Baby duck possibly ill? Please give advice!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jsroxz, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. jsroxz

    jsroxz In the Brooder

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    So... I have been lurking on this site for quite some time throughout the 12 days i’ve owned ducklings. I am definitely one to freak out at the smallest sign of illness or issue in my animals- and I have SO MANY questions. Bare with me while i give some background but for now, i’m going to try and stick to just a couple questions regarding my baby pekin. I bought 2 babies at TSC 12 days ago, and was told they were “a couple days old.”
    One of my lil guys is a black runner and the other is a standard white pekin. Since TSC didn’t specify their exact age, i’d say that they’re (most likely) exactly 2 weeks old. I have read articles... so many articles. I have spent the past couple weeks educating myself to the fullest extent on ducklings and their care. I noticed they were sneezing a bit a few days ago. To be more specific, I would say that they were basically snorting air out but not really SNEEZING if that makes sense. I also noticed their feet were a bit turned in, and probably around 7-8 days old I bought them some nutri drench. Their legs were fine in a day or two and haven’t shown any other signs of issues there.
    Now, back to the sneezing.. I read forum after forum and began to panic at about half the stuff I learned, but quickly realized I was being a little dramatic. I ended up pulling all of their shavings (they were trying to eat them anyways- actually eat them not just chew on them), replacing them with extremely frequently cleaned towels (quite a big pain in the ass), remodeling their waterer about 30 times to ensure it was deep enough for them to clean their nostrils but not so deep they could fit inside AND also to where it wouldn’t soak their bedding, and pretty much just checking on them frequently to replace any wet bedding or food that would have been out too long. I have done everything within my capability to make sure they have the right diet, housing, and most importantly: water. It is nearly impossible to keep a naturally wet animal from getting soaked daily, but even through their tantrums I have made sure they stay as dry as possibly when laying around in their cage. I’ve removed dust, i’ve removed excessive moisture, and i’ve consistently given them the vitamins they need. The black runner stopped sneezing and has shown absolutely no signs of heavy breathing, which is why i’m positive my pekin is not breathing normal and also completely dumbfounded as to why.
    I have done everything in the book- the pekin’s nostrils aren’t clogged, it’s staying as dry as it can (i’m saying “it” because I have yet to get them sexed). It seems as though i’ve eliminated any opportunity it has to get sick. My apologies for taking so long to explain the exact issue, I got a little detailed there. Basically, my pekin is snorting air out of its nostrils semi frequently AND kinda “huffing” when it breathes. He/she has heavy breaths, not SUPER short but not full breaths at all. I couldn’t manage to see completely down it’s throat because that duckling haaaatess being picked up directly, so I’m not sure if there’s anything in there but I don’t really think there’s is. I even gave the pekin some peas with olive oil on them to help dislodge anything that could’ve been stuck, and it didn’t seem to phase him/her.
    I’m going to try and attach a video to help explain exactly what’s going on. I am super worried about this lil duck. He/she isn’t inactive at all either- perfectly normal when it comes to eating, drinking, running around, etc. ALSO I do have a heat lamp that is closely monitored so I know that they have room to cool off or warm up in the event that they’re uncomfortable... I don’t think it’s a matter of being too hot or too cold. Please help me out here! I am at a complete loss!

    Edit:
    Just wanted to link the videos here. The pekin isn’t doing the sneezing thing and you can’t really hear it breathing heavy/hard due to poor audio. I also wanted to add that it’s been tending to lay down a little more than the black runner. It will lay down when they’re up running around if they stay in one place for a few seconds, but as soon as the black runner is on the move the pekin follows.
    Here’s the videos I could get:

     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Thank you for the videos.

    Can you please put your duckling in water deep enough to swim in? Sometimes "beak-deep" water just isn't quite deep enough. If that doesn't work, I'll tag some more people.

    Second, may I suggest straw bedding? You won't have to clean it nearly as frequently, and they won't eat it. It does have a tendency to mould, but it won't mould in a day, so you won't have to clean it as frequently as you would a towel.
     
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  3. DuckyDonna

    DuckyDonna Free Ranging

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    @casportpony and @Miss Lydia might be able to help with this. I couldn't hear anything in the videos.
     
  4. jsroxz

    jsroxz In the Brooder

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    Thank you for responding so quickly! In all of my rambling I forgot to add that they've been getting supervised swimming time at least 1-2 times a day. I've let them swim twice today. Every time they get wet I make sure to dry them off as best I can and keep an eye on them while they dry off in their brooder to double check that they don't get too cold.
     
  5. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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  7. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

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    :welcome

    It looks fairly normal to me, although I’m not trying to dismiss what you are seeing. I’m just not seeing anything abnormal. Keep in mind the Pekin is a large breed and they grow quite quickly, much faster than the runner will. So I feel like it’s probably just a growing phase that may have you slightly worried. It sounds like you are doing all the right things and taking great care of them.

    If you’d like to post pics of your brooder setup, we may have some suggestions to help there too. I prefer a shallow pan under the waterer, like a broiler pan for your oven. The water collects underneath and helps some with the mess. I also use a couple of wash cloths on top of the pan to help keep their feet from tracking it out so badly. I only had to change it out once a day, with my last 7 call ducklings, a month old.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Ephesians 6:13

    We were just talking about this the other day I’d like for @onaharley look at this since she has Pekins and has had hers do this. I think this is pretty typical of Pekins. Sure is a precious little thing.
     
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  9. jsroxz

    jsroxz In the Brooder

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    These pictures don’t do much justice for the effort that’s gone into their brooder considering I took them right before cleaning time, but it’ll give you an idea. When they were smaller they had a plastic container with mesh/wire as the “lid” so they could stand but it would still catch the water below. Yesterday I switched to an old milk carton and cut it to where there’s about 4” or so for them to dunk their heads underwater. I put a flower pot bottom underneath it and it’s been doing decent at catching the water that splashes out, and they can still move freely in and out of that area. Their heat lamp is directed at half of their cage so they can escape it if they need to. Towels are just so they don’t eat their shavings and so dust doesn’t get stirred up as often.
    4DCBD629-5EFA-498E-81BA-0E7082B1BE6B.jpeg 981A5618-7EEB-4201-98C4-70FDC387F644.jpeg
     
  10. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

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    Looks fine to me. Does she sound any better or worse now?
     

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