Baby Duck Sick? Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sakura, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Sakura

    Sakura Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2007
    Cantonment, Florida
    Well, we can't find goslings, but we did get 4 baby ducks at the feed store this morning. They sell out of them so quickly, we had to wait and go right after they came in.

    Still hoping to get chicks soon, but will have to be feed store ones since we probably can't afford 25 this year.

    Anyway, these little ducks eat and drink almost ALL the time. I'm worried about one of them. He drinks even more than the others, and sometimes he has what looks like a long rope of drool come from his bill, then he shakes his head and more might come out. At one point he seemed so unsteady and bobbed a lot, looking like he might fall over. But then again, they are all a little unsteady (we think 2-4 days old).

    We took him out to get him away from the water and food (and the others, in case he was sick) and he got too upset. He shook his head a lot at first, and lots more drool came out, and then little bits of food too, like they were coming up. He shook them all over the sides of the box is how we saw them. But then he started peeping and crying so much, and acted so scared, we couldn't leave him in there for long. We were afraid the stress might hurt him, whether there is already something wrong with him or not. So we put him back with the others soon. He started acting pretty normally since then (about an hour and a half ago) although maybe he still drinks more than them and drooled again once more.

    Is this drooling normal? And should they REALLY eat and drink so much? We are just amazed that they do it almost constantly while awake, and only take a few moments brief nap so far.

    The color is good (as far as we can tell) on all of them, and the warmth seems to be good. They are on paper towels in a large cardboard box for now, though we are going to switch to plastic tomorrow cuz we've already gone through 2 boxes in one day. They are eating poultry crumbles from a chick feeder, and all are eating. Water in a large plastic chick waterer, which they keep climbing half into (only 1 foot at a time fits) and walking in, or dropping food into and diving for it. They seem to love to do this. We've had to change the water once already today. We used room temp water. The droppings are very moist, but with some actual water, but most dry in an hour or so. Their eyes are clean looking and shiny, and they look clean all over (except when they get food on each other). Not sure what else to look for. They don't seem really distressed or weak.

    Would appreciate information! THANK YOU!!!!
     
  2. Sakura

    Sakura Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2007
    Cantonment, Florida
    Nobody knows about this???

    Well they are all ok still. They keep running out of water cuz we don't give them much and they PLAY in it. We had to change the bedding during the night, and again in the morning. About 6 beddings in 1 day.

    We're going to try a smaller waterer so maybe the one troublemaker can't get his foot in it.

    When they run out of water they can't eat. And if you take out the food for more than half an hour they act like they are going to eat each OTHER. At least they peck at each others eyes and feet.

    They are keeping us busy. But maybe they are healthy at least.
     
  3. loopy

    loopy Out Of The Brooder

    Hi Sakura,

    I don't know about the drooling. If they are about a week old now, is the one you think is sick the same size as the others? They should all be growing about the same. I agree that a plastic box is going to save you some trouble. I used a thick cloth diaper on the bottom of mine and covered it with paper towels. The thing about baby ducks is that they are programmed to do everything they need to survive and will forage for bugs and food and water as soon as they can stand. I put a chick waterer in their box with a modified cover so that only their heads could get in the water. It is the plastic kind that you can screw a jam jar filled with water into the base and turn it upside down so that they get a constant trickle as they use it. I cut out a plastic tub lid to fit over the base with a hole cut in it so that the jar can go on it and then a smaller hole for the ducklings to drink from.
    If you are still searching for a solution, I can take a picture of this for you.

    Let me know how they are doing today.

    Karen
    :)>
     
  4. Sakura

    Sakura Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2007
    Cantonment, Florida
    Thank you! Almost too busy to post, LOL.

    I think he's fine. No more drooling. And we got a chick feeder with the holes as soon as the feed store opened. It keeps things a bit drier, although they still make a wet mess pretty quickly.

    When the paper gets wet, they eat it, which worries us. But we are putting weeds and grass, roots, etc. in there and that distracts them some.

    I think we have 3 breeds, but not sure. One is just a regular yellow duckling with pink feet and beak, and he's slightly bigger now. (All about a week old yesterday probably.) Another is the same color but has a ball of stand-up fuzz on his head - he's the friendliest one but also the smallest. The other two are mostly black with yellow underneath. One of those has yellow wing tips. One has a black beak, and one a pink. The black beak one has black feet too (he's VERY shy and wary but the quickest to do duck-things) and the pink-beak one has black and pink feet. The two black ones are almost as big as the biggest yellow one.

    I guess they are not sick, but we are worried about the paper. We were going to put them on aspen shavings we use for gerbils, but worried about them eating that too. We might try them soon and see what they do.

    They do their duck things easily though! The first day they tried to sleep standing up and kept falling over, but now they all lay down to sleep. They swam the first time we put them in water, though they tired quickly and wobbled so we pulled them out after only a few min. They chase bugs, and try to eat the weeds and grass we give them. They are actually VERY good at catching bugs. And they run SO FAST which surprised us because they walk so awkwardly. Yesterday they started grooming using the oil glad or whatever it is in their tails and that looks so funny.

    Thanks for the suggestion. We might try a diaper if they don't shred it. They are still SO messy and a lot of work to keep clean. I'm hoping we can get our chicks soon, but the ducks need to be less work first!

    Thanks!
     
  5. cockadoodlemom

    cockadoodlemom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2007
    Texas
    How old are the ducks? Just thought I would let you know that I have read that you are not suppose to let them in water till they are a month or two old. I will have to check on that again cause I get my ducklings and goslings 4/9. Wish I could have helped on the drooling thing. Take Care!
     
  6. cockadoodlemom

    cockadoodlemom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2007
    Texas
    I just read that about them in water- if hatched in incubator they do not get to swin till full feathers, which is about 2 months old.
     
  7. loopy

    loopy Out Of The Brooder

    I agree about the water. If they are with mom, they will get oil from her feathers. That is why you want to reduce the amount of soaking these ones do. It will also reduce the mess. Try taking a plastic tub like the one used for margarine and cut a hole big enough for just their heads to access. They will stay warmer this way too.
    I don't know about the wood shavings. We use them in our duck house and it looks like they eat some of them but mamma duck is also there to show them everyghing that is good too.
    gotta scoot.
    I am glad that they are OK.
     
  8. Sakura

    Sakura Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2007
    Cantonment, Florida
    Hi, cockadoodlemom,

    The drooling duck was only about three days old when he/she was drooling. They're about a week old now.

    About the water... we put them in when they were about 5 days old. They seemed fine. We had friends that did that. They're doing great now. One of ours has a little afro. He looks like a cross between a Pekinese with an afro and a runner duck. What an odd mix!

    ~Sakura
     
  9. chickenhawk

    chickenhawk Out Of The Brooder

    I am brooding 8 chocolate call ducklings that I hatched in a incubator tuesday.
    I put them in a large aquarium with four 2x4s cut to fit inside. On top of the boards I put a square of 1/4" poultry netting that is cut to fit inside the tank. I cover this with paper towels so their cage stays dryer and the wire does not hurt their feet.
    All the water that they spill is under the wire and paper towels
    This keeps it dryer so I only have to clean it once a day. I also put a several little rocks in the waterer so that they can not stand in it.
    I have raised a lot of ducklings and it makes it easier for me and the ducks. The bigger they get the bigger the mess. You might want to consider some type of false floor in your plastic box.
     
  10. Sakura

    Sakura Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2007
    Cantonment, Florida
    Thank you all,

    We didn't know about the oil from the mom. They are grooming using the oil gland (isn't that what it is?) above the tail now. They rub their heads over the gland then over their bodies. But we've only let them swim the one time for a few minutes.

    We will try the wire floor. They are less messy now than they were at 2 days (not sure why?) but still a very great mess. It sounds like a great idea!

    And we may try a different watering solution. But the chick feeder (the metal pan with the top that slides on and has holes cut in it) only lets them get their head and neck in. They push ALLLLL the way in anyway, up to their shoulders, so their beaks can move all over the bottom. I think they would do the same with any water container, and if they can't all get their heads in at once they might fight over it.

    We do have one that likes to lay on the back of the water thing, but they almost never dirty the water now. It does GET dirty from them eating, but it will be ok for about 1/2 a day at a time, and by then it needs to be cleaned and refilled anyway.

    They really seem warm enough. We've wondered about that. We sometimes turn the light off in the daytime, when they huddle as far away from it as they can get (which means they lay in the wet side - the chick feeder with water is farthest from the light). But then today it was over 80 degrees outside. They are supposed to be at 85 degrees this week, we think, but these always seem to be warm enough.

    They really do make alot of noise anything things aren't just right. Usually that means the water is getting too low. But we are thinking they would cry louder if they are cold too.

    You should hear them cry if we get one separated. When we move them to a box to clean everything, the first one in and the last one left cry loudly while they are alone. We usually try to pick them up 2 at a time to keep from this happening.

    If they ever were to get lost (which hopefully never can happen), we could probably find them anyways if they peep like that. But then so could anything else!

    The afro one is so friendly. When we pick him up he lays down in our hands right away now, and doesn't try to jump off. The others are starting too sometimes, except the really shy one.
     

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