I have 4 ducklings, all 4 weeks old and all doing very well with the exception of one Welsh. She is significantly smaller than the other 3, sits often, and it seems very difficult for her to walk. She is a little pigeon toed and still can walk, but after a minute you can see her starting to get shaky. They all eat the same food and live together in the same pen indoors until we can start getting them acclimated for the winter weather. We have been giving her niacin drops directly in her mouth every day for about a week now and have seen no improvement as of yet. We just switched their food from a chick/duck starter to Purina Duck Grower to see if that will help. No injuries, lumps, or deformities are noticeable. Any ideas what we can do to help our little runt get up and running? Thanks!
Help! My Duck is weak and having trouble walking even after adding Niacin!
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
How much Niacin are you administering (in MG?) What type of niacin are you giving? Have you administered any brewers yeast? On an anecdotal note, I've had a duck need up to 250mg per dose in order to recover from a severe niacin deficiency.
Do you have any photos? Is the duckling getting worse, better or staying the same? How are the bottom of the ducks feet?
I'm sure many others will be able to help much more... but figured I'd get things started.
Edited by User353335 - 11/13/15 at 1:47pm
Give it a few weeks. Ducks aren't magical creatures that respond to vitamans like a cure-all. My duck was lame for nearly 2 weeks before really recovering.
Ducks really need good swims to recover leg strength...ducks weren't created for walking. To do this get one of those big 20 gallon totes and do a bath atleast 2x a day. I would let my duck sit from while I got ready for work in the morning, when I got back and ate dinner, and before bed...about 20 mins at a time. I also used the industrial strength poly-vi-sol which comes in packets for up to 500 gallons of water.
Thank you all for the advice. We were only giving them about 2-5mg of Niacin per day, so we are looking at more options to increase the dosage. The little guy definitely seems happier in the water so we will increase her swim time to help develop her leg muscles. We were giving her poly-vi-sol every day and now we also are adding vitamin mix to their water once a week. The duckling seems to be staying the same that she has been when symptoms started showing 2 weeks ago, but we just started the increase in dosage less than 24 hours ago so I'll give her another week and see how she does. Thank you again for all the helpful info and I'll try to get a picture of her soon!
So, here's what I do, ymmv. I've had great luck going to GNC and getting the GNC branded 250 MG Niacin Tablets. I take these, cut them in half with a razor-blade, and get a cheapo pill crusher and grind them up to a find dust. Then I take a few small cubes of white bread (Before everyone freaks out, it's just a vestibule to eat the niacin, not a food source!) wet them with water, sprinkle the vitamin "dust" on, and hand feed them directly to the duck. That will give you 125 MG that you are guaranteeing the duck will get.
My duckling showed serious improvements in a matter of 24 hours.
Edited by User353335 - 11/15/15 at 2:39pm
I love photos of ducklings! They grow up sooo fast!
This is a bit anecdotal, however medicine isn't an exact science - especially pharmacology. I would not recommend stopping treatment as soon as the duckling appears better. I would continue the treatment until the duckling is 100% then taper off. I usually go to a 1/4 pill, then a 1/4 pill every other day, then 1/4 pill once a week. Storey's recommends supplementing until they are 8-10 weeks old.
Edited by User353335 - 11/16/15 at 11:10am