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Urgent Advice please - duckling feed

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have 3 nearly 3 week old White Campbell Ducklings. They are all eating well and growing rapidly, have clear eyes and are making lovely pets. For a few days my drake has been sort of scooting around on his hocks if you will, rather than standing up and walking properly. At first I was worried it was a niacin deficiency (or perhaps a weight bearing issue, he's huge and I wondered if his legs were struggling to support his weight) I've been sprinkling Brewers yeast over their feed since day dot, so to try to make sure they're getting enough I've been disolving a little in their drinking water too - the yeast is so small I wondered if it was all falling to the bottom of their feed and they were missing it. But he's still been having issues, and I think one of the girls is starting to go the same way. I've been researching endlessly, and came across a page that pointed in the direction of their food. I bought my ducks and their feed from a farm that exclusively breeds all kinds of poultry, so trusted the person running it would know their stuff inside out. I've just double checked their food and to my horror, realised it is medicated. It says ACS on the side of the bag in small letters. I feel completely stupid, and heartbroken for my babies, that I didn't double check it myself - I trusted the person selling it to me would know they shouldn't have this. Obviously I am no longer feeding them this.

Can anyone advise me what damage this has potentially caused, and if it is reversible? I'm panicking that they may now have issues with their legs permanently, and god knows what else??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
post #2 of 6

Take a deep breath. It is unlikely you did any irreparable damage by feeding medicated feed. Some people have raised their ducklings on medicated feed and they did just fine.

 

I think you were on the right track. It sounds like they aren't getting enough niacin. Some ducks are more sensitive to deficiencies than others. You should be adding 1 tablespoon of brewers yeast per cup of feed or about 2-3 cups per 10 pounds of feed. You might want to go with the 3 cups. If it is niacin related you will see an improvement within a week.

 

Another possibility is they are getting too much protein. From weeks 2-7 you should shot for 16-18% protein. The higher the protein the faster they will grow. This is great if you are raising meat birds for slaughter but its not so good for long term health. You might try reducing the protein to the lower end at 16% to slow their growth a little. But keep in mind that if you feed them treats with lower or higher protein levels it will effect their overall daily intake of protein. If the feed you have is 18% you can cut the protein by adding oats.

 

To help your little one built some muscle strength I suggest some time in a warm bath. It will allow him to take the weight off his legs and get some exercise. Plus they will have lots of fun.

post #3 of 6

lomine has written everything I would offer you, as well.  Please keep us posted.

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  

Reply

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  

Reply
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you lomine, much appreciated. I am going to buy them some new feed today, I'll look out for the one with a lower protein content. I'm guna stop by a health shop too and get some niacin and switch to that for a few days to see if that helps too. Hopefully they'll improve quickly. I give them a warm bath every day, I'll maybe more water so more of their weight is held to allow for exercise
Edited by rachd1987 - 3/4/16 at 11:27pm
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello, I just thought I'd update you on my quacks. I switched them to crushed niacin pills in their water and you would never know they had any problems now - they have been running (well, waddling really fast!) up and down the garden today. They are thriving well on their new feed, and they go crazy for kale! Thanks for helping me out when I needed some friendly advice 🙂
post #6 of 6
That's wonderful. Glad to hear they are doing so well.
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