I picked up 5 ducklings yesterday afternoon around 4pm. They all seemed perfectly fine, healthy and lively up until around 6pm when I heard some commotion going on in their brooder and walked over to see one of them completely lifeless on the floor. I stroked her a few times and she opened her eyes a little, so I knew she wasn't dead, but she was barely breathing and motionless. I picked her up and she perked up a little but her neck seemed to be cocked to one side. I held her for about a half hour close to the heat lamp and her breathing picked up a bit. She looks to have a gash right next to her right eye, so I'm assuming she was maybe trampled by one of the larger ducklings and knocked out? I finally got her to drink some water around 11pm but she just laid in one spot and didnt really move. This morning she was on her feet but couldnt open her eyes. I wiped them gently with a wet cloth and she was actually able to open them. She drank a little water but wont touch her food or walk around. Still just standing/laying in one spot. I'm concerned being so young and not eating or drinking is going to cause her to go downhill quickly. Any advice on how to get some food or fluids in her? Should I separate her from the others? They seem to be leaving her alone for the most part. Help!
- Overrun with Runners
I would separate her - we don't know if it's disease or something congenital.
But if you can, put her where they can see each other - very important for ducklings!
Meanwhile, I would get a B complex vitamin and dissolve it in water, at a rate of 150 mg of the B3 amount in mg per gallon of water. So, if the vitamin contains 300 mg of B3, that's 2 gallons of water. if it has 75 mg of B3, that's half a gallon of water, and so on.
Then give that to her to drink - in other words, that is her drinking water. To start, you might actually dribble the water onto her bill to make sure she starts to get some.
Is she pooping?
My first, gut feeling - just a feeling - is she had a seizure and she is B vitamin deficient. That can happen. But she needs to be safe from the others till she is back on her feet. If you can get some B vitamins into her, she will likely recover within days.
If it is something viral, then a multi-vitamin (you can get that as a powder to put in their water) in the water for a few days, to support her immune system.
Sometimes ducklings have bacterial infections and need antibiotics. If you have a vet who can help, contact them.
Otherwise, you may want to figure out how much and which antibiotic to give the duckling. There are charts, and posts in the archives on how this is done.
and please join us on the Duck Forum - most duck folks concentrate on responding to posts there.
I would highly suggest 1-2mls of warmed honey in a syringe every hour. I am not sure the age of your duckling but this would be the best boost you can give in an emergency situation.