Baby duck problems

jestep

In the Brooder
May 13, 2015
2
0
30
New here but have been lurking for a long time now. I know this topic has been beat to death there, but haven't quite found an example of the same situation.

I have a group of 8 ducks and 1 goose that we got about 2 weeks ago. One of the ducks is now about half the size or less of the others, and about 2 days ago basically stopped walking. Today, another duck, same size as the rest though, stopped walking. Both of these ducks continue to eat and drink just fine, they simply will no longer move around. The smaller one is now in his own box as he was getting trampled by everyone else. He'll scoot a bit, and still eats a ton, but doesn't seem to be growing at all.

We've been keeping them in a plastic kiddie pool with a heat lamp. Wood chips changed daily.

Feed has been coyote creek chick starter and have been using durvet electrolytes and vitamins in the water from day 1 (3/4 tsp per gallon).
Quote:
They're now going through well over a gallon a day. We've also been giving them chopped kale and chopped watermelon every day or so, both of which are coincidentally organic, and they love both. Switching to lower protein as soon as this bag is gone, which will be in a day or so.

I've been reading about just about every type of illness or deficiency and not really sure where to start. This is a good quality feed, and there definitely in niacin in the water supply. None of the other birds appear to be suffering from the same problem. No noticeable bowel or breathing problems. I'm hesitant to try an antibiotic just as a shotgun approach.

Anyway, any suggestions of how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,822
551
Southern New England
Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks recommends 100 to 150 mg of niacin per gallon of drinking water for ducklings that are having trouble walking, or showing other signs of niacin deficiency.

Do the vitamins you are providing put that much niacin in the water? I doubt you would try this, but please do not increase the amount of the multivitamin to that level - it is fine to have that much niacin, but other vitamins and minerals you would not want to increase so much - adding plain niacin (not no-flush or timed release) would be the way to go.

There could also be something else going on, as you know.

You are giving them treats - are they getting chick grit as well? Ducklings can have big problems if they get regular food without also having a little grit so that they can "chew" it.

What is the temperature in the brooder, by the way? I am just trying to think of anything that could be slowing a couple of them down.

And welcome!
 
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jestep

In the Brooder
May 13, 2015
2
0
30
We picked up some niacin and are going to give it a shot. I can't believe how hard it is to find the right one. Everything at about 5 stores including health stores we went to was either non-flushing or time release.

The feed doesn't have a breakdown on vitamin content and the electrolite mix wasn't anywhere near 100mg / gallon. Hopefully this helps. Going to add it to the water for all the ducks just in case this becomes an issue for any others.

We are mixing some grit in with their food.

Temp under the heatlamp is roughly 90 degrees. Area is large enough they can easily move away if they are getting too warm. They typically stay just outside the direct heat from it. We aren't using our AC a ton, so the ambient temperature is fairly warm right now, probably 78 - 80 degrees.

We'll see if they improve after this. Both are still eating and drinking just fine so high hopes this is the issue.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,822
551
Southern New England
At two weeks of age, they need to be around 80F - not warmer - so it sounds like you can turn off the heat lamp, if the room is already near 80F. Ducklings can overheat.
 

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