Duckling won't/can't walk

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kwyjibo, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Kwyjibo

    Kwyjibo Out Of The Brooder

    88
    0
    47
    Jul 1, 2011
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    I have a question about my duckling I'm hoping someone has the answer for........My duckling was thriving up until about 5 or 6 days ago. Now he won't/can't walk. I brought him inside last night to care for him as he would just sit around most of the time. As of day before yesterday he did manage to get up and walk to get to his mama when we were putting them away but now he doesn't even stand. I'm wondering if it was diet because he went from mash to dry crumble (flock raiser and egg layer mix) and learning to forage with his mama. I'm feeding him flock raiser mash, boiled egg (which he loves) and greens, which he doesn't each much of at all. He eats and drinks and poops fine. He seems weak though---or at least his legs are. I have to put the food and water right against him or just won't eat or drink. Does anyone have any experience with this?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,907
    5,630
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Could be a niacin deff. can you get some niacin [not the time released] and sprinkle it on his water? or brewers yeast [not the kind of yeast you bake with] and sprinkle it on top of his food. Usually legs problems is some kind of deff. how old are your ducklings and what breed? also could he have gotten stepped on or other wise hurt. have you inspected his legs real close.? have you tried giving him some peas? most ducks love peas, just a little added to his diet in place of the greens if he isn't them too well. Hope this helps some and you can get your little duckling back to running around doing ducky things. [​IMG]forgot about this link good info here.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/647999/tips-for-the-new-duck-owner
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  3. Kwyjibo

    Kwyjibo Out Of The Brooder

    88
    0
    47
    Jul 1, 2011
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Thank you for all the tips. I am trying them. I noticed his breathing seems labored as well. Though I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is labored breathing or normal for ducklings. Thinking a respiratory illness might be the culprit, I made a batch of duramyacin for him and your tip about trying peas for greens has been really helpful.......he liked them so I drop them in the medicated water one at a time and he gobbled them up.

    A lady that I am buying a drake from whom I asked for advice---she used duramyacin and electrolytes (which I imagine is like using sav-a-chick) for a duckling with the same problem--and also put him in the warm bath to try and exercise his legs. She said it took a week and he was back on his feet but still doesn't know what the problem was with this particular duckling--especially since it's clutchmates had no problems at all. She says that now he is strong, healthy and normal as an adult.

    My duckling is almost 4 weeks old and started foraging with mama at around 3 weeks. 'Til then he was kept in the "maternity ward". I've checked his legs---they are so big compared to the rest of him but I cannot detect anything wrong. He just seems weak. He will scoot himself away from the food to sleep--which he is doing a great deal of. However, once I coax him to eat and drink he does so on his own until he's had enough. He's not a voracious eater like another muscovy duckling of the same age. He eats egg yolk, a bit of mash and the peas until he seems to not have the energy to eat anymore---the heavy breathing.

    I'd like to add the niacin to his water but I don't know if it would interfere with the anitbiotics. I know sav-a-chick has both electrolytes and vitamins but I'm not sure if I could add that in with the medicine.

    If you have anymore advice I would sooo appreciate it. [​IMG]
     
  4. Kwyjibo

    Kwyjibo Out Of The Brooder

    88
    0
    47
    Jul 1, 2011
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    I forgot to add that I have muscovies--just one ornery drake and two hens and one duckling. Have you ever had a drake not want to mate with one of your hens?

    I also forgot to say that I am really grateful for backyard chickens forum where people are so helpful.[​IMG] Thanks.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,907
    5,630
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I have 2 drakes and each one has their own set of girls my oldest has 4 girls and my youngest has 3 and even though my youngest tries to run down the others girls now and then they pretty much stay with their own. And i have a gander that has 1 muscovy hen as his mate with one of the older muscovies girls thrown in every once in a while. it can get pretty strange around here at times. But i don't think I've ever not seen my boys mating with the girls. Thats kinda odd. I know they can have favorites so maybe thats the problem. [​IMG] about your duckling, make sure you use the whole time of antibiotics in other words if he starts to look like he's feeling better don't stop using them. and don't do the niacin or anything else in the same water as the antibiotic. before I got save a chick I'd get Poultry Nutri Drench. save a chick has quite a bit of sodium in it. Keep us updated on his progress and Hoping he gets better quick. Heavy breathing could mean Respiatory but are you seeing any discharge from nostrils or eyes? could mean he's hot too, is the weather hot where you are?
     
  6. Kwyjibo

    Kwyjibo Out Of The Brooder

    88
    0
    47
    Jul 1, 2011
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    No, the weather isn't hot. I'm on Bainbridge Island WA just west of Seattle. My husband said he saw discharge from a nostril but I examined him closely (that means I put my reading glasses on and looked him over really good) and he looked dry in all the right places. He eats little bits about every 3-4 hours and he is drinking his medicated water as well. He is thin. I can feel his back bone and hip bones all too well. His crop is never really full the way I see chickens crops. I don't know if Ducks are different. But he is pooping normally.

    As for my adult drake--he is not even a year old yet and though he is obnoxious in his own right, he takes some of his leads from the hens who are at least a year older from him and the one he is so amorous with has had a nest before. The other one was a rescue from a previous flock. She is healthy and quite beautiful. She was a newcomer there and the other hens and even the drake didn't allow her to make a nest and they even tried to starve her out. She had ugly flesh wounds on her shoulders when we got her but she healed up nicely and gained weight soon after we got her. She is mistrustful of people and I think other ducks as well. She has mated w/ Jiminy, the drake, and even had a nest and was naturally territorial chasing Blossom away. But......we were trying to candle them and see if they were fertile. We didn't take them away at all. We did it right there, but she abandoned the nest. She hasn't laid an egg since and since Blossom had a duckling, Jiminy has actually been hostile to her--pulling feathers out and making her bleed. She just hides out in the chicken coop all day. I haven't added a 3rd hen yet because I wanted to make sure she (Xochitl--So-chee) was acclimated and part of the flock.

    Jiminy is obnoxious [​IMG]and he's aggressive but not completely unmanageable. But I am going to find another home for him and I have a drake waiting in the wings that is sweet and mellow. I'm hoping that will change things.

    I thought this whole raising chickens and ducks thing was relaxing and uncomplicated. Wow. [​IMG] But I still love it. I appreciate your all your help. So glad you addressed my concerns. I've been having a hard time finding clear answers about what to do. Thanks again.[​IMG]
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,907
    5,630
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    as far as discharge he may have just seen water on his nares that happens. I hope the antibiotics will help. Just remember antibiotics can cause other problems, mainly resistance to antibiotics so use them sparingly. it may have been best to have added that third hen when you got your rescue. then he wouldn't have zeroed in on your rescue duck. [maybe] some drakes can really be a pain, your probably wise to find him a new home especially if you have a more mellow one waiting to join the flock. usually At least 3 ducks to every drake so much better for the ducks. what a pretty name Xochitil -So-chee what does it mean? Let me know how he is and we'll just keep hoping for a good outcome. after you finish the course of antibiotics maybe get him some Poultry Nutri drench to help boost his system the antibiotics kill everything bad and good bacteria.
     
  8. Kwyjibo

    Kwyjibo Out Of The Brooder

    88
    0
    47
    Jul 1, 2011
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    I'll do that. I'll have to call around for the nutri-drench. Our feed stores are spread way apart and the one here on the island only has sav-a-chick. I may look online as well. I'm glad you pointed out that the good bacteria are wiped out as well as the bad--I didn't think of that.

    The name Xochitl is Aztec and means "flower". We have a friend named Xochitl from Mexico and since Muscovies are from Central and South America we thought it would be fitting to give at least one of them an Aztec name. So, we have Xochitl (flower) and Blossom--the girls. And Jiminy, the drake, named after one of our ornery friends--Jim. Our new drake (not yet with us) is named Chubbers. I think it's cute but my husband doesn't think so.

    I may end up getting a 3rd hen this go around once Jiminy is re-homed--at least I sure hope that's what becomes of him. He is great breeding stock but he is ornery and I want him to be a pet. Any thoughts you have on how to go about that would be appreciated. I figure charging $40 for him would weed out anyone wanting him for meat and I can always offer to take him back if it's not working out I suppose. I raised him as a single duckling when I got Xochitl. Originally, I was only going to get her but they offered me Blossom and Jiminy once we were there to pick her up. So Jiminy was raised indoors at first by them and a week in our house and then out to the coop with the girls when he was about 5-6 weeks old. He was quite the personality then and he is now too. But I believe he sees me as one of his hens. He does a little "mating dance" for me and when I don't respond he gets to grabbing my pants leg. And he hounds my every step. Do you think he'd do better with someone who has plenty of hens for him to service?

    I'm including a picture of the duckling at 2 days old and my ducks--love the feet! The duckling is beautifully marked I think. What color would you say Jiminy is?


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,907
    5,630
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    He is beautiful. and I can see what Jimmys problem is now. I have one too.His name is Opie, after Opie Taylor[ Andy Griffin] He was being attacked by his mom right after hatch so I brought him in and raised him as a house duck for his first 3 months. He had alot of contact with the other ducks but he was in the house mostly. Thought he was a puppy and actually still does. lol The nipping and following you around are sure signs of not quite sure where we are in their little harem. When Opie became breeding age he is now 10 months old so this was back in the fall, he start attacking me of my gosh I was so upset, some even advised we Kill him, well I wasn't sure if that wasn't going to have to be the solution. But I love this drake he is like my baby. We went through several months of me having to flatten him out on the ground when he would attack or getting the hose after him[ by the way works great] now if he gets nippy I pick him up and bite him on the neck, not hard but just to make a point. Honestly he doesn't taste bad. lol He has calmed down alot in the last few months. We went and got him his own girls since our Old drake has 4 and knew that wouldn't work. Did have to rehome another drake to keep the peace. He loves his girls and now even though he still comes in for snack and cuddles spends most of his time with his girls and doing what male drakes love to do [​IMG] thats why i say at least 3 girls for every drake. He is a character and will always think he's part of the family even going on short walks with us sometimes. But I am so glad I waited through this and can see a difference. I think the important thing is to constantly let them know you are boss not them, now saying all of this I am not trying to make you feel guilty and keep Jimmy, you have to do whats best for your flock and if he's attacking Xochitl then it would probably be for the best. About 4 years ago i went and brought home 4 females that needed a home asap they were about 3 months old when i got them, well One day after taking my dogs for a walk I come up into the yard and see blood everywhere, I thought for sure someone was dead, [this is a time when my drake and gander were going at it pretty heavily] but it was one of my new girls her face on one side had been nipped so bad there wasn't even any feathers or skin on it. it looked awful I'm still thinking it was my gander who did this but don't know for sure. anyway I cleaned her up and put Blue Kote on her and in less than a week she was good as new, but boy can they cause the ole heart to hurt. How old is Jimmy? you know my old drake he's around 9[ adopted him from the river] has always been such a gentleman has never even bit me when I pick him up but thats the difference between one who had no human intervention when a baby to one that did. He is so pretty and I think I am no good at colors he maybe Lavender or Silver.But I'll give you a link and you can see colors these ducks come in and decide what you think. http://www.muscovyduckcentral.com/varieties.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  10. Kwyjibo

    Kwyjibo Out Of The Brooder

    88
    0
    47
    Jul 1, 2011
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Jiminy is almost a year old. I did find that the hose works great on him but it's only practical while I've got it in my hand filling water bowls. He likes to stand in the doorways of the chicken coop and the duck coop and the gate where there is limited room to pass. Sometimes I block his bill and sometimes I just pick him up and move him. He is such a heavy boy though. I use a combination of "consequences" for biting me depending on the severity and his persistence level. Someitmes he just gets more hacked off and just keeps coming back and coming back. I use blocking when he's not biting but might have the opportunity to do so. Then I grab his bill ans maybe neck and hold them for a little bit. After that comes flattening. Then comes upside down therapy--which I hate doing but it mostly puts a halt to it unless he keeps trying to have a go at me. Then it's just more of the ole leg dangling. While I'm filling water bowls, he's always trying to sneak up on me from behind and I can see the wheels spinning in that little head and I can feel the the tension building right before he's going to go for it. Then it's the hose. Like I said, I hate to turn him upside down because I don't want to hurt him but nothing else phases him on some days.

    As for the way he treats Xochitl, he usually just ignored her even though she would "make herself available" to him. But since the duckling came, he has taken Blossom's lead and goes after Xochitl. Since they are molting right now, I just thought maybe she bled a little when she lost some flight feathers. At night, I had Blossom and baby in the duck house and Jiminy and Xochitl in the chicken coop. After the baby was big enough to go out in the yard w/ Blossom, Jiminy wanted to be right with them all the time and when I put him him up at night w/ Xochitl is when I started noticing the bloody wings. After that, it was obvious to me that she was terrified of Jiminy. One evening, when I put him in the coop with her, he chased her around trying to bite her and the poor little thing was just frantic. So, Jiminy was put in the duck house w/ Blossom and the baby and everybody was happy with that arrangement. However, Xochitl wouldn't come out of the coop all day if the two of them was within her sight. She'd meander out if they were on the other side of the house but not very far.
    I love Jiminy. Like you say, he's my baby. I could stick it out trying to condition him to quit biting but I don't feel I can keep him if he's aggressive to a hen. Xochitl and Blossom raised him too, on some things he takes their lead---like Blossom chasing Xochitl away from her nest or her baby. Do you think he'd behave the same way (biting the owner and hurting hens) within a new flock with several girls for him to service? My hope is that with plenty to keep him busy[​IMG] that his bad behavior would tone down.

    The baby duck is still the same this morning. He didn't eat as much as I would have like him to. He lost interest fairly quickly--never a good sign. But he seems to be scooting around a bit more. Poor little feller. I'm going to keep trying though.

    Your Opie sounds like a funny guy. I'm glad to hear from someone with their own "Jiminy" who has had success. In your opinion, do you think it's best to find him another home because of Xochitl? I really, really hate to lose him because I'm attached to him and at the same time, I'm afraid to think of what might happen to him if he causes the same problems for someone else. They probably wouldn't have the patience and willingness to work with him like I would.

    What is it about biting Opie on the neck that works in getting him to stop biting. Is it like grabbing the scruff on a dog's neck? a place on their body they recognize as something their mama would do to keep them in check?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by