I'm new to the bird thing and decided to get 10 ducks from Meizer Farms. I got 6 white layers and 3 runners. The white layers are a hybridized duck that will lay up to 280 large eggs a year with a few additional hours of light in the winter. I also got runners to eat the bugs around my house. I live on a creek and I have bugs here that most people have never seen.
Most of the ducks I ordered were healthy. 8 of 10 were. There are two however (white layers) that have needed my care. One that they shipped has a beak that is not fully grown on the top. Which makes it real hard for this duck to eat unless it has deep food. I’m sure you can imagine if a birds beak doesn’t clamp down at the same point they have difficulty eating things. It’s pretty much got a scoop on the bottom. She also has no nose. Her nostrils that are supposed to be on the beak are gone. There is one non functional hole towards the end on her left side. Poor girl has to breathe out of her mouth all the time. I'm not sure what the spot on her upper beak is. Anyone knows than please tell me. And if there is something I need to put on it let me know that too please.
When she arrived she wouldn’t open her eyes and was real weak. Ducks, I've learned, like to pick on the disabled ones. Pecking at her eyes and such. Now that she has room in the big brooder to get away she is fine and doesn't get picked on as much. The first 3 days of life in the shipping box she hadn’t eaten anything as the healthy ones wont let the disabled ones in to eat or drink. So after a couple hours of her laying in the same spot not opening her eyes, I quickly dunked her head in the water a few times. Within minutes she had her eyes open and was starting to scoop up water and food with her funny beak. We named her lucky because she’s lucky to be alive. A lot of people would just “cull” a duck like this. But I like animals too much to do that and I’m willing to take care of the girl. She's special to me.
Then the other, which is very sad to see, has wry neck I think. I got these ducks last Wednesday. I researched online and found that it's probably wry neck on Friday. That's when I started Poly Visol. But I later found that Poly Visol doesn't have selenium. So I got Poultry Cell because it has everything in the 1 product to fix wry neck. And it was extremely hard to get any drops into my babies beak because she saw that syringe coming towards her and she would clamp it shut. One question is, Poultry Cell boasts about how it has iron. Everyone says online get the Poly without iron. But I'm not sure if this is an internet rumor being passed around or ducklings and little chicks can't take iron. Apparently by Poultry Cells boasting about their iron it must be an essential nutrient for poultry.
From what I've read, wry neck is a problem where the mother duck from the breeder didn’t have a good amount of Vitamin E and Selenium in her body to pass along to her babies. This little girl can’t hold her head up. So she runs around with her head sideways. It's not flopping totally down. She's about half way tilted to the side. She runs and swims in circles. I let them all get in the wheelbarrow with some water in it for a swim and she started freaking out and almost drowned herself. She was rapidly swimming circles and then started dunking herself swimming circles that turned into upside down in the water out of the water in the water out of the water. Like underwater somersaults. I had to snatch her out real quick.
Both of these medical needs ducks are smaller than the rest. It’s a lot harder for them to eat and drink. For those who haven't experienced this, picture the shape of a beak and trying to eat food or drink water when it’s sideways. It all falls right back out. I have been nursing that little girl back to health starting with the Poly and changing to the Poultry Cell since it has selenium, in her water and some sunflower seeds which are packed with the needed E and Selenium for wry neck. So far, day 4, I see no difference. I named her Hope. Because I hope she lives. It looks in the photo that she is resting her head on the other. Aww, how cute. NOPE, that’s not what she’s doing. Her head is like that all the time. She’s a stargazer...
Here’s a photo of all of them snuggling. Hope is buried in there somewhere. She’s a pretty popular little gal. They all like her. She doesn’t know she’s different. She will peck at them and run around with her crook neck just like the rest. Lucky, with the strange bill, is a little slow. So she is the runt and gets picked on. By the way she acts I’m thinking she may have a little mental handicap. She sure is a sweetie though. My favorites are Lucky and Hope!