Duck growers please help.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MandyH, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I am having a problem with my ducklings just keeling over for no reason. They are healthy, warm and all that, it happens right after they get water. If their waterer (a chick waterer) runs out for more than 2 seconds and I re fill it I come back to a brooder FULL of dead ducklings. The other day I lost 20. What is happening to them. The water is clean, their environment is fine, all that is in order. It seems that they are gorging themselves on water and then they just fall over. I've checked their mouths and all and don't see any food pasted in their mouths or throats. I have never in 7 years had this happen til this year. I need to know what the heck to do, I'm scared to water them but I know I have to. What kind of set up do they need that will prevent this.
  2. how old are there???
    Maybe the water is too deep. Did you try putting rocks or marbles in the waterer so they can't actually jump in the water?? Or maybe setting the waterer up on a little platfor so they have to reach up instead of bending down??
    Just suggestions. I haven't had this happen so I really can't offer a sure proof way to help prevent it.

    sorry for your losses. Hope things turn around for the better soon for you.
  3. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    They are drinking out of a chick waterer so they are not drowning. THey range in age from 1 day to 5weeks old. I sat and watched some the other day and it looked like after they had a hay day in the water they just got sleepy looking and real still. Then poof, over they went, stretched out straight, twitched a little and dead.
  4. Frosty

    Frosty Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
    Maybe try bottled water? Sounds like there may be something in the water (to be safe, maybe get a new batch of feed). What kind of food and what are you using for bedding?
  5. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I have fresh food every 3 days. A 50 pound sack of feed only lasts that long in the hatching house. It is starter crumbles. I have tried pine chips covered with paper towels, I have tried peat moss, I have tried just the bare floor. The water is fine. I have about 300 various chicks, poults etc drinking from the same source and they are fine. Their environment is ok, I need to know why they are gorging themselves to death on the water.
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
  7. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Is there anybody up this morning that could possibly tell me why these ducks are killing themselves with the water?
  8. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    Well, I have a master's degree in toxicology and it sounds to be like there is definately "Something" in the water. What it is I cant tell you, but if the only linking factor is the water - then the water is the most likely candidate. Also, it sounds very duck specific. Take the water away and get fresh bottled and see if that solves yoru problem.

    If not - then are you up to doing a ducky necropsy? you could slice them open and take a look at their livers to discount Duck viral hepatitis as mentioned in the previous post.

    It wouldn't be hard to do - cut the upper chest area with sharp manicuring scissors, gently pull back the skin, and the liver is almost always the big thing you think are the lungs. Lungs are much smaller and behind the rib cage though. Look for lesions depicted on that web link above. If it is - take the actions listed at that site.

    Hope you figure it out.

  9. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    This is weird, because you aren't the first person this year encountering this problem. WHERE DID THE DUCKLINGS COME FROM???? I suspect there may be a disease at some hatchery. Otherwise I just don't understand why so many people are having this very same problem. I have never heard of ducks killing themselves with water.
  10. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    I have actually read something about what you are experiencing...just can't remember where. I think it was more about starting your newly arrived ducklings; something about putting feed and water down, and then taking the water away for an hour, and then putting it back...that they can get waterlogged I believe? That wouldn't explain your 5 week olds though...I have 5 ducklings that were hatched March 10th, and I did the above when they first arrived, but they have always had water ever since then....

    Hope you can get it figured out, please keep us updated.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: