Hatchery duck not thriving

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BuckeyeFoodie, May 15, 2016.

  1. BuckeyeFoodie

    BuckeyeFoodie Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 29, 2013
    Columbus, OH
    Hi everyone, I have some hatchery ducks (along with chicks) that arrived on Wednesday. Of the six (three Cayuga's and three Pekins) one of the Cayuga's is just not thriving - she's much smaller than the other Cayuga's, and even some of the chicks are her size now. She does eat, but seems a little more lethargic than the others. I'm fairly certain this is the same duckling I singled out as being "cold" when I picked them up, but she perked right up after getting in the brooder. It's Sunday, so Tractor Supply and my local feed store are both closed. Is there anything I can pick up at a typical pet store that might help this little one?

    Edited to add that I am feeding medicated chick starter feed (Amprolium, so it's safe), plus water changed twice a day, and the brooder is at a nice 94* directly under the light, around 86* at the furthest point from the light.
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  2. MandBducks

    MandBducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2016
    I'm new to this too but have had to learn a lot in the last week. I used Nutridrench for my Cayuga who has a deformed bill and it seems to help her. I believe save a chick is also duck friendly.

    They may have one or both at a pet store.
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    Your coolest spot is still quite warm if you are brooding inside

    For the little one, do you notice that duckling always under the light?
    I just lost a chick that was always cold. She was fine running in the yard (we are in the 80s here), but as soon as back in their house, she was parked under the light on the heat mat. I could feel she was colder than the others. She was also eating and drinking but not growing so much. She was a smaller breed, but less than half the size of the other chick her age. Feathering, but not really growing.

    Sometimes, they just don't do well and it is nothing you are, or aren't doing.
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    It's just a few degrees, but Storey's Guide recommends 90F the first week.

    But that doesn't really sound helpful to a duckling who seems cold.

    I would put a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (preferably the kind with the mother) in a quart of water as a bit of a tonic (as long as the water container is not galvanized metal).

    Do you have any B Complex vitamins? I'd dissolve one in water (at 100 to 150 mg niacin-B3 per gallon of water) and put that in their waterer instead of the ACV if you have the B Complex.

    I would also consider letting the little one splash in 2 or 3 inches of 90F water for five minutes then thoroughly dry her off with a washcloth. Ducklings and ducks just cheer up when they are in water. It might help her circulation.

    When one of mine was puny, I held her and gave her some vitamin water and a pep talk.
  5. BuckeyeFoodie

    BuckeyeFoodie Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 29, 2013
    Columbus, OH
    Thanks for all the advice! I did get a vitamin for their water, plus I "separated" her from the other ducks for a period each day and gave her food that was wet. She is still smaller than the others, but does look to be growing. BTW, wet food has been such a hit with not just my ducklings, but my chicks as well, that I've made wet food for everyone. It's a mess, but the way they gobble it up it seems worth it!
  6. neetabeamie

    neetabeamie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2014
    Teton City Idaho
    Try feeding her hard boiled eggs mashed well With a bit of milk. Booth are very good for ducks.

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