Baby mandarin went neurological????!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jeserah, May 18, 2011.

  1. Jeserah

    Jeserah Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been really sad about this, and therefore haven't been online to ask until now. Last week, my mandarin hatchling showed signs of neurological problems and died shortly thereafter. I know there's nothing I could have done, he was acting perfectly normal just before and within 2 hours digressed and passed away. I asked my friend who bred the ducklings how hers were doing and she said that she found them all dead without signs of external force (i.e. predation) around the same time.

    So, what happened? I know she got her four adults from McMurray hatchery, could this be a result of inbreeding or something? I was pretty devastated and am now back to square one looking for a suitable friend for my current duck. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Dr. Todd

    Dr. Todd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old was it when it died?

    Are you sure it was eating?

    DT
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately for us, duck survival strategy is the same as many other prey animals: Quantity, not quality. When you're producing a baby a day for several months out of the year, you run into more potential genetic problems. The side effect for us is that sometimes babies die and there is simply no apparent reason.

    Ducks do not suffer easily from inbreeding--it takes several generations of pretty closed breeding to cause problems. It was probably just a sad fluke, though of course you should always check husbandry any time you have a problem (what you were feeding, what they were drinking, bedding, hygiene, etc.).

    My recommendation would be to look for an adult bird to keep yours company. Failing that, you might want to raise two or three--they'll be happier growing up in a group anyway, and it provides insurance against further accidents or misfortunes. Extras can usually be found homes for.

    Good luck, and I'm sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeserah

    Jeserah Out Of The Brooder

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    It was less than a week, I think 4 days old. He was eating fine, running after whatever I put down for it, namely unmedicated chick starter and leafy greens. Fresh water was supplied. The duckling started "head tracking", where his head would start in the normal position and would be pulled backwards so essentially he'd be staring at the ceiling, over and over again, followed by death. I've only seen the likes of it in birds hit by cars, but there was no prior trauma with this duckling. I'm at a loss, really....
     
  5. Jeserah

    Jeserah Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks for the advice. If I have to, I'll try raising a group, but it makes diaper training much more difficult, hehe. Anyway, I'll keep on trying!!! Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  6. Dr. Todd

    Dr. Todd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a hygene or husbandry issue to me as well. Try raising a few together next time.

    Diapers on a mandarin???? Seriously????

    DT
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I disagree about it necessarily being hygiene or husbandry. I mean, yes, it could be. But my experience has been that even in a healthy group of babies, sometimes one will just exhibit weird symptoms and die quickly. Hygiene and husbandry problems are more often a long-term issue that shows up slowly in milder symptoms before escalating, though of course there is always the possibility of toxins and poisons occurring due to poor hygiene.

    Still, based on the description of how the duckling was handled, fed, and housed, this seems to me more likely to be a congenital defect or just a random chance. Ducklings are hardy for birds, but any animal that produces that many babies in a year will have a higher infant mortality rate, even in captivity. Sometimes stuff just happens.
     
  8. Jeserah

    Jeserah Out Of The Brooder

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    I know that I'm very sanitary around my birds, especially young ones, but the fact remains that disease can happen. It was just weird to me that the other ducklings died too, despite everything.

    Haha, yes, a diaper for a mandarin. If I'm taking the time to raise a single duck, I want to make certain it can be with people without issue, and that means harness time. [​IMG]

    Anyway, thanks for your time, folks! I appreciate the input immensely and am going to try again soon. I just need a friend for my current mallard, so I'm going to go back to what I know and get a runner duck.
     
  9. jsvand5

    jsvand5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want a duck on a leash I think a mandarin may not be the right choice. Probably had nothing to do with why it died, but mandarins are skittish and stressing them out with diapers and a leash would probably not be good for them long term IMO.
     
  10. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oops--I missed the part about them ALL dying. Yeah, that's probably not just a fluke thing then. My guess, since the other birds were at a different facility, is that it was something genetic, unless they contracted something shortly before being separated. How long before the deaths were they separated?

    Also, I know nothing about mandarin nutrition--did you read up on it and make sure you were feeding them the right things?

    Sorry I'm not more help. And I'm sorry for the loss. [​IMG]
     

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