Duckling Struggling... HELP!


In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 8, 2009
Oak Harbor, WA
So I hatched my first two Indian Runner ducklings yesterday. Both had too hard of shells (I think) to hatch, and got shrinkwrapped, so I ended up helping them both out. One is the most vigorous, rambunctious little thing, yelling at me to pick her up and running around constantly. The other is really weak, and seems to have trouble lifting her head. She still peeps at me, and can drink if I lift her head back for her, and she kicks a lot, like she's trying to stand up. Any suggestions of something I can do? She just can't seem to lift that head up!
Do you have any gro gel or electrolytes? Keep her warm, talk to her, let her know you're with her - I'd try vitamins/electrolytes/probiotics. Does she seem okay otherwise? No sign of anything else amiss?
I examined her as best I could for any deformities or anything, and I can't seem to find anything... she hatched out this morning, so about 16 hours ago, and she hasn't changed much since then (except for drying out). I have hope, since I find usually the ones that are doomed decline very quickly. I have probiotics, and maybe electrolytes... How much to give her?
I know this sounds time consuming, but, I had a duckling struggle and seemed as if it was literally dying...had almost nothing left...and I really watched it and realized that it was not drinking at all. I gave it drops of water with a syringe all the time and did this for almost a week and he made it! Just used a syringe with no needle, obviously, and he would drink it that way. If I left it up to him, he would not just go to the waterer. Good luck, I hope she makes it.
Well, she won't be able to take in much in the way of volume. Mine says use a rounded quarter teaspoon per gallon of water. What I did when my little one was puny was mix up a half gallon (with an estimated half if a quarter teaspoon), put most of it in the frij and hold a teacup of the mix in one hand and the duckling in the other and let her drink it. I'd be careful about giving it to her in a dropper, because sometimes they can be accidentally drowned. See if she'll just drink it out of the cup with a little help. Then, as we must, wait and see.

Put the rest back in the frij and try again in a while. It took just a day for my runtlet to perk up - but she was about two weeks old at the time.
you must be careful with the dropper, but, if you watch and listen and be very careful, you will do fine. Use common sense. It was the only thing that saved our little guy.
By the way, my caution about the dropper was written before I saw newbiechickenowner's suggestion - not arguing against her . . . I like the way she wrote it - to watch, to be careful, but that in some cases, dropping liquid down their precious little throats is the only way to go. Blessings, all!
I am still amazed that it worked because it is hard to interpret signs and symptoms with ducklings (and chicks) the normal eye, it truly looked like his little leg was broken...just scooting himself around and even though he would appear to go to the waterer, he wasn't truly drinking enough or didn't really know how to do it. Anyway, I so hope that it works out for you and your little one. They are so precious. I am a nervous wreck tonight because I am going to incubate for the first time in the morning and no matter how much you prepare, it is just so nervewracking! I feel sick! Good luck.
Okay, so I found all the stuff we have on hand for struggling/showstring alpacas. We own ten, and are a breeding farm, so...

I found a tube of horse probios (probiotics), a tube of AEDB12 vitamin gel, and our cherry-flavored electrolyte junk. I made a mixture of SMALL amounts of all of this, plus a couple of drops of Bach's Rescue Remedy, which is herbs, and according to my Herbalist/naturopath/acupuncturist mother, can't do anything bad at all, only good.

Hope this works!! I gave her a few drops by hand, until she started peeping at me in an angry way, and now she's resting. Pray with me...

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