Baby duck is sick, need help.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tripletmumm, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. tripletmumm

    tripletmumm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Hood River, Oregon
    Not sure if I should post this under the sick/emergency chick area, or here since it deals with a duckling.

    I have a buff duckling, about 2-3 weeks old. Today I let the three ducklings I have go swim in a pool while I gave them water. Everything was fine until I put the three back in the pen. This one was unable to stay on it's feet, it kept flipping over onto its back. I picked it up and it was behaving quite strangely in my arms. I wrapped it in a towel to help dry it off, and to warm it up, and it kept shaking its head, spitting the water they drank out of the pool, and tried to lunge out of the towel (It was not wrapped tightly around the duck, and don't believe the duck was in pain). But it seemed like it had a hard time settling down). It has finally calmed down, I think from exhaustion, but now it flops it's head back like a stargazer chick I had. I know that ducks can put their heads back without a problem and often tuck their head under their wings so I don't know if this is a serious problem or if it is just overly exhausted and that is why it is doing that. The chick was fine after I put it in the pool, and the other two seem to be just fine as well. There is nothing around that would have given the duck a head injury, I'm just at a loss as to why it is behaving this way.

    My daughter had been holding the duckling and just showed me that the duck had died. :-( This was VERY QUICK. and already rigermortis is setting it (it hasn't even been an hour from beginning to end). Does anyone have any idea of what just happened to my baby?? :-(

    Gayle
     
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for your loss. No idea. It is better to post here though. You'll be more likely to get duck people responding.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Oh, so heartbreaking.
    [​IMG]

    What are you feeding the ducklings?

    What temperature is the water?

    Have they been foraging in the yard?

    What is the watering setup?
     
  4. tripletmumm

    tripletmumm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Hood River, Oregon
    I've been feeding it chick starter. Someone told me (after I started to feed some to them) that I shouldn't give them medicated starter, but they have been eating it and seem to be doing ok. They have been in their box, except for the times I let them swim in the pool, then they go right back to their box. Not sure what temp the water is, it is probably on the cooler side. We live in Oregon, and while the rest of the country has been having a heat wave, we've been having cooler than average temperatures. Today it was even raining a little bit. But I've kept a very close eye on the way the ducklings were behaving and if they acted like they were cold, or started shivering,etc, I helped dry them off and put them back in their box. They get their water from a feeder I fill up twice a day.

    This duckling hadn't done anything different than the other two. Only thing I could think of is maybe there was something in the water, but the other two seem to be acting fine, and they drank the water too. I am shocked that it all happened so fast, and very sad.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Sometimes they arrive with internal problems that we cannot see. Sometimes they get into something toxic, which can be in their food or water or the soil where they play.

    I have read enough opinion about niacin to think that some ducklings are more sensitive to niacin deficiency than others. Chick starter does not have enough niacin for ducklings and if they don't eat much in the way of bugs and such, they could have trouble.

    So, if this is a case of not enough niacin, you could begin sprinkling brewer's yeast on their food, or give them 100 to 150 mg of niacin per gallon of drinking water. The other two (if it's a niacin deficiency) may be less sensitive, but might have trouble later.

    So sad for your loss. We do everything we know to do, and sometimes we lose one.
     
  6. Tderezza

    Tderezza Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    If the water is to cold and there feathers aren't fully water proof, they will start to look like there missing feathers and having trouble standing up, walking and etc... I let my mallards in water to cold and it happened to them. I put a heat lamp on them and left them enough room to get away if they got to hot.
     
  7. tripletmumm

    tripletmumm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Hood River, Oregon
    Thank you for all your thoughts. Unfortunately, it looks like it was my fault. [​IMG]. My husband told me a little while ago that our children, who were painting yesterday, decided to wash the paint off of their hands and feet by jumping in the wading pool. The water in the pool looked murkey to me, but it always looks dirty, so I just put the babies in, and of course they drank and froliked to their little hearts content. I should have changed the water. So far the other two don't seem to be having any lasting effects to the water, but I'm still keeping close eye on them. (The paint is "non-toxic", but still, poor baby!)

    Thank you for the info on the niacin. I will make sure I sprinkle yeast in with their food.

    Gayle
     
  8. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many paints, especially children's paints, are non-toxic like you said and wouldn't have harmed your duck. However, if your children were using high-grade quality fine art paint, I would be worried as they have toxic metals and pigments. Otherwise, I don't think it's the paint that did it.
     
  9. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I agree. Also, toxics, link cadmium or lead do not kill that quickly. I would GUESS another toxin. Sounds likea nueological problem...maybe a pesticide.

    Clint
     

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