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Young duck being bullied; neuro damage?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So, I have two grown pekin hens, Smokey and Ember, and two young blue Swedish ducks (not sure of the genders yet), Skippy and Jam.  Of the two swedish ducks, one is younger and considerably smaller (Skippy).  They were raised together until they were big enough to join the Pekins outside.  When I introduced them all, the older of the swedish ducks, Jam,  joined right up with the Pekins, leaving Skippy to fend for himself.  Other than Skippy always being off on his own, I never really saw anything to be concerned about.

 

After a week or so of them being together, I went in to feed them and instead of running, as they normally did, Skippy just stood next to the pool and looked like he was spacing out.  I walked right over and picked him up.  He didn't panic, he didn't flap around or make any noise.  Concerned, I took him out of the pen and held him for a while.  He proceeded to get more and more limp, and suddenly went into a seizure.  Throughout the day he had several violent seizures.

 

I thought he was going to die, so I brought him inside and made him a comfy place to lay in our spare room.  I had my husband run to the feed store and pick up some tetracyclone as a last resort.  We gave him the medicated water and his seizures stopped by 10 PM that evening.  He regained his strength and after two weeks of living inside, I decided to put him back with the other ducks.

 

The other ducks seem to gang up on him and they all will go out of their way to peck at him.  If he goes near the water, they attack him.  I let them run around together for a while, and I noticed Skippy acting weird.  When he runs with the other ducks, he will suddenly stop and lay down.  He makes it a few feet, then does it again.  Then, he was acting like he was hurt and limping.  I picked him up and separated him again, and he went back to acting just fine.

 

Sorry, I know this is a long post.  I wanted to post his whole history in hopes that somewhere in there someone can pick up where a mistake was made, or if there is something wrong with this duck.  Is this a stress thing? Is he sick? :/

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Bumping this up

post #3 of 9

Are you positive he's eating while in with these other ducks? If they are bullying him and keeping him from water, I'm sure they're doing the same thing with food. It's possible he was near death that first time from just not getting any food, and being inside by himself he was finally able to eat and regain his strength. And now the same thing could be happening and he's just getting so weak from not eating that he can't keep up with them after awhile and has to sit down like that. It sounds to me like he needs to be kept separate from your other ducks, maybe in his own pen next to the others? It would be best for him if he could have a friend though. So Jam now picks on him as much as your older ducks do? What happens if you separate Skippy and Jam together again for awhile?

 

Of course Skippy could also have some kind of sickness or neurological damage as well, but my first thought was the food intake in this scenario.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your response.

Initially, I thought that it might have been severe dehydration/starvation as well, as he was pretty thin after the first incident and seemed like he just could NOT get enough water once I got him inside.

 

However, when I returned him to the other ducks, it was literally a matter of a half hour or so before he started acting funny again.  I still think he was hungry and dehydrated the first time, but his odd behavior now is still a mystery.

 

Ever since his seizures, he walks funny and seems to struggle maintaining his balance, but other than that, when he is alone, he acts fine.  I'm wondering if his odd behavior around the other ducks is a result of damage from seizures or if it is a normal behavior of the "low man on the totem pole", like maybe his plopping down is some kind of submissive thing?

 

Jam has joined up with the other ducks, and the three of them have formed a little gang.  My duck pen is large, so I have stapled chicken wire across the center to create a barrier, so all the ducks can see each other, but Skippy is safe on his own side.  He lays by the barrier and tries to talk to the other ducks.  It breaks my heart :(

post #5 of 9

Aww, poor guy wants to belong, but they just won't let him in. :/ 

 

Ok, the plopping down thing, is Skippy maybe a female that is submitting to the others for breeding/dominance purposes maybe? Does she lay down with head/neck stretched out in front of her against the ground, rigid/flat back, and tail up? That would be breeding position and young ducks will often do that to others when they come into breeding age, usually starting around 4 months old. How old are Skippy and Jam? 

 

Glad you were able to separate Skippy from the others easily like that, at least until you can figure out what's going on or maybe get Skippy a nicer friend to bond with. Animals DO know when something is wrong with one of them and will often shun or attack the odd one to keep the flock strong. So, that could also be what's going on. 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

That IS the position Skippy is throwing himself/herself into.  It is possible that Skippy is a female, but I rely on a drake feather (or lack thereof) to be able to tell, and he/she isn't fully feathered yet.  I got Jam and Skippy as hatchlings in late July, Jam was a couple weeks old, Skippy was a week or so old, so I don't think he/she would be old enough to start assuming a breeding position?

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexc844 View Post
 

That IS the position Skippy is throwing himself/herself into.  It is possible that Skippy is a female, but I rely on a drake feather (or lack thereof) to be able to tell, and he/she isn't fully feathered yet.  I got Jam and Skippy as hatchlings in late July, Jam was a couple weeks old, Skippy was a week or so old, so I don't think he/she would be old enough to start assuming a breeding position?

  @Alexc844  Just curious have you given Skippy and Jam any niacin in the form of Brewers yeast or plain niacin? Niacin deficiency can cause neurological problems and can cause leg weakness. I'd get Skippy started on some Brewers yeast added to her food asap.  Those of us who have to use chick feed for out ducklings have to supplement with B3 in either a niacin tablet of Brewers yeast to make sure they get the right amount of niacin, Some ducklings never show symptoms of the def but those that do can be helped by adding it. Make sure if you go with Brewers yeast you give 1tab to 1 cup of feed and Skippy needs to be stay on it for at least 3-4 weeks by then you should know if what your seeing is nutritional def Or you can use 125mg of niacin to 1 gal of water it has to be plain niacin not time released or flush free. I hope what your seeing is a B3 deficiency because they can make complete recovery  if it is. Please keep us updated.

 

Do not let Skippy swim un supervised.

 

And Welcome to BYC


Edited by Miss Lydia - 10/6/15 at 5:07pm

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

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 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lydia View Post
 

  @Alexc844  Just curious have you given Skippy and Jam any niacin in the form of Brewers yeast or plain niacin? Niacin deficiency can cause neurological problems and can cause leg weakness. I'd get Skippy started on some Brewers yeast added to her food asap.  Those of us who have to use chick feed for out ducklings have to supplement with B3 in either a niacin tablet of Brewers yeast to make sure they get the right amount of niacin, Some ducklings never show symptoms of the def but those that do can be helped by adding it. Make sure if you go with Brewers yeast you give 1tab to 1 cup of feed and Skippy needs to be stay on it for at least 3-4 weeks by then you should know if what your seeing is nutritional def Or you can use 125mg of niacin to 1 gal of water it has to be plain niacin not time released or flush free. I hope what your seeing is a B3 deficiency because they can make complete recovery  if it is. Please keep us updated.

 

Do not let Skippy swim un supervised.

 

And Welcome to BYC

I have not!  I will definitely try that!  Thank you.  They've been on Purina Flock Raiser crumbles and I was wondering if any supplements would be needed with that, but the feed store lady said it should be fine.

 

Skippy doesn't have access to the pool anymore.  Since his seizures, I've been too paranoid about him being around much of anything.  He'd be in a bubble if I could manage it, lol.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexc844 View Post
 

I have not!  I will definitely try that!  Thank you.  They've been on Purina Flock Raiser crumbles and I was wondering if any supplements would be needed with that, but the feed store lady said it should be fine.

 

Skippy doesn't have access to the pool anymore.  Since his seizures, I've been too paranoid about him being around much of anything.  He'd be in a bubble if I could manage it, lol.

Aww sounds like Skippy is  loved.  Well it just seems some ducklings just need more than the Flock Raiser  or chick feed can provide , they just don't  assimilate it correctly but It would dif be worth a try with Skippy. I haven't ever had any trouble when I fed Flock raiser but all my ducklings have been with their mamas and evidently they know what their little ones need in the form of niacin. I did have one duckling inside when his mama rejected him and he got Brewers yeast daily in his feed just to be on the safe side. Brewers yeast or Nutritional yeast can be found at Health food stores or possibly whole foods. 

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

Reply

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

Reply
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