1mo old duckling died

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cms7352, May 19, 2011.

  1. cms7352

    cms7352 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2010
    Yesterday we had a goose die today a duckling did. Yesterday i wasn' t there when he died. Today I was... the duck was fine... literally bright eyed walking around with everyone else. Then 5 minutes later he flopped on his back and started having seizures. There are no vets around who have knowledge about fowl. Any book recommendations or websites would be really appreciated. We're really worried and can't figure out what is going on. It has been raining a lot lately.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Duckles

    Duckles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2011
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    Are they brooded together? What are they eating? Also, was it a crested duck?

    I'm sorry for your losses! [​IMG]
     
  3. cms7352

    cms7352 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2010
    They are all free ranged together and hang out like one big flock. The duck was a peking and the goose was a toulouse.They are all a month and a half old and we've had no problem until now.
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Oh, no. [​IMG] I'm so sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    Please check your husbandry to make sure something in their environment is not responsible. Certain toxins and mold can lead to sudden death. Make sure you are cleaning and DRYING their brooder at least once a day, that they have dry bedding and that their water container is being cleaned regularly (again, daily is best). If they are eating food from last year, throw it out and buy fresh, even if it looks and smells fine (I learned this the hard way). If they are eating medicated chick feed, switch to unmedicated. If they are getting treats other than the crumbled baby poultry feed, make sure they also have access to grit.

    Of course check that there are no foreign substances, bits of plastic, etc., in their brooder.

    If all that checks out, then you'll just have to wait and see. There are contagious diseases that could cause this, but it's hard to do anything about a disease that kills that quickly.

    It's also possible that it's just a fluke. Young birds sometimes just die, for no apparent reason. But when you have two die within a short period, it's always best to check all the relevant factors. If you still don't have any clues after that, keep posting and see if you can't find a vet who can help.

    Good luck, and I'm sorry!

    P.S. Edited to add: Also, if you think everything else is fine, consider buying a new bag of feed (but don't toss the old one yet), and switching to it. Sometimes a bag of feed, even brand new, can be misformulated or contain toxins or mold. Switching to a new bag can eliminate the problem. If you continue to have problems after switching, then you know the old bag is probably fine too and can go back to using it; if you never have a problem again, I'd suggest tossing the old one, even if you're not sure it caused the problem.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  5. cms7352

    cms7352 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2010
    The ducks and geese are huge and have been free ranging for a while now. I think you're right about the feed. It is only a few weeks old but aside from living in the same place its the only thing I can think of. Oh btw they are around 1.5 /2 months old.
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm. Yeah, definitely change the feed for now. Also check their environment--is it possible that mold is growing under their water? Ducks are more susceptible to mold than you might think, given that they're waterfowl. Poisonous mushrooms in the environment (not that I'd know how to tell the difference between the poisonous and non-poisonous myself), access to garden chemicals, plastic bits, hardware...?

    An autopsy can sometimes give you valuable information if you have the stomach for it. "Hardware disease" occurs when an animal ingests a screw, or nail, or nut, or other piece of hardware that they found on the ground and it causes either a blockage or pierces them internally, and of course it would be obvious through autopsy if this were the cause of death. Holderread's book has a section on performing autopsies that would be highly helpful if you decide to go that route.

    Good luck. I hope you've seen the last of the problem, but it never hurts to try to hunt it down.
     
  7. cms7352

    cms7352 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2010
    Duckling not dead after all!!! I guess he had just passes out. He still can't stand up and is just lying on his side. When I come near he freaks out and spins himself in a circle still on his side. I put a bowl of warm water next to him. Not sure what else to do.
     
  8. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    If the duckling is a mallard, they are known for seizures.......
     
  9. cms7352

    cms7352 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2010
    Its a peking duck
     
  10. julie75

    julie75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you tried giving him a vitamin supplement? I had a Peking that was fine one minute and next thing I know he was just laying in the brooder not moving to the point I thought he was dead. I gave him a power boost of vitamins and he slowly came back around. I did read somewhere that ducks will hide their illness for as long as they can and usually when you finally see signs that something is not right, they are extremely sick. I think this explains why we think that they suddenly become sick. Hope this helps and I'm sorry that you are having to go through this. [​IMG] I know it can be very heartbreaking when you are feeling helpless. If only they could talk.
     

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