Concerned about duckling that lays down a lot

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lomine, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. lomine

    lomine Crowing

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    I have 4 WH ducklings that are almost 5 weeks old, my first ducks. I'm concerned about one that lays down a lot. She doesn't seem to have any trouble walking, eating, or swimming. Her feathers look good and her nares and eyes are clear. Her legs look the same as the others but I've included pictures in case a more experienced eye can spot something.

    I gave them all electrolytes in the water. I split a package over two days. It didn't seem to make much of a difference. I have more but I'm not sure how often to give it.

    I suspect that she might be more sensitive to nutritional levels. They were receiving chick starter with Brewers yeast. I'm starting to slowly change them over to Purina flock raiser. I have added roller oats to reduce the protien and Brewers yeast to boost niacin.

    So here's my questions. Has anyone experienced this? What did you do? Is there anything else I can do for her?


  2. cypressdrake

    cypressdrake Songster

    Jul 4, 2012
    Thibodaux, Louisiana.
    Is your feed Non Medicated? Medicated chick starter is a no no for waterfowl. Maybe try game bird feeder. I am not sure about the yeast. That could be an issue. I would discontinue it for now and see what happens.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    There is some difference of opinion about the medicated starter - apparently, a different medication used to be in there, and it was more of a problem than amprolium - the current additive. At the same time, I can see the point of those who do not wish to give their ducklings any medication that is not needed.

    So - if possible, a good duck vet is best.

    Do they get time in the tub, lukewarm water? I would try that - just deep enough that they can float if they pull their legs up - it could be as simple as she's in a growth spurt and her legs are tired. But with ducks and ducklings, they hide problems, so we can have a nagging feeling until we are sure of what is going on.
  4. lomine

    lomine Crowing

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    The chick feed was not medicated.

    They get swim time every day in the bath tub. They started at three days old for 10 minutes and have worked up to about 40 minutes. I would let them swim longer but the water gets cold. They get to swim longer in the kiddie pool outside in the sun.

    I noticed today while she was walking around in the grass she did not lay down as much but still more often than the others. She also walked with her tail down. Don't know if that is related.
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
    Sometimes they grow too fast and get so heavy their legs cant keep up with their weight gain.

    It should sort itself out over time.

    The brewers years you add.. maybe you can add more... just in case.

    You don't need the electrolytes in the water.. just normal water is great... only give them the electrolytes if they are sick.

    I doubt is a nutritional thing.. otherwise the other ducklings would be showing the same symptoms.

    I would give that ducklings more time to run about and swim.. more exercise to build up the leg muscles.. and also natural sunlight and natural food is gret for their health.

    It might be interesting to weigh her and see if she is the heaviest one.

    She might be a bit fat and lazy!
  6. lomine

    lomine Crowing

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    Thanks for the input everyone.

    I read in Storey's Guide that some ducks are more sensitive than others when it comes to nutritional needs. That's why I thought it might be that. She is defiantly not fat and lazy, lol. She is the smallest and lightest. But I made sure she didn't have any trouble getting enough food. The others are all very sweet to her.

    She seems to be doing better. They spent 3 hours outside yesterday and 5 today walking and swimming. Today she only laid down one extra time compared to the others.

    Here's a picture of them from yesterday when I took them on a field trip to my mom's. She is the second from the left.


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