Do you think my duck is egg bound?

boxermizer

Chirping
Aug 4, 2016
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When I let my chickens and ducks out this morning I noticed one duck just hanging out in the pen, she looked like she was shivering and she didn't run from me or even quack when I stepped close (the ducks always race out of the pen in the morning, TOGETHER, quacking up a storm, so this was very odd behavior). I went about my business to give her a few minutes. She finally left the pen, but did not join the rest of the ducks, she found a hiding place. Even a duck with a hurt leg is hard to catch, this lady was not very hard to catch at all. I have placed her in a separate pen inside until I figure out what's going on. I gave her food and water and she didn't even turn around in the pen like she had any interest at all. She did take a sip of water out of a bucket just before I caught her. I have never encountered egg bound before and really don't know much about it except that it must be dealt with immediately. My ducks haven't laid all winter, but I see that one did lay this morning, but the egg is broken and the shell was apparently soft. I'm guessing that's not from her, but I have no way of knowing (I have 3 female ducks, the one of concern is my youngest, she'll be 2 this summer, she laid all last year, so its not her first rodeo). Does this sound like egg bound or something else? I read this article (https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/egg-binding-symptoms-treatment-and-prevention.66978/) about egg binding. Can I use coconut oil as a lubricant (I don't have KY jelly or vaseline) to check? Is using a glove critical (I don't have any, but can probably get some but its going to delay checking her)? "Don't go down with your finger, but straight back." What exactly does this mean? How is one holding the duck for this explanation? Is "straight back" toward the top of the duck's back or toward her head as if going backward through her organs? I don't have a calcium supplement, but I do have oyster shells that I've been giving them and egg shells that I sometimes grind up and add to their feed. Can I grind either of these to a fine powder and give to her in some applesauce? Any other tips. Thanks!
 
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DuckyDonna

Crossing the Road
Aug 26, 2018
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I've got lots of experience with egg boung girls. I'm not sure what you're describing is indicative of being egg bound. Does she walk like she's got a "load in her pants"? Does she try to walk but struggles to to point where she has to use her wings to move about and then does she just flop down?

It's really hard to watch but I do have a couple of pictures of what my Eva looks like when she's egg bound. that's her standing by the fence all by herself. She looks pitiful with her neck almost like an "S" and her butt almost dragging the ground. Then in the second picture that's her in the pen when everyone else is outside. My ducks never go in their pens during the day.
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So if you think this is the problem you'll need to get some calcium gluconate. I dose and I'll bet you'll have an egg from her. I even dyed Eva's vent blue with food coloring so I'd know if she layed and she did!
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since you have girls you need to keep some of this on hand for possible egg bound problems. Tractor Supply has it. 1 ml a day orally and it should fix her right up. I can tell you how to give it or at least the way I've found to be best.
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boxermizer

Chirping
Aug 4, 2016
41
37
84
She was definitely alone like this, which simply never happens, but she wasn't using her wings (anytime I've had a duck with a hurt leg they use their wings to try to get away from me and are more successful than this duck was) and her neck wasn't crooked, she just looked pitiful. She looked fatter than usual, not sure about the shivering, but I can't feel anything (from the outside) that makes me think she has an egg bound inside, but I've never checked a bird for an egg before. Even if it is a bound egg, it shouldn't be from a lack of calcium because I've been providing oyster shell all winter and there is plenty on the ground they haven't eaten (I've been mixing it with oats, sunflower seeds, and whole corn this winter). My guess it would be from not laying all winter and maybe a big egg. I'm getting ready to check on the inside I guess. She did poop a little (not much like normal for ducks) when I brought her inside. If this means its not a bound egg, I don't know where to start in trying to figure out what is wrong with her. She is quite content in the tub of water (with epsom salt) I have her in and she did drink a bit initially, dunk her head and preen herself for a few minutes, but has just sat there since.
 

Runner duck mom

Songster
Nov 15, 2017
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Georgia
I've got lots of experience with egg boung girls. I'm not sure what you're describing is indicative of being egg bound. Does she walk like she's got a "load in her pants"? Does she try to walk but struggles to to point where she has to use her wings to move about and then does she just flop down?

It's really hard to watch but I do have a couple of pictures of what my Eva looks like when she's egg bound. that's her standing by the fence all by herself. She looks pitiful with her neck almost like an "S" and her butt almost dragging the ground. Then in the second picture that's her in the pen when everyone else is outside. My ducks never go in their pens during the day.
View attachment 2033838 View attachment 2033839

So if you think this is the problem you'll need to get some calcium gluconate. I dose and I'll bet you'll have an egg from her. I even dyed Eva's vent blue with food coloring so I'd know if she layed and she did!
View attachment 2033844
since you have girls you need to keep some of this on hand for possible egg bound problems. Tractor Supply has it. 1 ml a day orally and it should fix her right up. I can tell you how to give it or at least the way I've found to be best.
View attachment 2033845
Sheldon has left us a few of those monster eggs too. She generally doesn't feel well for a day or so, not walking around much and her belly sags much more than normal. We do the calcium gluconate and warm baths too, as soon as she lays again she perks right back up and her happy self :)
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boxermizer

Chirping
Aug 4, 2016
41
37
84
I'm not sure what was wrong, but I'm thinking the soft egg in the nesting box that morning was the problem. I watched a couple videos where someone thought their chicken was egg bound and in both cases they laid a soft egg before laying a hard one. I'm guessing she struggled with that egg long enough to make her sore and the warm epsom salt bath, staying in the warm house for most of the day and a few supplements had her feeling better by evening. She quacked as soon as I walked into the bathroom and walked around a bit and definitely tried to get away from me. Whereas before she wouldn't even quack at me. I put her in a kennel for the night and by morning her quack was back to its normal energy level and when I turned her out with the other ducks she went right for them and straight out into the field digging in the mud and has been fine since (3 days). Still no more ducks eggs, so I'm going to keep a close eye on her, all of them until they start laying regularly. Last year they were laying by this time and never even really took off the whole winter like they have this year. I've also had a number of soft eggs and monster eggs without any signs of issues for the ducks. So while I think this was the problem I'm still scratching my head a little. But definitely glad she seems to be fine so quickly as I nursed a duck with a hurt leg for months. It gets old quick, but I don't like them hurt or sick either.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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One of my Runners did this a couple years ago. I noticed she wasn’t hanging with her flock off to herself, she just didn’t look right this went on most of the morning. By noon I walked out to pick her up because she had stayed in the same place for hours when I walked up to her she jumped up and there was a huge soft shell egg laying there. After that she was back to normal . Poor things must really struggle with them. I’d never be with out calcium gluconate though. It’s a must have for all of us to have on hand when we have egg layers. That’s so awesome she is back to herself an feeling good!
 

Runner duck mom

Songster
Nov 15, 2017
445
1,448
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Georgia
That's so awesome she is feeling better!!
We have had the same issue here, a few soft eggs from our duck that she really had some trouble with. Then she left us that giant deformed egg in the picture and quit laying all together. A few days later she started a full molt, feathers everywhere! She's getting pretty new wing feathers in and a much needed rest from laying :)
I'll bet she was super excited when you let her back outside with the rest of the flock.
 

DuckyDonna

Crossing the Road
Aug 26, 2018
5,228
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806
Dallas, Georgia
I've been finding a few eggs with either soft or no shells too. It's got to be some reproductive issue that causes this because my 8 girls are gobbling up their oyster shells like they are duck candy.

If you are wanting to make sure that your girl with the problem is laying try dying her vent with food coloring. I brought Eva into the kitchen, spread a big towel on the counter and had my husband hold her down while I dug around for her vent. You'd think that thing would be easy to find since they do everything out of that one hole but it's not! I put a couple of drops right in the vent. Don't let her get in the pool right after you do this so a good time to do it is right before bedtime.
 

boxermizer

Chirping
Aug 4, 2016
41
37
84
You'd think that thing would be easy to find since they do everything out of that one hole but it's not!
Right! I looked and looked and couldn't find it. Thankfully I didn't have to worry about it this time. She's continued to be fine. But I've found a few other soft shell eggs since, including one today. But I also got 3 eggs today, including the soft one, so that means all 3 of my ducks are laying. I'm guessing they are each laying soft eggs because its the beginning of the season. IDK. I've had soft shell eggs before, but I don't recall it being clumped at the beginning of the season like this. I've put out oyster shell for them, but I'd been putting it in their food. There is plenty laying around, so I don't know if they simply choose not to eat it or what. And since I put it in a bowl, which is getting eaten slowly, I wonder if its just going to take a while.

Good suggestion on they dye. If I can ever find a vent when need-be.
 

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