Heavy Respiration in 2 week old ducklings-Welsh and Choc Runner, mostly Welsh


In the Brooder
May 5, 2015
South Central Wisconsin
Hi There,
I have been raising 4 ducklings since April 22. They have been under steady heat (90-958f first two weeks), now 80-858f, pine chips well maintained for dryness, water with niacin and starter organic feed. Some dandelion flower petals and some chopped broccoli and strawberry tops in water for treats. Today, thawed frozen peas (not a hit, yet...). Everything seems good, gducklings growing like crazy healthy. One thing, the two welsh harlequin ducklings, especially the larger one seems to be breathing harder than the others, even though all of them seem to labor a bit (their bodies move up and down -evident). Sometimes they look to be breathing out of their beaks (open). They seem fine in all other aspects. Chirping, bonding, etc.
I called Metzler and they have heard of this before and said they have heard the ducklings grow out of it.

Just wondering if this is something others here have seen in their own experience. This is my first time with ducks at all. Love them and they have captivated everyone here who get to see them brood!

Planning to move them from box to kiddie pool tonight to perhaps allow more space. Pool is about 6ft dia. Will lower light again to maintain the heat level.

Thanks so much!

Daisy,Lulu,Cornelia, Betty

I know my ducklings after the first few days didnt like the heat lamp close at all. They seemed too hot . So i turned it off as long as it was staying 70-75 they were much happier. Maybe yours are too hot?!
Labored breathing can be a sign of overheating your brooder. The thermometer I see in the pic is far from accurate... You need a very accurate thermometer at the ducklings head level and at center of brooder. feed and grain stores might have one for incubators. Raise your heat source for several minutes and see if their panting stops. I think fever thermometers start at 85° and super accurate. I love Ducks. Len
I agree it is likely too warm, and I had another thought - mouth breathing can look like panting. Do they have a way to rinse their nares frequently? Stuff gets clogged up in there, and they they have to breath through their mouths.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom