducks). We’re only allowed 4 birds, so a little worried about that.
    9) lastly, regarding setup, we were going to put the pullets in the little blue cottage house, while the chickens got used to them - I guess 6 weeks from now? And then let them mix. Thoughts? 5F034CD3-8DDD-49E1-8316-801B08B778AA.jpeg 5F034CD3-8DDD-49E1-8316-801B08B778AA.jpeg B0492239-B127-4E07-8C16-D50B10E3542B.jpeg 41F8896E-96F9-4F8D-8E77-8C9785788561.jpeg 5E4786C5-C8F6-403C-A775-8AC3821F9158.jpeg 4BB8DFEA-C546-49A1-9B68-BAF300A6D51C.jpeg 1AE522C5-E208-4BD8-972D-1BEFE4C01D2C.jpeg 7F6468DC-E9BB-495D-8CA3-6B64F95A1FE8.jpeg F3327821-16B3-42AA-9FCE-4E38D65D8BB6.jpeg 06AAED69-AEB0-429C-A77D-79EBE67D2F17.jpeg E7357776-0C87-4509-AB95-0827CD96C0D1.jpeg 06372E5F-A21E-473E-BB04-6A52313DF546.jpeg

    1 Buff Brahma
    1 spotted buff polish
    1 Westphalian Warmblood horse,
    1 boundaryless, loving, scared, pit pull, German Shepard, boxer, chow mix (my daughters)
    1 hyper standard poodle
    1 bossy cat
    1 much bossier, thug rabbit
    As of today:
    1 silver laced Wyandotte’s chick
    1 Well summer chick
    1 Americana chick
     
  13. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Sylie said don't keep chickens and ducks together. One of the issues is that the ducks keep everything wet which is unhealthy for the chickens.

    I see a bunch of feathers lying on the shavings. Hard to say if it's because someone is molting or if feathers are getting pulled.
     
  14. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    I came back to check your roosts, I don't know why they're not using them. Having a 2X4 on it's flat side is just about perfect and they're not too high.
     
  15. Nicol

    Nicol New Member

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    Hi Robin. I hadn’t realized she said that. We thought it would be ok to keep them together since, we’d just leave the hanging waterer (which I don’t think ducks can use) at night. But that in the larger (outside the of the coop, covered yard) we would expand that into our yard a bit and put the pool there. Hopefully the chickens wouldn’t be too interested??
    Also - they are 2 X 2s, not 2 X 4s (though in the picture I can see why you thought that). I heard that dowels are the best?
    Thelma had molted a bit ago. I think those are hers. There were also some feathers from the slaughter of Nadia outside the little hen yard (by the raccoon) - which is what started this post.
     
  16. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    The roosts are the problem. Think about how uncomfortable it is to grab a square bar with your fingers. That's what they're experiencing.

    If you go back and read Sylie's very complete statement of what ducks need you'll see that having a hanging waterer will not work for them. They have special needs when it comes to easy access to water for both eating and grooming their bills.
     
  17. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi!
    Okay so I looked at your pictures and read your questions.

    At this point I would strongly discourage ducks. It doesn't look like you have enough coop space if things don't work out as nicely as we all hope. I am also worried about your legal problems if you get caught. I am going to answer your questions from here based on the assumption you will take my advice and not get them. If you decide to get them we will deal with the questions then.

    Question 9
    Integrating flocks can work. There are tons of ways to do it but be prepared, there will likely be fighting, bloodshed and feather loss for a minimum of 3 weeks. Keep a first aid kit handy and an area you can use as a sort of "hospital" in case things get nasty.
    Yes, 6 weeks will be good. They should be big enough to fight back by then. They may not win but it won't be a slaughter lol.

    I agree with Robin on the roost. The roosts are a good height. There could be several reasons they are not using them.
    1. The 2 inch width with squared edges might hurt their feet. That is why we recommend 2x4's instead of 2x2's. Dowels are not usually used because chickens are ground birds and are used to flat surfaces. They don't feel secure on a round dowel.
    2. They may be more comfortable sleeping on the ground/floor in general. I have 2 out of 6 chickens that refuse to roost no matter what I do. Just make sure you keep the area they are sleeping in very clean so the acidic poop doesn't burn their skin.

    Just checking here, did you raise your other birds from chicks or do you have questions on those? You have heat and chick starter food etc already?
     
  18. Nicol

    Nicol New Member

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    4F75E864-B79A-4D49-BC3A-0734A19051AD.jpeg 1. Robin, think you misunderstood. The hanging waterer is only for the chickens. The ducks would have a different water source.
    2. Sylie, I am wondering if the ducks could live separately, not in the chicken house, maybe able to sleep in the blue and white cottage, if it didn’t work out with the chickens. I can reconfigure the larger yard for 2 separate spaces for the chickens and the ducks.
    2. Also, it may be useful to say that we did not build the coop. The woman that we bought the house from built it all herself. And we inherited her chickens. We can easily replace the 2 X2s with 2 X 4s.
    3. Sylie, is it your opinion that chickens and ducks shouldn’t be kept together? If so, why not? I thought you’d only said drakes and chickens can’t be kept together, but ducks were ok with chickens.
    4. Also, are Cayuga ducks quiet? That’s what we read.
    5. Lastly - did you say a baby pool? Like the little round ones?
    6. Oh, and to answer your questions - we’ve never raised chicks before. We have them in a really big tub with a hard plastic net thing on the top. We bought the radiant heater that they can get under. And have water and food for them (chick starter). Please let us know if anything could be done better. We got them yesterday and they seem to be adjusting well. They really like sitting on our chests and walking around on us as we recline a bit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2020
  19. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Looks like a good enough setup. If peeps are crying loudly they're probably not warm enough so you'll have to do small adjustments.

    No one approves of keeping chickens and ducks together. The ducks keep everything wet which is harmful to the chickens.
     
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  20. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You are absolutely right about the hanging water source, once grown, ducks cannot use it because they cannot get their heads in it to wash their nares and eyes.

    The ducks can live separately, yes. Some people have successfully had chickens and ducks together but those were large farms where ducks had an actual pond to swim and bathe in and get away from the chickens. Ducks tend to be much more mild mannered and timid than chickens and the chickens take advantage of that and bully them, pulling out feathers, pecking the heck out of them etc. It's not good for the ducks to be bullied every time they are together. Robin is also very right, the ducks make such a mess that the chickens end up wet all of the time and that makes their feet and butts/bellies/undersides vulnerable to many problems. Ducks have different skin than chickens, it's made for water, chickens are not.

    As for cayugas...you heard very wrong, see the black duck in my profile picture up there in the corner of this message, that's my cayuga, she is named Piper and ask anyone in the surrounding 5 blocks of my home, she is loud and obnoxious from sun up to sun down. I'm really surprised no one has reported me to the city.

    The blue cottage coop would be fine for the ducks if you make one modification, you will have to extend the ramp much further out, ducks cannot climb steep ramps like chickens can. Also, they would need more space during the day than that tiny little run. (the fenced in area underneath the coop) Ducks need space to roam, flap their wings, stretch etc. My 3 ducks have a 35x35 ft yard to play in and I feel guilty only being able to give them that small space.

    yes, a baby pool, those hard plastic ones, the ones that I'm talking about usually run around 10 dollars at walmart type stores, they have smaller ones for, I think, like 8 dollars and larger ones for like 12 or 14, I have the mid sized one for 3 ducks, it's pretty tight when they are all in there together but they do manage. the bigger the pool, the happier the ducks.
    0731170703 (1).jpg See that pool in the background? I know it's not a full picture of it but you can tell which pool I'm talking about anyway.

    Yes, please go ahead and replace the 2x2's with 2x4's with the 4 inch side being the side they stand/sit/lay on.

    I do not recommend chickens and ducks be kept together, I stressed drakes specifically because they can kill your chickens, in the case of all females (chickens and ducks) it is the chickens that will do the harm to the ducks. Like I said in the previous paragraph about the mix, some people with a lot of acreage can successfully keep them together but they also don't keep them in houses together on those farms, they usually have a large barn that all of the birds find their own spaces. Chickens will be mean to the ducks and you will constantly be having to break up fights and doctor ducks.

    That tub that you have the chicks in will be okay for a few days, maybe a week. They need more space though, especially if they get hot under the warmer, they need to be able to get away from it. The best way to tell if you have the temperature right is by watching their behavior. They will cry loudly and crowd together if they are cold or they will try to get away from each other and the heat source if they are too hot, in the tub you have, they can't really get away from the heat. They have no where to go except into their food and water. As they get bigger (happens faster than you think!) the space to get away from the heat will get smaller (or it seems to get smaller, really, they are getting bigger and taking up more of the available space).

    having answered your questions now, I am still going to advise against ducks for you right now. I am worried that you will get caught, fined and having to rehome your precious babies as well as, near as I can tell from the pictures, you just don't have the space for so many birds. Ducks are going to make more noise, alerting the neighbors to the fact that you have them, they may get sick of the noise and call the city.
    I just don't want to see you have to give them up after putting so much effort into adapting your property and raising them, you will get attached, your daughter will get attached and then poof, some big meanie from the city comes out and tells you they have to go. It would be sad for everyone involved including the ducks.
     
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