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HELP my ducks are dying

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Please help me. My ducks are dying and I have no idea why. Two days ago we found one of our khaki campbells dead. She was curled up and had been fine that morning. I couldn't think of why she died and I thought it may have been from an accident since it was so windy that day.

Today when I came home my cayuga was very listless and had trouble walking. This was at 5:00pm. I took her inside and put her in a warm bath and she drank a little. I sprinkled lettuce in the bath and she dabbed at it but didn't eat. I put her in a dog crate and watched her and placed a bowl of water next to her. She lay there slightly shakey with her head getting lower and lower. When she lay like that it looked like she was dead so I'd stroke her and put her in my lap to keep her awake. I thought if she fell asleep she would never wake up.

At 5:40 I drew her another bath to get her to drink. Before I put her in it she started making muffled quack noises. Her bill opened and her jaw moved horizontally so her top bill and bottom bill were not aligned. She started seizing and I put her in the water holding her. She continued to seize, her neck got stiff and craned toward the water. She started flapping her wings and then she was gone.

I am SO sick about two of my ducks dying in two days. I have two left and have NO idea what is going on. The two I have left look fine but so did my campbell and cayuga. It took my cayuga only 40 minutes to die.

Does this sound like anything? Please help me.

post #2 of 11

Sounds like toxicity, though it could be viral or bacterial or fungal.

 

Have you started using a new bag of feed, or a new brand?

 

Is there anything around the yard like a dead animal or swampy area with dead plant material?

 

How's their bedding?  Any changes there?

 

What other changes in their environment have occurred?

"stable families living peaceful lives in prosperity and physical security while free to pursue our own spiritual or religious beliefs. Adequate nutritious food and clean water. …  balanced lives with time for family, friends and community .... All to be ensured, ... on a foundation of regenerating soils and biologically diverse communities on Earth’s land and in her rivers, lakes and oceans."...

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"stable families living peaceful lives in prosperity and physical security while free to pursue our own spiritual or religious beliefs. Adequate nutritious food and clean water. …  balanced lives with time for family, friends and community .... All to be ensured, ... on a foundation of regenerating soils and biologically diverse communities on Earth’s land and in her rivers, lakes and oceans."...

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post #3 of 11

Oops looks like Amiga already covered the questions. I agree it sounds like a toxicity issue. 


Edited by Kevin565 - 12/20/12 at 6:17pm

 Say NO to Crested Ducks!                     Common Chicken Practices          Learn more about Avian Influenza

 

 

 

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" 

Reply

 Say NO to Crested Ducks!                     Common Chicken Practices          Learn more about Avian Influenza

 

 

 

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" 

Reply
post #4 of 11

See if you can get some activated charcoal (not briquettes) it is a powder, a food-quality supplement that absorbs toxins in the gut.  Add a teaspoon of that to a couple of cups of water and give it to the ducks to drink.

 

If you find something nasty they may have gotten into, think seriously about doing a digestive system cleanse.  There is a sticky on how to do that

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/700526/flushes-for-aiding-in-toxin-removal#post_9508213

"stable families living peaceful lives in prosperity and physical security while free to pursue our own spiritual or religious beliefs. Adequate nutritious food and clean water. …  balanced lives with time for family, friends and community .... All to be ensured, ... on a foundation of regenerating soils and biologically diverse communities on Earth’s land and in her rivers, lakes and oceans."...

Reply

"stable families living peaceful lives in prosperity and physical security while free to pursue our own spiritual or religious beliefs. Adequate nutritious food and clean water. …  balanced lives with time for family, friends and community .... All to be ensured, ... on a foundation of regenerating soils and biologically diverse communities on Earth’s land and in her rivers, lakes and oceans."...

Reply
post #5 of 11

Sorry for your loss. Send one for a necropsy, they're free for CA residents and they'll even let you use their FedEx number which saves a bunch on shipping.

 

http://cahfs.ucdavis.edu/services/lab_locations.cfm

post #6 of 11

They need the whole bird, not frozen. In CA there are four labs that do necropsies on poultry/ducks for free. The lab I use is the one in Tulare, CA.

 

CAHFS

Attn: Dr. Shivaprasad

18830 Road 112
Tulare, CA 93274-9042

(559) 688-7543
(559) 686-4231 (FAX)

cahfstulare@cahfs.ucdavis.edu

 

 

The other labs are listed here:

http://www.cahfs.ucdavis.edu/services/lab_locations.cfm

 

What you need to do, if you haven't already done so, is put your duck in your refrigerator, NOT the freezer! Then you need to find a box, line it with styrofoam (I use the 4'x8'x1" stuff from Home Depot, but you can anything, I guess... you can also get smaller pieces at an art store like Michael's, but is way more expensive). Click here to see foam options. You'll also need at least one ice pack. Here are some pictures that I took of the last bird that I sent:

 

Box lined with foam on four sides and bottom. Seams of foam taped sealed.

1000

 

Box, sides, bottom and and top.

1000

 

Frozen ice pack in ziplock baggie.

1000

 

Brown paper on top of ice pack.

1000

 

Hen in ziplock baggie on top of brown paper.

1000

 

Brown paper on top of hen.

1000

 

Ice pack on top of brown paper.

1000

 

Lid on top of brown paper.

1000

 

Inside the box you should also include a submission form in a ziplock baggie. Do not tell anyone at FedEx that you're shipping a dead animal... that seems to really worry them. Just make sure that nothing will leak.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paigej View Post

Please help me. My ducks are dying and I have no idea why. Two days ago we found one of our khaki campbells dead. She was curled up and had been fine that morning. I couldn't think of why she died and I thought it may have been from an accident since it was so windy that day.

Today when I came home my cayuga was very listless and had trouble walking. This was at 5:00pm. I took her inside and put her in a warm bath and she drank a little. I sprinkled lettuce in the bath and she dabbed at it but didn't eat. I put her in a dog crate and watched her and placed a bowl of water next to her. She lay there slightly shakey with her head getting lower and lower. When she lay like that it looked like she was dead so I'd stroke her and put her in my lap to keep her awake. I thought if she fell asleep she would never wake up.

At 5:40 I drew her another bath to get her to drink. Before I put her in it she started making muffled quack noises. Her bill opened and her jaw moved horizontally so her top bill and bottom bill were not aligned. She started seizing and I put her in the water holding her. She continued to seize, her neck got stiff and craned toward the water. She started flapping her wings and then she was gone.

I am SO sick about two of my ducks dying in two days. I have two left and have NO idea what is going on. The two I have left look fine but so did my campbell and cayuga. It took my cayuga only 40 minutes to die.

Does this sound like anything? Please help me.

The symptoms you describe are most likely the part of the dying process, the "throes of death".

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your responses! We already wanted to have our cayuga necropsied but I didn't realize it was free for SoCal residents. We have her body outside in a styrofoam box now but we'll move her to the fridge. 

 

Have you started using a new bag of feed, or a new brand? We are actually finishing up a bag of Flockraiser. I think it might be toxicity too, I read on another thread someone mentioned damp food? Our girls food gets damp and I haven't washed their feeder in a while. I'm going to scrub it out tonight and feed them new food (I have another bag of Flockraiser in my car) in another bowl tomorrow.

 

Is there anything around the yard like a dead animal or swampy area with dead plant material? No dead animals, but it rained a lot lately and our yard is a bit swampy.

 

How's their bedding?  Any changes there? Dry. They have pine shavings and I just put a new layer on a few days ago.

 

What other changes in their environment have occurred? A lot of our neighbors have Christmas decorations up and I noticed one of my ducks pooped out some tinsel today. However it doesn't seem like Jay (the cayuga) died from a blockage.

post #9 of 11

Thought I should mention that you should get a preliminary necropsy report the day they get your duck. Are you close to San Bernardino? If so, I'd drive there tomorrow just in case it's something that you can treat the rest for.

post #10 of 11

You might want to do some reading on duck viral enteritis, that was the first thing that came to mind.

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