Geese with Neurological Symptoms


14 Years
Feb 17, 2009
North Georgia
Now it's a 2nd young goose with what I see as Neurological Symptoms. First goose was a young Shetland ( from Holderreads hatch in mid April, 1 of 5). I have them in a mixed flock of ducks and one other goose(who is now having odd symptoms). I'd raised them on Flock raiser by Purina, then Dumors , (with some greens). Then I added a Oat/Alfalfa pellet 14%) mix (nothing else in it), Tucker Milling had (for horses), and some Dumor Scratch. (They get fed 2x a day using the wight formulas in Storeys guide . I started letting them out to free-range the back yard about 2 weeks ago. 4 or 5 days ago I found the young shetland upside down in the night pen.She couldn't walk and would flop around. (she had been fine the day and night before I believe. (although with 40+ birds I could miss something) I thought maybe Botulism or she ate some poison plant , or possibly I'd used some Glyphosalt ("Roundup ) on the horse arena a couple days earlier(opps). She also was trembling alot., I have been holding her and she eats and drinks and seemed to improve. This morning is iffy, she didn't seem very interested like the last 2 days in eating. could be timing too....?
Goose #2 . I notice 2 days ago just wandering off alone when let out and not interested in eating the morning feed. I thought maybe she just wants grass.... Well that evening when put up , she again didn't seem interested in grabbing feed like everyone else, just off staring outside the pen. Yesterday I started watching her and she seemed to graze with the others. What I didn't notice is she didn't come in with the Mob at night , (it was dusk, and with so many I just missed her ) This morning I look out an she is wondering out the yard alone. So I caught her (and though she had a funny walk). Put her in with the others and fed them. Sthe didn't go for feed ,instead sort of stared outside the fence. Not normal, she did maybe look at the food once. Usually she is hogging the feed and inside one of the feeders!So I have put her in another pen with just flockraiser and green grass and water.
We are in a prolonged dry spell, hasn't rained her in maybe a month, and we have had temps in the mid to upper 90's.
I am beginning to wonder is it could be something like West Nile.
Both are females, around 4-5 months old , one from Holdreads, as are all my ducks, and I have 4 adult geese I got from Metzger that are 2 years old.The Second goose is their only baby this year that hatched.
The other 4 male Shetlands the same age seem healthy, eating like normal and behavior is normal.
Geese are vegetarians, and it's unlikely they'd find metal, I have horses so I am very careful about anything metal on the ground.
First goose the Shetland wasn't eating this morning and seemed more lethargic(whe was flopping around alot yesterday, perhaps that made it worse), after improving. She died this afternoon. Second goose eating ok and still upright in hospital pen.
Hardware Disease

Ducks and geese are highly prone to Hardware Disease. It is one of the number one killers of pet waterfowl. Shiny objects appeal to ducks and geese and invite investigation. They ingest these tid-bits completely unaware that they may have just sealed their fate.

Screws, nuts, bolts, nails, staples, bits of wire, hooks, coins, pins, shreds of aluminum foil, jewelry--these are just some examples of items that can end up inside your pet's body, seeping into their bloodstream. This poisoning is known as Hardware Disease.

Although there are symptoms, but the time they appear, it tends to be too late to help your duck.

Some symptoms include

Difficulty standing or walking


Decreased appetite


Watery green droppings

If your duck displays any of these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately for an x-ray and blood test to check for traces of metal.

Although Hardware Disease is extremely difficult to treat, it is entirely preventable. Make weekly inspections of your waterfowl enclosures, barns and pools. Search for and remove any small metal objects that can be picked up by your ducks.

In addition to visual inspections, we highly recommend that grounds be periodically swept with a metal detector. This is especially relevant when any building or maintenance projects are underway or have been completed. Sweep any area your ducks have access to as well as any outer-lying property (to avoid objects being tracked or washed in). Avoid visitors entering your your duck pens with jewelry--earrings and pendants can be deadly if dropped.

Do not run lawn mowers, weed-wackers or chainsaws in the vicinity of your ducks. These power tools can toss metal bits and objects right through your fencing and into your pens.​

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