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Pet ducks and shaky legs (story and asking for advice)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So I've had these ducklings for a near 3 weeks. I love them with all my heart, hatched them myself,they imprinted on me, but I made a mistake. You see I didn't and don't have a cheater heater (funny way of calling a professional incubator) when I hatched them, no, I made one myself out of an old reptile tank, a heating lamp and a aluminum tin of water (finished with some straw and a towel on the bottom. Now I figured 'hey! this isn't a professional incubator, thus I might not get a successful hatch with just ONE egg'...so I grabbed two more. 30 something days later and I got a 100% hatch rate; I was over joyed! However now I realize that they have grown more attached to each other (as siblings do) and may not need mother much longer, which wouldn't surprise me, as this is common.

 

  I was wondering though, is it smarter to just hatch one duck egg to be a house duck? Or can these three still be pet ducks that I can put in diapers and keep inside? I bought them starter diapers, which they quickly out grew, now I have to wait till they are an adult. One of my ducklings 'Ganja' has not really attached herself to her siblings, but they still enjoy each others company, I might choose her to stay in the house with me, unless she decides to not enjoy the inside as much as the outside. My main concern is /not/ that they wont 'love' me anymore, (as loosely as I can I use that word, I don't know if my ducks really love me rather than need my assistance as a giant monster duck mom) every instinctual animal that isn't a dog or cat seems to leave its mother at some point, its called growing up. No, my main concern is their real parents and how they might take to three new ducks crowding up the place (so to speak). My more anti-friendly poultry outside are very mean to each other, its mostly breeding though, never fighting, but they have a huge duck pen that we made for them, equipped to keep predators well out of it, and we're adding more space to it so the ducks have more room to roost. Any helpful words or suggestions? I'm fine with hatching another single egg, I was thinking about ordering a Cayuga duck egg, I absolutely adore Cayugas; but this is something that will have to wait till I've settled into a new home, as I'm not staying in this one for much longer than two years.

 

 

Now for a more serious question

 

My duck 'Ganja' as mentioned before has some semi-bad leg shakes, she can still walk, but they're getting worse and worse as weeks go on, the others sometimes have it but not as often as she. My room is 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the cool hours of the day and can sometimes get to the 90s during sundown when the sun hits my room specifically..so I don't think its chills. I did some research and found that she may have an absence of Niacin or not getting enough of it. If this is a good fix for it, or one you see used more often, how do I get Niacin? Is there a place I can buy some and give them small doses? And if they don't get this can it be fatal? I ask because I live 30 - 45 minutes away from town, and gas for the car is becoming more and more expensive, so I would prefer to go into the store knowing what I have to buy to not waste time and money, and to save my ducks at the end of the day.  

 

I highly appreciate any help I can get, again these little babies mean the world to me as they're my first hatched birds /ever/.

 

 

~Kaala

post #2 of 5

Do an on site search on 'ducklings niacin deficiency' - several threads will appear advising as to what you should do.  Brewers yeast added to their feed will help.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 5

They definitely need Niacin.  I order Nutritional Yeast off of Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Nutritional-8-ounce/dp/B000EDM8FS?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

I sprinkle it on their food twice a day.  Nutritional Yeast, from what I have read, has much more Niacin in it than Brewers Yeast.  I'm not sure if your duck will die without it, but it will definitely become lame.  They need the extra Niacin that many commercial feeds do not give enough of.
 

post #4 of 5
Ducks do better when they have at least another duck with them. If you separate them one from the other two chances ate your singleton will become depressed.
So keeping them together I think is the best option.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neetabeamie View Post

Ducks do better when they have at least another duck with them. If you separate them one from the other two chances ate your singleton will become depressed.
So keeping them together I think is the best option.

Well as they grew up with each other, I suppose its too late now to separate them. I've seen so many people with pet ducks that do fine, but they were just a single duck when hatched. 

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