Ducklings with motor incoordination. Help? Anyone with experience?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Xaviorffviii, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Xaviorffviii

    Xaviorffviii Out Of The Brooder

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    I've recently successfully hatched 7 ducklings in my home made incubator, from my duck eggs that belonged to my four ducks that were killed last month by a fox.

    Five of them hatched perfectly, are about 3-4 days old, and are the cutest wildest things in the world.

    The sixth one hatched on his own, however it was noticeable after a few hours of him being in the incubator, that he was not functioning right. After he was dry he was on his back paddling away a lot.
    The seventh was an assisted hatch, I pulled back a good portion of the egg shell, however he pushed himself out of the egg when he was ready.
    Both are showing the same signs of motor incoordination, Unable to stand, walk, and mostly lays on their side. I have them in a box with narrow walls I made so they can lean against them, and push themselves from their back onto their stomach. They have shown slight improvement over the past few days, slight. I'm hoping through the rehab I'm putting them through that in a few weeks they will be-able to at least walk. I'll love them all the same. Just wondering if there is anything more I can do.

    They are about 2-3 days old, there is no exposed brain, they are completely furry on their head. And they don't seem to have any cuts or broken bones. Healthy looking aside from the fact that they can't stand up without assistance.

    Two of their parents were blue/black swedish ducks, and the other two were a crested mix, one looked like a mallard but wasn't due to not being able to fly (I'm assuming an inbreed), the other was a white looking inbreed swedish.

    Two of the five normal ducklings are crested and doing fine. However both of the motor incoordinated ducklings are crested.

    I've read in this article Here, that it's not unusual for crested ducks to have coordination problems. (Be prepared for dry reading)

    Anyone of experience with crested ducklings, or have seen this before, I'd appreciate any input anyone may have.

    Thank you in advanced!

    PS I may upload a video to youtube of them if it would help.
     
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Just knowing they are crested leads me to think it is something neurological - and being that one needed assistance to hatch also makes me think that if you hadnt helped it- it would have died in the shell from some kind of brain problem.

    The only thing I can suggest is vitamins given in water or on the food. Not just what the recommended dose on the pack is either. That is a maintenance dose which is recommended for birds that eat well- but just need a little boost. I would suggest a dose three times what the pack says in water- as the other thing to remember- is they arent likely do drink much.

    You can try some ducky therapy- carry or hold them up the right way as much as possible- stretch out the legs- and also swimming may help. You would have to hold them in the water - but if they can feel the water on their legs they should try and paddle around or at least move their legs a bit. Use warm water- and only for 2- 3 minutes at a time while they are so little.

    Good luck with those little ones- at least for now they are with someone who cares about them and is doing whatever possible to give them a chance in life.
     
  3. treldib

    treldib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Agree...some Crested Ducks hatch out pretty crippled, the Crested Gene is actually a lethal gene (NEVER breed a pair of crested ducks to each other) and many are prone to neurological problems. Try to supplement with Niacin in their water, Kathrinad will elaborate soon enough I'm sure. So sorry about your little guy [​IMG]
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Ditto on vitamin supplements, especially niacin.

    And some physical therapy would be well worth the attempt.
     
  5. Xaviorffviii

    Xaviorffviii Out Of The Brooder

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    Update: the first one to hatch with the problem stood and walked on his own for about 3 seconds, which is a huge improvement from a few days ago when he was mostly on his back. The other is a day behind but im hoping will show the improvement as well. They also are eating and drinking a lot. They need assistance to do so, but every hour I support them up and they eat and drink just as much as my other ducklings.

    Ok so they need a niacin supplement, is it something I can get at the pet store? And is it designed for ducks or birds in general? Don't want to end up getting the wrong thing. We have an agway not far.

    Btw thank you all so much, you responded faster than I imagined!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  6. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got our Niacin pills from Wallmart in the pharmacy section and take apart the gel cap to put it into water.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Great sounding that the little ones have made such great progress!
     
  8. Xaviorffviii

    Xaviorffviii Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:What dosage of niacin gel tablets do you get? And how much water do you thin it down with? Can ducklings overdose on niacin?

    Also as far as other vitamin supplements, are there supplements for ducklings? Or do I use human supplements? Like a childrens multi-vitamin?

    Sorry for all the questions, but after they made progress and have shown they do have room for improvement, I don't want to screw up a good thing.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  9. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ended up only finding the ones with 500 in it and so I think that it is 100 per gal so I always divide it into 5 gallons of water. These are actually used in humans as a supplement. I think there are vitamins for water fowl but I have not looked into it yet.

    Good news is this board is the place to ask tons of questions [​IMG] I am sure someone else with more information will speak up soon!

    Hope they get better soon. The one duckling that I had to nurse back to heath is doing great. Lucky ducky (has a limp) is looking better with TLC so I know that in some cases the TLC does work and it is worth it to try! I also would put the vitamin water and mix it into their feed when they were getting the TLC (think warm oatmeal looking), I have decided that is the route to go with any ducklings in the first few weeks.
     
  10. Xaviorffviii

    Xaviorffviii Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Happy to hear about lucky ducky! I hope mine have the strength yours did.

    This is a video of the youngest one that still can't walk. This is how the second oldest was until I noticed he was able to walk for a few seconds before falling without support. They still can't get themselves up when they fall, but the fact that they have made a little progress, gives me hope that in a few weeks they'll be-able to walk and turn themselves from their back by themselves.

    Video

    This is a picture of the box I have them in.
    I put dividers in with a width that lets them push themselves back on their feet if they fall. It also allows them to walk a little without me supporting them. The walls and floor are lined with a non skid mat for traction.

    [​IMG]

    This is the picture of the other 5 perfectly healthy ones.

    [​IMG]


    Did you let the ducklings drink the medicated water all day as their primary source of water? Or only a few times?
    CVS didn't have the gel capsules, so I'm gonna go to walmart tomorrow to get them.
     

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