Ducklings are weak and having trouble walking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kmcrae, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. kmcrae

    kmcrae Hatching

    3
    2
    9
    Jun 24, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    We are first time bird owners, and your forums have been very helpful so far. Thank you! Now I have a specific inquiry for you.

    For background: We recently purchased a flock of ducklings (Khaki Campbells). The first shipment was late, and we had a lot of losses, so we got another shipment five days later. The older ones are about 2 1/2 weeks old, the younger ones are just approaching 2 weeks. They are in a brooder with wood shavings for bedding. There are also 2 geese in the brooder with them, and chicks on the other side of a divider. We have been feeding them a generic poultry starter (no soy, no corn, organic), and supplementing with brewer's yeast and some food scraps that have been cooked and put in a food processor (fish, root vegetable peelings, fruits, etc.).

    The problem: Since we got the ducks, many of them have seemed to have problems with their legs. They appear to be weak and lethargic. They can still move around, but with a sort of limp. It looks like they are using one leg to push themselves forward, but then just drop back down rather than taking steps with their other leg. At times they still seem to have good energy, but most of the time they just lie there, often away from the other ducks (but not always). They don't seem to be eating much, and tend to eat the wood shavings. We have given them some short "water therapy" in a tub, and at those times their legs seem to work fine and their energy is good. This keeps happening to different ducks, a few at a time. Early on some of them passed, although more recently some have gotten better. Recently the younger ducks seem to be the ones that are affected. The older ones have taken off in size, but these ones seem to be staying really small, and the size disparity seems like more than the five day age difference.

    Does anyone have any ideas of what might be going on here?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    You need go and pick up some B Complex liquid TSC has it in the cattle section 1 Ml per duckling daily or Walmart or other stores that carry human vitamins carry B Complex liquid for humans 1 Tea. Per duckling daily here is a link with pics and info
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...s-niacin-riboflavin-deficiency.1228833/page-3 Once they have leg issues the B Complex works faster to get them over it.
    May I ask what kind of peelings your giving?
     
    tjo804 and nightowl223 like this.
  3. kmcrae

    kmcrae Hatching

    3
    2
    9
    Jun 24, 2018
    Thanks. The peelings are mostly from potatoes, rutabaga, and parsnips. We've avoided things like onion and avocado, because we know those are toxic.
     
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  4. kmcrae

    kmcrae Hatching

    3
    2
    9
    Jun 24, 2018
    It seems odd to me that it comes on so suddenly, and effects different ducks at different times. Is that typical of a niacin or vitamin deficiency?
     
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  5. Be sure none of the potato peelings have any sprouts on them or any greening. That can be toxic, too. Potatoes are in the nightshade family (like tomatoes are), so anything green from them needs to be kept from birds.

    I second the B vitamin for them. As well, I'd be putting the vitamin & electrolyte mix into their drinking water (I use the Durvet brand - it's easy to find around here), as a bit of an extra boost.
     
  6. I, personally, would also avoid shavings with ducklings. I try to just use puppy pads when they're little, and move to sand as soon as they understand what is and isn't food. (I usually do that with my chicks, too, except I use pillow cases at first for them - they're easy to shake out, wash, and reuse, like cotton diapers for chicks, LOL!) Just my 2 cents' worth.
     
  7. WhiteWyan

    WhiteWyan Songster

    424
    482
    166
    May 17, 2017
    Ulster Park
    My 2ยข, they only need the starter. Save food scraps for when they have grown a bit. Also check feed for manufacture date and for mold.
    I hope they get better soon!!
     
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  8. ghester

    ghester Hatching

    1
    1
    1
    Jun 25, 2018
    We never use any kind of shavings with ducklings. We raise muscovy ducks and with them we have a rubber mat and a clean towel for the first few weeks. also make sure they have fresh water 24/7 and its at least deep enough for them to clean their bills when they drink, they need to be able to immerse their bills completely in water to keep it clean. We give them non medicated chick starter the first few days and then diced watermelons and lettuce (they like the butter lettuce from Aldis), they love dried mealy worms but only for treats and we put them in water for a few minutes. Also make sure they are warm all the time too. I think muscovys are pretty hardy but still have to keep everything clean and warm.
     
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    It can come on fast but I think it is so subtle that we usually don't pick up on it right away until we see it full blown. We're seeing great results with the B complex liquid that is why we rec it when there is already a problem.
    And I agree about the peeling I wouldn't feed them even if they don't have green or sprouts. And that is my 2 cents lol
    I've never used wood shaving when brooding towels or puppy pee pads here. Once they are around 2 weeks old and know what food is they get the large shaving [horse bedding] then they don't eat it.
     
    tjo804 likes this.
  10. tjo804

    tjo804 Crowing

    2,966
    2,956
    407
    Mar 15, 2014
    Cedar Creek, Texas
    Just a couple things to check. Make sure the chick starter is NON MEDICATED Ducklings eat more than chicks and can overdose on the medicated stuff.

    Niacin is important for strong bones add Brewers yeast to chick starter for ducklings.

    I am newly ducky so grain of salt. That is just what I have gotten in my reading.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: