1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

HELP!!! Duck breathing with mouth open while at rest??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by matttebs, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. matttebs

    matttebs Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Sep 8, 2013
    New York
    Hi everyone,

    I'm hoping this really isn't a big deal, but one of my ducklings (only this one out of 4) seems to keep opening her mouth while she lays down? When she stands up she doesn't seem to do it, but the minute she sits down her body kind of shakes a little (I think because of the mouth movement) and she just keeps opening and closing her mouth

    I'm really hoping this isn't some kind of respiratory illness...I gave her some water and she took a sip or two and continued what she was doing

    Any help??

    She seems to be breathing heavier than the rest

    Could she be cold?
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,162
    4,081
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    How old are your ducklings? are they still under heat lamp? what temps? Is she eating good, still acting normal other than the open mouth breathing?
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,890
    1,846
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Yes, check the temperature, and is she able to wash her head frequently? Her nares may be stopped up. Try a warm bath. The temperature depends on her age. I would say 85F for one to two weeks old, 80 for three weeks and up. Not scientific, just based on what we did.

    And if you are new to ducks, a bath means water only, no soap. Water just up to her belly, keep an eye on her at all times, and she will probably poop out in five minutes or so, depending on her age.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  4. matttebs

    matttebs Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Sep 8, 2013
    New York
    Hi everyone!

    Like 10 minutes after I had posted she stopped doing so (the other ones forced her to run around a little) but she has resumed doing it again.

    Aside from this one mannerism I can't say she behaves odd in any other way? She eats fine and is of course pooing all the time haha The temperature under the lamp is about 90, however, this only takes up half the cage so they have the ability to go to the other side (where she has been resting and doing this)

    The ducklings are about alittle over a week old

    What are your thoughts?
     
  5. CBrumit

    CBrumit Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Aug 3, 2013
    Texas
    As long as they have food, clean water, and the ability to move closer or further from the heat lamp, there isn't really much else for you to do. My ducks breathe through their mouth from time to time and there is nothing wrong with them. They did it while they were ducklings too. Sometimes I wonder if it is because they are doing their equivalent of panting like a dog to cool off.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,162
    4,081
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    90 is too warm even if they can get out from under it. 85* first week and 5 degrees cooler every week starting on week 2. So when they are 2 weeks old tempos in brooder should be 80* and still able to get out from under heat lamp. Sounds to me like she is too warm, and make sure they can dunk their heads into water for cleaning off their faces.
     
  7. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,683
    143
    208
    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    I know the temperature rule and I have followed it myself when brooding ducklings, but an observation I've made is that mother ducks brooding naturally do seem to keep their ducklings at cooler temperatures. So for example, I had the moms who took their 2 day olds outside in 35'F weather. I'd raise your lamp a bit to lower the temp, and be sure that water supply is as Miss Lydia has advised.
     
  8. Pweetyhonks

    Pweetyhonks Out Of The Brooder

    31
    2
    34
    Jul 24, 2013
    England
    My duckling used to do this, I was so worried about her but every time I was close to taking her to the vets she stopped and then would start again a day later. It carried on until she was about 2 months old and now she never does it. I think it was when she was hot, because I once gave her a bucket of ice water and she stopped after drinking it. I guess you just have to really keep an eye on her and if it gets worse or you are really worried then get a vet to take a look at her.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,890
    1,846
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I agree about the temperatures and it would be good to let her wash her head regularly. There are many ways to do that safely. Don't leave ducklings unattended in bathwater, though.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,162
    4,081
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by