Duck lying down a lot, choosing the right form of niacin...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Doulos, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Doulos

    Doulos Out Of The Brooder

    67
    5
    48
    Feb 4, 2016
    I have a duck (4 weeks old) that has been lying down a lot more than the others. When the others are eating, it will sometimes sit away from the others, or it will eat lying down. The others do not (I can't be sure if it's the same duck each time, however). A little over a week ago, one of them fell over a few times, but this hasn't happened recently (again, not sure if it's the same duck). I suspected niacin deficiency, but I have been supplementing this from the beginning. I started with brewer's yeast and ran out (it's expensive!). I've been giving these niacin pills:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0011FWEMU?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

    I also have been occasionally using a B-Complex vitamin. The niacin I am using is NOT flush-free. I have read people variably saying to choose flush free or not to choose flush free. Which do I use? Also, I have noticed that the powder from the niacin and the vitamin doesn't always dissolve well in the water. I'm wondering if they are getting the right amount. Advice would be appreciated.

    I have also been giving fresh peas, romaine lettuce, and kale on occasion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  2. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,550
    449
    186
    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    You don't want to use the flush free, slow release, or time release kind. It goes through their systems before they can absorb anything. From what I can see the one in the link should be fine.

    I had the exact same thing happen with one of my ducklings at about the same age. She could walk fine but was laying down way more than the others. At first I had mine on chick starter with brewers yeast, so they were all getting the recommend amount of niacin. I ended up changing to an all flock feed and adding brewers yeast to that. Effectively, their niacin intake was increased. Within a week the duckling was fine and no longer laying down all the time. I think your duck my be like mine and just needs more than the recommended amount.

    You could try sprinkling the niacin on the peas if it isn't dissolving in the water. Or use warmer water.
     
  3. Doulos

    Doulos Out Of The Brooder

    67
    5
    48
    Feb 4, 2016
    Thanks! It just worries me because I have been adding 500 MG capsules to 3 gallons of water, and the recommendation I read is 100 to 150 per gallon. People have said different things about whether or not you can give too much niacin. Surely it would take an amount way over the daily intake value because of it being water soluble, but I don't want to risk giving way too much.
     
  4. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,550
    449
    186
    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    I didn't use the capsules so I'm not sure what the recommended amount is for them. I liked the brewers yeast in the food because I knew for sure they were eating it. Mine didn't have a problem with the increase but that's not to say there isn't a danger in it.

    You may try giving extra to just the one that is sitting for a few days and see how it goes. You can paint the nails with regular finger nail polish to help you tell who is who. I used different colored plastic zip ties to help me because it was really hard to tell them apart for the first couple months.
     
  5. Doulos

    Doulos Out Of The Brooder

    67
    5
    48
    Feb 4, 2016
    Do you have any thoughts about how much/how often I should feed them? 5 are 4 weeks old, 3 are 3 weeks old. I was just keeping their food basin full, but I started just feeding them as much as they could eat in 20 minutes in the morning and evening two days ago, with water available at all times. Could it be that they are growing too quickly?

    They haven't had the chance to be outside yet and exercise, and I think that's a problem too. I've just been waiting for the mesh to come in the mail (fingers crossed, arriving tomorrow) so I can complete their pen outdoors.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  6. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,550
    449
    186
    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    At about four weeks I started taking the food away at night but let them eat as much as they wanted during the day. What's the protein percentage on the food you are giving them?

    If they aren't able to go outside yet you might give them bath time to help get a little exercise.
     
  7. Doulos

    Doulos Out Of The Brooder

    67
    5
    48
    Feb 4, 2016
    The feed is Dumor Chick Starter/Grower, 20% protein. I'm planning on getting them outside in the next day or two. It's getting to be too much cleaning up for them in the storage room I have them in. Also will put a shallow pool in their pen...seem to be having trouble locating a kiddie pool this time of year though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,979
    1,950
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I have heard of Dumor feed not having quite enough niacin for ducklings.
     
  9. Doulos

    Doulos Out Of The Brooder

    67
    5
    48
    Feb 4, 2016
    Thanks for the heads up. I'm almost out of it and have started mixing it with purina flock raiser to switch. I'm just a little perplexed since I have been giving them slightly more than recommended doses of niacin supplement for some time. I'd prefer something natural like brewer's yeast, but that stuff is expensive and doesn't last long. I may need to give it a go, but I've been giving peas more often lately because they are high in niacin as well, but also high in protein.
     
  10. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,550
    449
    186
    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    I think it is just a difference in the individual ducks nutritional needs or the ability to process the nutrients. Some will need a little more or little less so sometimes you have to help them compensate. The good thing is that you don't need to add additional niacin after 10 weeks, so its not a lifetime expense you need to take into consideration.

    You might also try giving all of them a dose of electrolytes. The sav-a-chick kind. It will give everyone a little boost of energy.

    ETA The black cement mixing tubs are great for mini swimming tubs until you can find a kiddie pool. They are good in winter when it is too cold to fill the pool but you want to give them some water to bath in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by