Duck egg bound? Lethargic, tail bobbing, pale bill.


5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
Northern Colorado
Hi everyone. I noticed on September 1 that my duck (who had just come into laying age) was having difficulty breathing while laying down - tail bobbing. I did not see any other symptoms, so I've been keeping a close eye on her.

In the past couple of days, I noticed she is a little more lethargic than usual. Today especially. Two days ago, I noticed her bill is turning pale starting from the tip (it is noticeably more pale than the others').

Since showing signs of lethargy, she is usually out of gas in the afternoon/early evening, but is perky when I let them out in the morning. Today, this is not the case, she was already tired in the early morning. Not like nappy tired, but tired to where she plopped down while all the others were running about.

She is still eating and drinking normally.

Egg laying is sporadic and I rarely get 2 eggs in one day (which would make sense because I have her and her sister). I've gotten 4 soft eggs, 3 of which I think were hers. I believe most of the hard eggs have been coming from her sister, so I don't think she's really laying. So what I've been doing for the past 2-3 days is giving her extra calcium by way of calcium gluconate 23%. About 1/4 teaspoon per day.

So my question is, what do you think is going on? Is she egg bound? Is she having oviduct problems which she might not be able to overcome?

I really need some help because I'm worried the calcium is actually hurting her... when I started giving it to her is when her symptoms became more and more noticeable. So I just can't tell if it's harming or helping. Should I stop with the calc gluc, or should I up the dose?

Am I way off, could this be something totally unrelated to egg laying?
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Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
If you think the Ca gluconate is not helping, then give it a rest for a while.

She may have egg yolk peritonitis, an internal infection. It may be something else.

If it is e.y.p., then a round of antibiotics may help. It is a serious thing, so I would not wait and either get her to a vet if possible - and I understand it is not always possible - or start her on antibiotics. I don't recommend antibiotics lightly. But it is sounding like she may have an infection.

Another possibility is metal toxicity. There is a sticky on that, as well as the sticky on flushes.

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