HELP!! Call Duck 911

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by abbey2140, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. abbey2140

    abbey2140 Songster

    Feb 11, 2008
    North Branch, MI
    Started out with 6 call duck chicks that hatched the second week of August. The first one died in October, she was very small in comparison to the others. 2 weeks later, another died, no apparent cause. About 3 weeks after that another died again no apparent cause. Now one of the last 2 appear ill from the same thing as the others.

    Ducks appear fine and healthy then out of the blue they aren't eating and only drinking a little bit. They stop walking around like they are cold but they aren't, they have a heat lamp available and they use it.

    Their parents are very healthy. They were normal healthy hatches. They are secluded from all other animal and birds.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. arllcountrygirl

    arllcountrygirl lavender nutt

    What are you feeding them?
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    I know ducks are very sloppy and make a mess with water. One big issue with that is the risk of botulism. Do you see any signs of mold in their pen area or the feed? Any other symptoms before they die?

  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    This is a tough one to diagnose because waterfowl are very disease resistant compared to chickens. Can you take a fecal sample to a vet to check for parasites? Also, have you checked their temperature. That will clue you in right away if they have something viral or bacterial going on.
  5. wasatusay

    wasatusay Songster

    Nov 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    Make sure that the starter grow you feed them is NOT medicated. You HAVE to read the label since most people do not know that you should NOT feed medicated feed to any ducks. Find a brand that is not medicated and stick with it. A lot of chicken starter grow is medicated. The fat stores on a duck collect and store the medications/chemicals and it will eventually poison them this goes for adults as well.
    You have to be extremely careful with any medications when it comes to ducks unlike chickens.
    Also baby ducks should not be allowed access to open water until at least a month to 6 weeks old. If the feathers mat (become wet) especially in the neck, chest and leg area they are not repelling the water. That includes being able to climb into the edge of the drinking water container. If the container is a open pan, set a big soda bottle in the middle filled with water to take up space and all other areas with marbles so they can not play in the water. The longer time period being for ducklings that are not nesting with parents. They do not have the oils that will repel water and they can get hyperthermia very easily and get sick and die. Ducklings that nest with parents will get oils transfered to them by the parents but not enough to trust leaving them access to open water they can play in.
    Also keep in mind that by the time you notice a duck is ill, they are very ill. Ducks hide illness very well through necessity of survival passed on from when they were wild. A prey animal will always go for the weak or ill so it is part of a ducks survival to not appear sick.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: