Chronicling my duckling losses here :(

Trisseh

Duck-duck-chicken!
Premium Feather Member
Jun 21, 2019
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NW Ontario, Canada
Hey everyone!

I wanted to start a thread on what happened to me and my ducklings, and I’ll post updates as I get them, in case it may help others later on down the road.

I hatched 6 Indian runners and 1 magpie 5 weeks ago; sold 4 runners, kept 2 and the magpie. I purchased 7 call ducks (a mama hen and her 6 ducklings) 2 weeks ago. They were quarantined for 2 weeks, everyone seemed fine, and I integrated them over the weekend. 2 days ago I had a runner duckling exhibiting very mild depressed behaviour. She was still eating and drinking but a little quieter than usual. Her manure was normal, everyone else was fine, no problems. She also had a very slight head tilt that was only noticeable if you really watched her for a bit. at this point I separated the calls back out so they weren’t all together but could still see each other. I gave the off duckling some vitamin e, and started her on Baytril because once I caught her, she had a very slight nasal discharge and a bit of increased respiratory effort. Fast forward literally 4 hours and I came home to find her on her back, dead, with no signs of trauma or anything. Go look out in the yard and there was a call duckling laying there, looking like it was sleeping, but also dead. The rest are all normal, but I brought the 2 other ducklings in the house and segregated them from the calls for now to keep an eye on them. I’m upset to have lost not one but 2. :( up til now the only issue I’ve had with the ducks was the one that died from a lash egg.
I am sending the carcasses to our lab for necropsy, and we’ll see what they find. It adds up quickly though so I’m not necessarily going to get concrete answers if they don’t find anything without extensive testing, but it’s worth the cost of the necropsy to me, especially if it will help me protect the remaining birds. :(

I will post here once I have preliminary results and go from there. Thanks for reading!
 

Trisseh

Duck-duck-chicken!
Premium Feather Member
Jun 21, 2019
1,074
3,147
221
NW Ontario, Canada
Update: without doing a lot of additional testing, we have a presumptive diagnosis of Leucocytozoonosis in the runner duckling - the pathologist said she looked like all the other cases of it she’s seen. Not much to be done with that one; other than taking measures to protect them from black flies. :(

The call had enteritis, secondary to parasitism. We don’t know what parasite, but the lesions were not hemorrhagic so the pathologist doesn’t think coccidia or viral causes. I did authorize a tissue search for parasites that came up empty, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there previously.

At this point everyone else looks fine - I brought the siblings to the runner in the house until I knew what I was dealing with; the calls are in the duck house for the time being.

I’ll be treating with broad spectrum dewormer and coccidia to be on the safe side, as some species don’t necessarily cause the classic signs. I’ll also be implementing permethrin premises sprays, with the potential of applying to the birds themselves on high insect activity days.

In some ways I’m relieved but in others saddened that technically I could have prevented at least the runner’s death. The calls are harder to gauge as they are stress balls any time you go near them, and the one that died didn’t appear any different from the others until found dead.

If nothing else, this experience has me looking into some of the more obscure things that may affect my birds. I actually had never really encountered any information on Leucocytozoonosis before and was floored when I did some more research on it. 🤷🏼‍♀️
 

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