Can you hear a gizzard grinding?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hfchristy, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    I brought a sick duck in the other day and noticed that she was making a weird "crackling" sound. Kind of like a crumpling paper bag or a quiet fire. She's seeming better, but walking a little funny. I realized that she's probably terribly out of shape since they only range when someone is out with them and it's been too cold for the humans to want to be out that long. And Pekins aren't known for being physically fit. So, figured I'd give her a swim in the tub. As it filled, she sat in the shallow end making that noise again. Grind, then quiet, then more grinding. Really looks like she's straining, too, when she's making these noises.

    So - gizzard? And if so, is this normal? A sign that she's still not eating much of anything? (she did poop in the tub today, and didn't at all the other day, so it seems like she must be eating at least a little. Oh - and I gave everyone a meal worm treat yesterday and she attacked those.)

    Or intestinal upset? Can humans pass a stomach virus to a bird? There's been a lot of that kind of thing going through our house...

    Could it be the sound of eggshells grinding against each other? She hasn't laid any eggs the last couple of days. Pretty sure that the illness started before the first missed egg, though, so I'm not overly worried about an eggbound issue.

    Christy
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    She may have eaten something very hard, like a hickory nut, perhaps? My runners sometimes swallow hickory nuts whole [​IMG] and then their tummies are loud and crackly for a while.
     
  3. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm. If so, it would probably be a walnut. They haven't been out near the walnut trees recently, but the darned squirrels plant the nuts all over the place, and they dug up enough of a mud hole the other day it's possible that she could have unearthed one.
    Actually, as I was draining the tub tonight, I thought that the poop left there looked very powdery and dirt-like.
    Just like a ground walnut shell would.

    Any idea whether walnuts are toxic to ducks? Any suggestions for getting nourishment into her while there's a nut blocking the way??
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    To be on the safe side, you could add some activated charcoal to her water. It's a supplement, not the briquettes for grills (!), you can get it as a powder or in capsules in drugstores, GNC-type stores, even some big box supermarket supplement sections. A teaspoon or so in a pint of water.

    It's said to absorb toxins in the gut.

    You could alternate that with some poultry vitamins and electrolytes for a nutrient boost.

    But if it's just the walnut shells and walnuts, the most trouble she may have is that nuts are a bit oily for ducks' digestive systems. Hard to say, though. Some ducks are more sensitive to some things.
     
  5. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks.
    I've been giving her Nutri-Drench in her water, and tonight gave her the cooking water from our steamed broccoli, too. I can't believe how much she's drinking. A full gizzard might explain why she doesn't feel like eating anything. I wondered why we were going through so much less food this week. Apparently one Pekin eats as much as three small ducks.

    What do you think about eggs or yogurt? The girl needs more calories than just the nutri-drench can really supply!
    But, if things are moving really slowly through the digestive system, I don't want to give her anything that might sour or go rancid before being digested.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Just a little yogurt in water might be good, I have read that some think ducks cannot digest milk very well, but at the same time, if the yogurt has live cultures in it that could be good for the digestion. So a tablespoon of yogurt in a cup of water might be an idea.

    People do feed crushed hardboiled eggs to ducks sometimes, so that's another idea.
     
  7. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pretty sure it was a nut. She seems to have recovered, though she's probably still a bit underweight.
    I think she laid today for the first time since the walnut. Twice. Neither one with a shell.
    Is that a reasonable thing to happen after such a long pause in laying, or should I be concerned?
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I would not panic, but you may want to add some calcium gluconate liquid to her drinking water at night for at least a few days. Feed stores often carry it or you can find it online. I use a teaspoon per 4 ounces of water, as recommended by my vet for Romy, who is having chronic soft shells which we feel is from a calcium deficiency.

    Some people clean and grind egg shells to get extra calcium back into their ducks, too.
     
  9. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What would make her lay two eggs, one in the nest, one outside it, within a couple hours of each other? That seems more worrisome to me. Almost like the muscles that normally hold them in just gave way and dropped whatever was anywhere near the opening!

    They've got oyster shell and ground egg shell always available to them, and are eating layer feed. With the boys already getting extra calcium in the feed, is it safe to put extra in their water?
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    It is a tough choice, and we don't have an easy way of monitoring the drakes' internal organs, either.

    Are the drakes in with the ducks at night? Some people keep their drakes in their own "room" overnight to give the ducks a rest.

    These are just ideas for you to consider, not certainties.

    Since you are already giving her calcium, you might try just giving her a special treat that the others don't get. I get Neocalglucon from the vet and put it in a couple of tablespoons of mashed peas for Romy. You might try that with powdered egg shell, mashing it into a tablespoon of peas just for her.

    But if he's on top of her it could push an egg out. I have seen that happen when my runners were young and hopping on top of each other when they first started laying.
     

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