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Pekin Ducklings - Niacin?

post #1 of 2
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I am brooding a few Pekin ducklings with a few baby chicks for this season. I've never had an issue with chicks and I had rescued a drake several months ago that I wanted a few lady ducks for him, so I figured what the heck is a few more mouths to feed. I did my research, or so I thought and went with Pekin because I raised some as a child and loved them. They turned two weeks old on Monday (hatched 4/25). My issue is 3 out of 4 of the ducklings are laying down all the time and weak in the legs. They are growing soooo fast! They walk on the backs of their feet and wobble. It seems like a niacin deficiency. I caught it right away and started "force feeding" a few drops of polyvisol a couple times a day to correct it. They're growing like weeds but the polyvisol doesn't seem to have helped. I've had them on it almost a week now. I couldn't find the right niacin tablets or brewer's yeast anywhere so brewer's yeast just came in today after I had to order it. I also ordered the poult pack from metzer farms and nutri drench. They came in today as well. They've been eating flock raiser. My questions are:

1.) what would be your plan of action to make sure they get enough niacin from here on out with the products I have? I also want to make sure they don't get too much of anything.

2.) they've been wobbling almost a week (on polyvisol for 6 days). Is there any chance they'll still recover? They lay around most of the time but are eating and drinking and LOVE bath time! But their legs are terribly weak. If they don't recover fully and end up with bowed legs, are they always going to be weak or will they learn how to cope? I guess my concern is if they don't get better, should I cull? As much as it breaks my heart to even think about it, I have to.

3.) how in the world do you force feed a duck? I'm terrified I'll drown them and the little stinkers hold it in their bill and spit it out later. I'm not sure how much of the polyvisol they were getting so I started putting it in their water. They have been drinking it. I was putting about 2mls in a quart waterer. We just graduated to a gallon water (which also came in today since I couldn't find one anywhere around here).

Any help you can provide, I would appreciate. I have read through all the threads I could but I want to make sure I tackle this the best I can before they stop eating and drinking.
post #2 of 2
I put all the meds into a bowl of starter feed and add a small amount of water that I've mixed with electrolytes. I mix it gently until it's the consistency of fresh dirt. Lol. U know, damp but still crumbly. My baby birds seem to love it, every once in a while I give it to everyone as a treat. That should make it easier to get them the vitamins they seem to need. I'd also throw a capsule of vitamin E in there. It helps a lot of ailments. Good luck!
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