Bow legged ducklings

Koylotomoto

In the Brooder
Aug 14, 2020
16
9
13
Hi! I am new to raising ducks, this is my first time. I have 3, 1 & a half week old Pekins that I have been feeding Purina flock starter since I got them. I recently noticed that 1 of them is extremely bow legged. Another one is slightly bow legged, and the third one is absolutely fine. I read about Niacin deficiency and realized that they may not be getting enough from their current feed. I went to Tractor Supply and picked up liquid vitamin b supplement (the one for caddle). Today is my first day ATTEMPTING to give 1mL to each of them. I however am worried that they are not getting the full dosage. I put it on some watermelon mixed with crumble and got two of them to eat most of theirs, but the third didn’t want to touch it. I tried shooting it directly into his throat with the syringe but he definitely did not get the full dose. What is the best way to feed this to them? And is 1 week and a half early enough to catch it that this will restore their legs? I love these little guys and am so worried that I will lose one if not more of them ): p.s, I brought them outside for a little bit so that they can get some grit for the watermelon.
 

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Koylotomoto

In the Brooder
Aug 14, 2020
16
9
13
Have you read this?

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/niacin-deficiency-in-waterfowl.1367557/

Since they're only 1 and a half weeks, you can just give a 1/2ml a day per each duck. You can split the dosage up a couple of times throughout the day so the taste is less noticeable.
I had not yet read your thread, thank you so much. It was extremely helpful. Most threads I saw on here said 1mL so i’m glad you got to me early enough that I can lower the dosage. I will continue dosing through treats as I know I am a beginner and would not want to accidentally drown the birds if trying to administer orally. Thank you!
 

Koylotomoto

In the Brooder
Aug 14, 2020
16
9
13
Have you read this?

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/niacin-deficiency-in-waterfowl.1367557/

Since they're only 1 and a half weeks, you can just give a 1/2ml a day per each duck. You can split the dosage up a couple of times throughout the day so the taste is less noticeable.
I also meant to ask, would it be safe to add Brewer’s yeast to their food while the two of them are still being administered vitamin b? One of the ducklings has no leg problems but takes no interest in the vitamin b treats anyways. I want to give him yeast so that he too doesn’t begin to develop problems, but I worry that the other two that are recieving vitamin b could overdose on niacin if they are also consuming brewers yeast? If that is the case I can feed the healthy duckling brewers yeast seperately from the other two rather than mixing it into all of their food.
 

meyerc06

Chirping
May 25, 2020
56
60
53
Stillwater, New Jersey
I also meant to ask, would it be safe to add Brewer’s yeast to their food while the two of them are still being administered vitamin b? One of the ducklings has no leg problems but takes no interest in the vitamin b treats anyways. I want to give him yeast so that he too doesn’t begin to develop problems, but I worry that the other two that are recieving vitamin b could overdose on niacin if they are also consuming brewers yeast? If that is the case I can feed the healthy duckling brewers yeast seperately from the other two rather than mixing it into all of their food.
Welcome to adventures in raising ducklings! I too am a novice, so I did a lot of research and spoke a lot with the VERY helpful and gracious people here regarding niacin deficiencies. Here’s what I can now contribute, and anyone can please feel free to add/correct where necessary:
1. Your flock feed surely doesn’t have enough niacin, especially for Pekins. Most ducklings require 55-60mg/k a day, but Pekins require 70 due to their large size and rapid growth.
2. It’s excellent that you’re catching this now. Act quickly (and I would certainly supplement all three of your babies regardless of whether they’re showing symptoms or not) so you can correct the deficiency before their bones and joints are fully grown. After then, according to a post by John Metzer, the damage is done. As he said, no amount of supplements will be able to correct a deformity once it’s grown.
3. Niacin is very difficult to overdose on, since it’s water-soluble. This means essentially that any excess that the body doesn’t process gets expelled through their waste. The symptoms of niacin overdose in a human are stomach ache/diarrhea-type of issues, so also not very severe even in the event that you did overdo it. However, there is evidence that you’d really have to go nuts to give them enough to constitute an overdose. ALL THIS to say that, yes, you can certainly give your ducklings both the B Complex and brewer’s yeast at the same time.
4. Isaac 0 has an excellent post on here about brewer’s yeast vs nutritional yeast. I’ll find the link and send it. It had studies on both types and the short of it is that brewer’s yeast is fairly ineffective by comparison. So I would highly recommend using nutritional yeast instead. Plus, I believe Miss Lydia told me that it tastes better, too!

Best of luck! I had a very hard time administering the B Complex as well. I ended up deciding to give more than the prescribed dosage, trying to account for whatever amount is wasted/not eaten. I gave each duckling their own dose separately, which was a pain but I thought worth it, and I served it over mealworms with a little water and sometimes food too mixed in. Nothing was easy about it, but don’t let it stop you! They grow super fast and you have a really small window of time to get it right.
 
Last edited:

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
31,822
24,545
937
St. Louis, MO
Yep, I think straight niacin may be better initially than a B-complex.
One needs to act fast or it may be irreversible.
Brewers' yeast would be good as a preventive early on but in their condition niacin is the tentative cure.
 

meyerc06

Chirping
May 25, 2020
56
60
53
Stillwater, New Jersey
Welcome to adventures in raising ducklings! I too am a novice, so I did a lot of research and spoke a lot with the VERY helpful and gracious people here regarding niacin deficiencies. Here’s what I can now contribute, and anyone can please feel free to add/correct where necessary:
1. Your flock feed surely doesn’t have enough niacin, especially for Pekins. Most ducklings require 55-60mg/k a day, but Pekins require 70 due to their large size and rapid growth.
2. It’s excellent that you’re catching this now. Act quickly (and I would certainly supplement all three of your babies regardless of whether they’re showing symptoms or not) so you can correct the deficiency before their bones and joints are fully grown. After then, according to a post by John Metzer, the damage is done. As he said, no amount of supplements will be able to correct a deformity once it’s grown.
3. Niacin is very difficult to overdose on, since it’s water-soluble. This means essentially that any excess that the body doesn’t process gets expelled through their waste. The symptoms of niacin overdose in a human are stomach ache/diarrhea-type of issues, so also not very severe even in the event that you did overdo it. However, there is evidence that you’d really have to go nuts to give them enough to constitute an overdose. ALL THIS to say that, yes, you can certainly give your ducklings both the B Complex and brewer’s yeast at the same time.
4. Isaac has an excellent post on here about brewer’s yeast vs nutritional yeast. I’ll find the link and send it. It had studies on both types and the short of it is that brewer’s yeast is fairly ineffective by comparison. So I would highly recommend using nutritional yeast instead. Plus, I believe Miss Lydia told me that it tastes better, too!

Best of luck! I had a very hard time administering the B Complex as well. I ended up deciding to give more than the prescribed dosage, trying to account for whatever amount is wasted/not eaten. I gave each duckling their own dose separately, which was a pain but I thought worth it, and I served it over mealworms with a little water and sometimes food too mixed in. Nothing was easy about it, but don’t let it stop you! They grow super fast and you have a really small window of time to get it right.
What’s Better: Brewer’s Yeast or Nutritional Yeast
 

Koylotomoto

In the Brooder
Aug 14, 2020
16
9
13
Welcome to adventures in raising ducklings! I too am a novice, so I did a lot of research and spoke a lot with the VERY helpful and gracious people here regarding niacin deficiencies. Here’s what I can now contribute, and anyone can please feel free to add/correct where necessary:
1. Your flock feed surely doesn’t have enough niacin, especially for Pekins. Most ducklings require 55-60mg/k a day, but Pekins require 70 due to their large size and rapid growth.
2. It’s excellent that you’re catching this now. Act quickly (and I would certainly supplement all three of your babies regardless of whether they’re showing symptoms or not) so you can correct the deficiency before their bones and joints are fully grown. After then, according to a post by John Metzer, the damage is done. As he said, no amount of supplements will be able to correct a deformity once it’s grown.
3. Niacin is very difficult to overdose on, since it’s water-soluble. This means essentially that any excess that the body doesn’t process gets expelled through their waste. The symptoms of niacin overdose in a human are stomach ache/diarrhea-type of issues, so also not very severe even in the event that you did overdo it. However, there is evidence that you’d really have to go nuts to give them enough to constitute an overdose. ALL THIS to say that, yes, you can certainly give your ducklings both the B Complex and brewer’s yeast at the same time.
4. Isaac has an excellent post on here about brewer’s yeast vs nutritional yeast. I’ll find the link and send it. It had studies on both types and the short of it is that brewer’s yeast is fairly ineffective by comparison. So I would highly recommend using nutritional yeast instead. Plus, I believe Miss Lydia told me that it tastes better, too!

Best of luck! I had a very hard time administering the B Complex as well. I ended up deciding to give more than the prescribed dosage, trying to account for whatever amount is wasted/not eaten. I gave each duckling their own dose separately, which was a pain but I thought worth it, and I served it over mealworms with a little water and sometimes food too mixed in. Nothing was easy about it, but don’t let it stop you! They grow super fast and you have a really small window of time to get it right.
Thank you so much for the info! I will definitely start adding nutritional yeast to their food. I’m so glad that I caught this early enough to give them a chance. Today was my second day giving them a dose and it was slightly easier than yesterday now that i’ve come up with the best ways to get them to eat it. For example, if I have them within hearing distance of the other ducklings they’re more focused on peeping at each other than they are on eating the treats. Not sure if it’s in my head but legs are looking very slightly better today. I have high hopes :)
 

Koylotomoto

In the Brooder
Aug 14, 2020
16
9
13
Yep, I think straight niacin may be better initially than a B-complex.
One needs to act fast or it may be irreversible.
Brewers' yeast would be good as a preventive early on but in their condition niacin is the tentative cure.
I’ve read a lot of good things about B-complex fixing the problem very quickly. But I am always open to other options, so if after a few days the B complex has made no difference I will definitely look into niacin tablets :)
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
31,822
24,545
937
St. Louis, MO
I’ve read a lot of good things about B-complex fixing the problem very quickly. But I am always open to other options, so if after a few days the B complex has made no difference I will definitely look into niacin tablets :)
There is nothing wrong with B-complex supplementation but it is specifically a B3 deficiency in waterfowl that causes the leg issues.
 

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