Advice on a 4 week old Indian Runner Duckling that appears to be a bit "special" :)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kellyhubb, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. kellyhubb

    kellyhubb Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi there! I am hoping somebody might be able to help me gage whether or not I have a problem or not with one of my duckies. I have 2 4week old indian runner ducks and they are both happy and eat and drink regularly however one of them has a few little problems I am not sure about. Although he started out as the biggest when they hatched, he is now the smaller duck and is now becoming a little on the borderline bony side. The other appears to be a perfect size. This little one also has a problem with his foot that he has had since he first hatched, his bones on his feed are curved and not straight like the other, so he tends to tire quicker walking and walks at a funny angle. It certainly doesn't stop him though! He has always been the more curious and daring of the two. Now this little guy also is starting to look a bit ruffled as well, his feathers are all over the place, however they are also growing in. Also, whenever he goes to sit down, he has to make this sort of vibrating sound with his body to sit down, I haven't exactly pin-pointed exactly what he is doing when he does this yet but I have a feeling it is related to the fact that he has a sort of deformed leg which may make it hard for him to sit down? He still moves around quite a lot and doesnt appear to be in any pain but still. ALSO I have the little guys in a special kind of shavings that I got from the barn where my horse is at, it is not as dusty as the typical wood shavings you buy in pet stores (cuz it came in mega bulk delivery to the stable) and they appear to always be hunting around in the shavings, I am not too sure whether they are actually eating it or just nosing through it.

    Soooo, if anybody has any advice/comments/suggestions, I would be appreciative to hear as this is my first time raising ducks...but I must say I am in love because they are just so adorable...I recently ordered diapers for them :)

    Thanks! Kelly
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Kelly,

    Welcome!

    Take a look at the Stickies at the top of the Duck Forum. In there is a Raising Ducklings thread you may find helpful.

    What are you feeding them? Some ducklings are sensitive to vitamin deficiency, often niacin, sometimes thiamine.

    If the feed is chick feed, start adding 150 mg niacin per gallon of water. Do not use no-flush or timed release. Plain niacin. It is okay for the others, and use it for I would say at least six weeks.

    Also and in any case, get some poultry vitamins with electrolytes and probiotics, to give to everyone once a week in their water.
     
  3. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi and Welcome! Exactly what Amiga said, check food and add niacin/thiamine if necessary. We too have a weeble wobble, she doesn't have any malformed bones but has always been shaky. She is much smaller than the rest and tires easily too. We give her extra vitamins and protein. Since ours seems to need extra time to eat and sleep quietly we separate her at night to feed then she sleeps in a crate. (Not saying you need to do that just keep in mind if he seems to need some extra TLC). As long as he seems to be eating and drinking normally I wouldn't worry too terribly much about his weight. Each one is different anyways and he may just end up being on the small side.
    As for rooting in the bedding, normal. Just be careful that they are not eating it, as they tend to do if it is small enough to get in their mouths. It is their natural instinct to root in the mud and grass for food.
     
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  4. kellyhubb

    kellyhubb Out Of The Brooder

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    Greenville, SC
    Hi Amiga and The Howards,

    Thank you both for your replies!

    Amiga - I did search the forums but did not find anyone having this particular problem(s). I am feed them chick/duck starter/grower that I got from Tractor supply, it is made by Dumar. I have also been giving them some electrolytes and probiatics that I got in little packets and put in their water periodically. It has Niacan in it but perhaps I should pick up the pure niacan as well.

    The Howards - What do you give your little guy for the extra protein? Also how do you tell if they are actually eating the shavings? I have tried to watch them intently but they move so fast with their little mouth I am finding it difficult to really tell.
     
  5. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    Protein-meat...may sound crazy but they eat fish, frogs, and bugs in nature. We give her chicken, hamburger, ham, and she is crazy about bacon (we only give her a bit of that). They can strip a chicken bone in seconds flat. She stands in the kitchen on the floor at our feed and pulls on our pants legs till we give her a treat at night. If you don't want to do that you can get meal worms, grasshoppers, or maybe small feeder fish.
    If they are opening their mouths they are probably eating the bedding. We used shavings for a while till I noticed it hanging out of their mouths then switched back to straw.
    I have no experience with the Dumar brand, have heard a lot of people mention it though. We have a TSC that sells it but it is all the way across town....so to me that might as well be in another country cause I am not through traffic if I don't have to. [​IMG] Do remember hearing that it may not have enough niacin for ducklings so you might want to go ahead and supplement that.
     
  6. kellyhubb

    kellyhubb Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you The Howards! :) I will try the additional protein and switch to straw bedding & pick up some pure niacan :)
     
  7. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh I forgot I have read a lot of people use canned cat food as a protein source if you are leery of going the meat route. Good luck, keep us updated on how he does.
     
  8. kellyhubb

    kellyhubb Out Of The Brooder

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    Greenville, SC
    Thanks! Well, so far I have been feeding extra protein and have them on 10mg of niacan a day that I picked up from CVS. So far nothing has changed though. He is still pretty skinny, however he does look like he has grown a little...
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    All we can do is the best we know how, and hope it works. Hugs and love to the little!
     
  10. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's good he is maintaining. Glad to hear that the issue has not deteriorated. He may just always be smaller, our Jennifer still feels skinny to me but she is happy and healthy otherwise. Keep up the regime and he may fatten up yet. Keep us updated and if you get a chance would love to see a pic of the little man.
     

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