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Ducklings experiencing temporary "paralysis" then fine again (over and over)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wealdooo, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. wealdooo

    wealdooo Out Of The Brooder

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    We have six 2 week old ducklings (was 8). All last night, I barely heard any peeping out of the 7 (which is extremely rare for these little buggers). Woke up this morning and stuck my hand in and none of them even tried to get up (they usually run from me immediately). Plus, their food was still as full as the night before and they barely even a third of their water (it's usually empty by morning). All they've done today is stayed cuddled up in the corner. Then, a bit ago, I found one on it's stomach with it's head laid down, sideways, dead. Two others had their heads down, couldn't move their legs or hold their head up. We had to stroke their front 'plumage' and backs for a bit because it was the only thing helping them. After about 5 minutes, they were and running around like nothing happened, for about 5 more minutes. Then, they were having trouble standing and holding their heads up again. Right now, they can hold their heads up but, when they try to stand, it's as if one leg is working and the other isn't. They've been outside a couple times this week so they might of gotten a hold of something? I though maybe it's Botulism type C that's happening but not sure. Can that affect more than one at a time? And if it might be that, can anything be done to stop these ones from dying too?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    are they under a heat lamp? what are the temps in their brooder? when out side did you stay with them the whole time? Have you looked around out there to see what they may have been able to get into? at 2 weeks old can't imagine them running around too much out doors. Can you get some activated charcoal, not the kind you use in grills but you get this at pharmacy where they have antacids. Here is the link on giving the AC to them. I'm sorry for your loss, what happened to the 2 that were part of the 6?https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/700526/flushes-for-aiding-in-toxin-removal#post_9508213
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Is it spring where you are? What kinds of flying insects are in your area? Sometimes ducklings get viruses from biting insects.

    I am wondering about the brooder. If you take them out, then they seem better. Is the brooder plastic? Is something gassing off in the brooder? Do check that temperature. At two weeks, it should not be warmer than about 80F.
     
  4. aprille218

    aprille218 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also what are you feeding them? Make sure it's a good quality duck starter.
     
  5. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brooder Temp?
     
  6. wealdooo

    wealdooo Out Of The Brooder

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    It wasn't the temperature, it was definitely botulism (from what I've read of the symptoms, anyway). We've lost all of them except one and most of them dies when they weren't even in the container. They lost control of their necks and sometimes legs/feet. Two got to where the only thing they could do was breathe and it just got more and more shallow. I found out why I find them on their sides usually. They lose function in one of their legsand try to move and they fall over and can't get back up. The others try to cuddle up to them, and by doing so, they'd lay on their head making it worse. Anytime necks started flopping, I started pulling them out and stroking them. It'd help a bit, but they'd still end up having it happen again. I gave them a warm bath (they couldn't clean themselves), warm blow dried them, re-cleaned their brooder/water container, and started trying the activated charcoal. The bath helped but I think it was a bit too late for the activated charcoal for most of them. The last one wasn't having problem till yesterday and it was losing function in its foot and neck. Stroked it for a bit and its neck got a little better. Got some more charcoal water in it and have been every few hours. It eats and drinks and peeps its head off and it's doing pretty dang good so far. Once I started giving it activated charcoal, it started getting white-ish in its poop. I would assume that's a sign it's helping clean it out??
    They get the same starter I gave to my last 3 batches of ducklings this past year, it's not that. It's the same starter most people in this area use and it's got the requirements they need. The temp has been fine. Taking them out of the brooder never helped, by the way.
    I just took this batch outside sooner than I usually would and it obviously didn't end well. Won't do that again.....

    Also, another question though I'm sure there's no real answer.... I've put a rolled up towel in the brooder for the duckling to cuddle to if it needs to (since all that extra duck body heat is gone now). Is there anything any of ya'll can suggest to help it out a little? Since it's the only one in there now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Sad to read of your losses. With botulism, ducks get into something dead and decaying. Were they exposed to anything like that?

    A single duck can be helped with an unbreakable mirror and a rolled up towel or stuffed toy. I hope you can find it a few friends soon.

    I would want to be sure of the source of the problem before getting more ducklings.
     
  8. wealdooo

    wealdooo Out Of The Brooder

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    They could have. There was usually somebody with them at most times outside, but they could have. And they did, from the sounds of it. I'll find an unbreakable mirror to put with it. Thank you
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    So very sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. wealdooo

    wealdooo Out Of The Brooder

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    Uh.... new symptom....
    It seizures anytime it's on its back so I have to keep making sure it's upright.
     

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