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12 day old Pekin Duckling Panting?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Lute, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This can't be good. I have a pair of Pekin ducklings that are a week and a half old. I did have 4, but two of the died this past Friday (8 days old). One had died between checking on them before putting a DVD in and finishing the movie (The movie wasn't THAT bad! It was GalaxyQuest). The second died an hour later, it was panting and was very hot to the touch. I fear I accidentally cooked them. We had been told to keep them at 99 degrees for their first week and lower it by 5 degrees every week after.

    So we changed out the bulb from a 250 Watt to a 100 Watt (we were sold the 250 Watt by the same guy we bought the ducklings from in Albuquerque), they two remaining seemed to be doing fine. We also started wetting their feed because a coworker of mine (who had raised ducks when he was a kid) said the feed will expand in their little tummies and that will kill them too.

    Now I have two left; Westley and Buttercup and one of them is panting just like the one that had died in my hand last week! They both don't appear to be eating as much but they are going through their water just fine. I replace it twice a day with cold, clean, filtered water (because supposedly there's lots of Chlorine in our water. Who knew?).

    Please tell me what in the world I'm doing wrong! I don't want these two to die. I don't think I can take it if they die! [​IMG]

    Edited to Add: I just checked their temperatures and they're running about 88 degrees so I turned off their heating lamp. What temperature should they be??
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is the temp in the brooder? It should be around 85-90 degrees. If they are panting, they are too hot.
    What are you using as a brooder?

    They need areas that they can get away from the heat. Have your heat lamp pointed in one area so that they can go to a cooler area if needed.

    Wetting their food is not necessary but some like it more that way. If they are too hot, then their appetite may decrease.

    Check the temp. If you don't have a thermometer, move the heat lamp higher and go buy one.
    Since they are not eating but drinking mix some food with a good amount of water so that they are getting some nutrients. If they appear weak, add some sugar to the water to give them a boost.

    Above all get that temp right. Too hot or too cold will kill ducklings.

    Good luck and I hope these too are okay. [​IMG]
     
  3. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I'm currently keeping them in a large cardboard box with a bath towel in it (they seem to like it) that's about 88-ish degrees.

    I'll add a bit of sugar to their water. Anything else I should do?
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I agree they need to be able to be a little cooler than 88, if they want to. Panting can also be a result of stress and nervousness.

    Can you get them a bigger box, where they can have a cooler corner? At this point, try to keep a close watch on them, give them plenty of fresh water. A bath in 85 degree water would probably help. Water just up to their tummies, and watch them closely, and afterward if they don't start to preen, wipe them off with a dry washcloth to keep them from getting chilled.

    Damp feed is fine, but get rid of it after 12 hours to avoid mold, since mold can be deadly.

    Sorry you're having trouble. Please keep us posted. [​IMG]
     
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Be careful turning off the lamp, you don't want them to chill. The temp sounds okay for their age.

    What are you feeding?
     
  6. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm feeding them Chick Starter by Onate, as recommended by the seller.

    The pullets like it. The 7 month old Pekins do too, they keep stealing it from the chicks. [​IMG]

    I made a quick run to the store (My boyfriend is under the weather) and checked on the ducklings when I came home a minute ago. They stopped panting but are breathing just fine.

    Thanks so much guys. I had moved the heat lamp off their little habitat a bit (about 6 inches) and they're doing much better.
     
  7. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    99 is way to hot and ducks are not wise about conserving there water supply. high 80's is about the right temp
     
  8. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What kind of bulb are you using? I find the best way is to use a 75 w incandescent bulb that will put off heat (hard to find now) and have it about 2 feet above a 4 ft long brooder. I have a wire lid, the first week I have the light inside, wire top covered in a towel. Then I remove the towel to let heat escape the 2nd week. Then I raise the height of the light. By the 4th week, they're pretty well weaned off it. That's when I start checking weather reports for when to kick them outside.

    I use an auto dog waterer for water, the tray is deep enough for them to clean their noses in. I use a round lid that's the size of the drinking pan, cut half of it off, tape to the bowl, to prevent swimming. They can get their whole face in it, just no swimming. It holds 1 gallon, so it won't run out while I'm away. When you use the little chick sized drinkers, they can't clean their noses out. They need to be able to do that. You can also put them in the bathtub in about 4 inches of water since you have the two and not like 20 of them, twice a day.
     
  9. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    It's not that your bulb is too hot it's that the space is too small. They need to have sufficient brooder space to allow them to move to where they are comfortable. Given enough space they will move away from the heat source when they are too warm & toward it when they are too cold.
     
  10. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the responses. I'll be moving them into something bigger when I get home (in an hour). The ducklings have grown a bit since I got them so we figured they were almost ready for a bigger brooder. We expected this and there's nothing wrong with moving them in a day or two early (we had planned on moving them Thursday).

    Mandelyn, I have a 100 Watt incandecent that I'd picked up in a 4-pack at the hardware store. We also have a metal cover (formerly a window screen, for some reaon all the windows in my house came with metal screens) to keep certain somebodies out (not that the dog cares).

    Xander checked on the ducklings around 3am and said they were doing better. I'll be sure to keep you guys updated. Thanks again.
     

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