My husband and I purchased our first ducks about 1 1/2 months ago. Everything has been going great and all 8 of them have been doing well but about 2 1/2 weeks ago we noticed one of the ducks starting to stumble and having a hard time walking. Within a day or two after 1st noticing, it was to the point he could not walk at all and would fall onto his back and not be able to roll over. He has a great appetite, drinking lots of water, loves swimming but cannot support his own body weight which we are guessing is due to niacin deficiency. We have been supplementing his diet with vitamins and niacin for about a week now and he is still unable to walk... he can scoot from place to place but definitely cannot walk normal for more than a few steps if he even has the strength to get all the way up. We are new to ducks and Ive been trying to research about this and I am coming up empty handed. Its at a point to where I think his legs are spread far to wide and thats why he cannot properly stand up or walk. His bill and feet are also much more pale colored than the other 7 ducks which ALL have vibrant orange bills and feet, the lame ducks color is a pale whitish color. We are very busy family with 2 young kids and full times jobs and I simply cannot watch after this lame duck 24/7 for the rest of its life like i have been doing the past couple of weeks. IDK what to do... we love him and he is my buddy and I cant imagine putting him down but IDK what else to do if he cant walk =(
HELP!!!! Duck Unable to Walk!
You likely know that one symptom can mean so many different things. The starting point is to try and rule things out to narrow down the problem(s).
Keep up the niacin. Brewers yeast (not active dry or bread yeast) can be found at most health food stores and are great for adding niacin. You can sprinkle it on their feed or add daily to fresh drinking water. The Electrolyte packages you get from Tractor Supply can also provide them needed vitamins including niacin.
Bumblefoot is a common problem so check their feet. Look for any signs of cuts, abrasions, and soars of any kind. If the foot is too dirty then soak in a bath of warm Epsom salts to clean it up so you can have a look - Do not let them drink the water containing the Epsom salts !! If you find anything then report back so you can be guided into a proper treatment.
Usually a paler bill and feet are a result of calcium depletion due to egg laying. If your ducks are not old enough to lay yet then it may be a symptom of something that another duck lover can offer insight into. You don't want to add additional calcium if they are not of egg laying age.
Would be helpful to know the age of the ducks and the breed because different breeds can be slightly different (example: my Pekins have orange bills and my Saxony has a brown bill).
It's good that your getting him on niacin. I'll be crossing my fingers for you that he makes it through. There are methods that can help this condition. I was watching a lot of Youtube videos from "50 ducks in a hot tube". The guy who makes them documents almost daily on his experience raising ducks. He had one with similar problem that he managed to help. Do some research because I can't remember exactly what it's called but it is essentially a type of brace that helps them walk.
Wish I could help further but I've not had to experience this. Good luck.
Ugh..... I know the feeling, I have had ducks for a lot of years and this has happened 2 or 3 times to me. I think in all 3 occasions, unfortunately they didn't end up making it. I tried to nurse them back to health also, tried all sorts of stuff. I know that letting them swim when they cant walk helps sometimes, but you can't do it all the time and the duck can't hardly get any food or water to drink on its own. The duck most likely won't ever be able to go back with the flock, they usually won't let him get to the water or food and they will walk all over him. I hate to come off so negative sounding but this has been my experience when this has happened. I hope he pulls through also but just be aware that he might not. It's sad but his quality of life probably isn't the most enjoyable since he can't get around. Sorry you are having this problem, I wish you the best of luck.
Is it living on hardpacked floors such as concrete? also you may want to post this on the duck thread where all the duck people are!