Could this duck be sick?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TaylorB1216, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. TaylorB1216

    TaylorB1216 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all -
    I recently adopted 3 female muscovy ducks - a friend of mine's father was raising them, and had no time to tend to them, and asked if I would like them. When he delivered them, they looked pretty scraggly - two were hearty, just filthy, but the third was smaller, with very thin feathers (thin enough I can see her skin through them) and she smelled like she had sores). she seems to eat and drink well, just has a poor appearance. I added a supplement of vitamins and electrolytes to their water. and gave extra feed. Thoughts on this? Could she be sick? Should I provide antibiotics? Or is she likely just nutrient deficient?
    THanks!
    -Brooke
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you post a pic? Sounds like they probably weren't able to bathe properly at their former home and now have poor feather quality due to that. Ducks really need to have proper bathing water to keep themselves clean and their feathers in good health. I understand Muscovies aren't as crazy about the water as many other duck breeds, but they should still have the opportunity to bathe regularly. Poor nutrition could also cause problems, so good job getting them some vitamins and good food. Do you know what they were fed at their former home?
     
  3. TaylorB1216

    TaylorB1216 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi there! thank you!
    I would certainly be able to post a pic - likely tomorrow as it's dark outside right now.
    They didn't get much access at all to water, he kept them in a cage in the garage (...they are two years old and rather large so i thought it was pretty sad that they were stuck in a cage like that).

    Not sure what he was feeding them, I'm assuming a very basic commercial feed. Their feathers are looking very brittle and filthy. I hear muscovies are excellent flyers - these ones couldn't fly if they wanted to...their flight feathers are very brittle and thin.

    We let them out into the pond today and they absolutely loved it - they bathed for hours, just fluffing and flapping in the water.

    I'm thinking that it could be nutrient deficiency and the inability to bathe. definitely gonna boost their "good food" intake and get them free ranging during the day.

    One last thing -the red part of their faces is very pale...almost light orange. wondering if this could be an indicator of health?

    any other insight is welcome.
    thanks!!!
     
  4. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pale bills can absolutely indicate poor health, so I would think pale caruncles (the red stuff on Muscovy faces) would mean the same thing. I don't have Muscovies myself so I can't say that for sure, but that would be my guess. You are doing great by these two! I think their feather quality and color will come back soon with the proper care and nutrition you are giving them. :)

    Poor guys! They are so lucky you took them in. ^-^
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    How nice of him to pass his problem onto you......Anyways, I think with proper feeding and water the Duck will bounce back...Neglect is something that takes its toll on birds..First feed and water and then see if the bird is actually sick?

    Cheers!
     
  6. TaylorB1216

    TaylorB1216 Out Of The Brooder

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    thank you! and yes...UGH! When I saw them in bad shape, I couldn't turn them away! These poor guys definitely need some extra care. Their bills, caruncles and legs are all quite pale. My other ducks have very vibrant bills and feet. The new girls just look sick to me. Hoping extra feed, vitamin supplements, the opportunity to feed/bathe in our pond will help! Just want them to get some of that nutrition our original flock is getting!!!
     
  7. TaylorB1216

    TaylorB1216 Out Of The Brooder

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  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    That is awesome you adopted these Muscovy's I have 5 and love them to pieces. I won't if since he kpt them in the garage in a cage if possibly they never had much sunshine either. Very important to have fresh air and sunshine. So you are on the right track with good feed vits and plenty of outdoor time. But one thing I will say is after you have had them for a while and they are in good health and their carnuckles are still pale may just mean they are not laying is all so don't fret if their flesh doesn't get deep red again till next year. Mine are molting the skin is paler and they will stop laying for this year. Unless you are in the deep south where they may have a different breeding cycle. I am not sure how Scovy's say in south Florida are with breeding egg laying and molting.
     
  9. TaylorB1216

    TaylorB1216 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I will keep that in mind!
    They definitely didn't have much sunshine from what I gather.
    They haven't layed yet for me (which I wasn't too worried about - he said they were laying before, but I figured with the stress of the move to a new home and an introduction to 5 additional ducks, they're probably just too overwhelmed to lay right now). But fall is coming up, so I'm expecting all of my girls to slow down on laying anyway!
    Aside from their carnucles, just their overall ratty appearance had me concerned. The one poor girl has feathers so thin and brittle that many of them are broken - you can see straight down to her skin on the joints of her wings. She also doesn't fully float in water (she can swim just fine, but the other two float on top of the water, while her bum sinks down into it. I'm assuming it's because she's got such thin feathers that she isn't quite as buoyant).

    Gonna be working to provide them with a lot of fresh greens, water, vitamins, and some extra stuff to try and kick start their oil glads for their feathers, and get them some extra iron!
    Once their overall appearance improves, i won't worry as much about carnucle color.

    Just hate seeing a situation where any creature has been mishandled to the point of illness. Breaks my heart!
    Thank you for the insight!
     

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