Ducklings getting plenty of vitamins, but still having nasal discharge

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GiantDogs+Ducks, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. GiantDogs+Ducks

    GiantDogs+Ducks Out Of The Brooder

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    I looked around for posts concerning similar issues, but couldn't really find any. These are my first ducks and they're 3.5 week old runners. I give plenty of niacin, ChikSave, bugs, veggies, ChickStarter with nutritional yeast, and water, but I still see nasal discharge and shaky legs. I clean the cage 2x/day and have no drainage issues in the brooder (an elevated dog kennel). Thanks for any advice you can give!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Well, I would back off for a few days on the extra vitamins, since there is some variation between ducks as far as how much of each nutrient is optimal for them. It may not have anything to do with the runny nares, but I feel it would be good to slow down a bit.

    Do the runners have a head-washing station? That could simply be a pot of water deep enough to dunk their little heads in, or something more specific, like a big butter tub with a hole in the lid.

    How often do they get to swim?

    Have their nares always been runny? Is it gooey, or watery? When do you notice it? All the time? Night? Morning?

    What's the temperature in the brooder?

    What kind of bedding do you use? Feed? How long have their legs been shaky?
     
  3. GiantDogs+Ducks

    GiantDogs+Ducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Amiga-
    I upped the niacin because I noticed the shaky legs as soon as I got back from my trip, during which my boyfriend was not giving enough yeast with the feed. That was a week ago, but their legs didn't get super bad until 3 days ago. They were getting 350 mg/gal of water of the niacin supplement, which I realize is too much. I just kinda panicked because their legs made me so sad :(

    They don't have a head washing station and they haven't gotten to swim for a couple of days. The discharge is just a brown crust on all of their noses and it just showed up today.

    Thanks again, as always!
     
  4. GiantDogs+Ducks

    GiantDogs+Ducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Correction: They *are (not were) getting 350mg/gal up to this morning. I did this for 3 days on top of the Save-a-Chik (overkill I know!! [​IMG])

    Also, I'm using wheat straw for bedding. I noticed that the straw I got most recently is a little dirty. I guess I could have put some of these pieces together myself, but being a new mother I immediately thought the worst :(
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  5. Donna Raybon

    Donna Raybon Out Of The Brooder

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    Are the parents of these ducklings on good strong legs??? Genetics can play a part, too.
    Too much protien will cause problems with legs (and wings.) Protein requirments decline weekly as the ducklings grown. Best I recall, I use straight starter for first two weeks and then start cutting it with oatmeal or scratch. Hodereads book has good stuff on nutrition.
    Be careful of any of the chicken meds as they can kill waterfowl. Make sure you see it on label that it's ok for watefowl.
    Holdereads book on ducks is one of the most helpful I have found.
    KISS, in many years of raising ducks, I never used anything more than a good quality starter feed that was labeled for waterfowl. Never added anything to water.
    Ducks do have a lot of nasal, eye discharge and need water deep enough to get their head underwater. On young ducklings I use a glass bowl with straight sides that is about three inches high and holds about a quart. The close fitting lid has a hole in middle about an inch in diameter. The glass makes it heavy enough to keep from overturning. I use one for every six ducklings.
    Anyone out there have the Dutch Hook Bill ducks??
    Donna in Dandridge, TN
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I really empathize with how you feel about your ducklings. Glad they have a caring duck mom.

    So, I would back off on the niacin and extra vitamins for now, give them some extra warm bathtub time, make sure they go from the tub into a nice, clean, dry, warm-enough brooder, get a little TLC and dried off with a washcloth just to make sure.

    They aren't shivering, are they? Just a random thought.

    If you can upload a link to a video that might also help us make some more educated guesses.

    Are they getting any fresh greens for treats? That might help. Uhm, before you do that . . . they get chick grit?
     
  7. GiantDogs+Ducks

    GiantDogs+Ducks Out Of The Brooder

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    They don't true shivers. They only quiver when standing if their legs are shaking. Much to my boyfriend's chagrin, they're living in my home office :)

    They have been eating chick grit. I read that was OK as long as I mixed in yeast? I've also been adding oats to the food mixture since they turned 3 weeks. I'll make sure they get extra greens for the next few days, but a good long bath seems to have cleared their noses up for now :D
     
  8. GiantDogs+Ducks

    GiantDogs+Ducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Unfortunately I have no idea about their genetics. Thanks for the book suggestion! I will definitely take a look at it!
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    That's a relief! I like Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, and The Ultimate Pet Duck Guidebook. And this forum, natch.

    Please please keep us updated, and keep up with the warm baths.
     
  10. GiantDogs+Ducks

    GiantDogs+Ducks Out Of The Brooder

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    The update is still mixed. Their legs seem to have stayed about the same, but their noses are clean now. Their legs start to shake after long(ish) periods of standing and they usually want to lay down after only a few minutes of standing/walking/running. On a side note, I guess they've entered their fearful stage because over the last few days when I have taken them outside for some grazing time they just stand in one spot, cheep their heads off, and don't even try to browse for food. Thanks for the interest!
     

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