Ducks walking on hocks, huge leg joints, looks like twisted wings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HeatherLynn, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok I have a HUGE problem. I had an awesome hatch rate. I have 14 ducklings that are now about 6 weeks old. No obvious problems at birth. All very active right out of the shell. Hyper even. They were in an indoor brooder for the first week and a half. After that they were moved to an outdoor tractor with heat lamp. When they went outside no leg problems. Everyone looked great. In the last week we have started to notice a couple walking on their hocks and all the ducks hocks are huge. More and more of them are now walking on their hocks. Most are looking sorta pigeon toed. All have huge joints. When giving a bath today we noticed they all have twits to their wings. Its not super obvious yet but it looks like we might have major problems.

    I just hatched 10 more, not knowing we had problems and I have 15 more in the incubator. I am not sure if I should be scrapping what is in the incubator. Seems cruel but so is having major defects.

    So here is what they eat. They do not free range but get plenty of grasses and clover. They get a waterfowl grower formula that I got at our local feed store. They get fried eggs not more than once a week and sometimes they get peas or green beans. The parents are given an all purpose poultry feed, they free range, also get eggs once a week, there is free choice ground egg shells for calcium, they also get a chance at all green compost we have from the kitchen.

    They are on the grassy ground, not on wire. Their tractor gets moved every other day. Its pretty huge and takes all of us to move it. It was initially made for 8 geese so it was pretty big.

    Ideas?

    Every single one of the older ones are affected. We have 2 littles that had issues walking which I thought was maybe spraddle leg. They came out of the egg onto wire and had issues immediately at birth. I treated them for spraddle leg and they seem to be fine so far. Of course the others seemed fine also. I was going to sell these. That idea is now scrapped. It looks like we might have a duck processing party and share with family and friends. If this is genetic then probably the parents have to go also. I am very upset right now. It is horrible to watch some of them walk right now. They do not seem to mind but as they get fatter this is going to be an issue.
     
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can't hurt to try some niacin or the vitamix stuff. At least for the new ducklings hatching. Not sure if niacin could be of benefit with the 6weekers.
    What breed of duck are they?
     
  3. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kentucky, Cecilia
    These are Pekin Ducks. In the last week and a half or so they have grown a ton which is when the leg issues became apparent. Honestly before that they looked great I was very excited that all were so healthy.

    The parents were bought from someone i do not know as a breeding pair. I am a touch worried now that maybe they are a bit over inbred. I have no clue. I think at this point I cannot in good conscience hatch any more from them. Thats fine though. Mostly I am wanting to find out if this is genetic or something I did wrong and if its something fixable.
     
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    southern AL
    I'd continue with the batch in the bator and supplement with niacin. Pekins grow fast.
    Maybe also reduce the amount of feed you supply and if possible, let them work for their own meals in the yards a bit. Keep them a little slimmer as they grow if you aren't planning on making them your dinner.
    I know one of my runners would sit on her hocks for a while and I just attributed it to "my legs hurt, they are growing too quickly" and kept with the niacin additions. And runners aren't the speed growers pekins are lol
     
  5. The Duck ABC's

    The Duck ABC's Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very often it is better to restrict the diet of fast growing ducks. I have large fast growing ducks and keep them on a strict diet. Mine get a 16% from day one, and I do supplement with vitamins and minerals in their drinking water until they are 12 weeks old. I never feed 20% in the first two weeks in large breeds at all. To much protein will make those birds grow too fast and can result in leg and wing issues. 6 weeks is usually the time when angel wing shows. Wrap the wings, if they start to stand up and look like they will fall off the the sides. Angel wing is treatable and should be corrected to avoid other injuries down the road. Really a 5 dollar investment in vetwrap is all that is needed.
     
  6. DuckLover2399

    DuckLover2399 Avian American

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    could you post some pics?
     
  7. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I will try to tomorrow. My hubby has the camera with him tonight. I went ahead and started vitamines. The feed i have been using is 18%. They do not get unlimited feed. I try to supplement with greens.
     

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