Help! My runner keeps tripping!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Free N Equal, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. Free N Equal

    Free N Equal Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, first of all, I thought I had purchased all pekins, but three of them are, apparently, fawn and white runners.

    Here's the real problem, though.

    One of the runners keeps tripping over himself, can't seem to pick himself up for a few moments, and then will get up and run with the others. I thought may be a leg was injured, but I can't see anything except that the back toe is missing on his left foot--he came that way, though, so I don't think that's the problem.

    What does it mean? Is there something I can check for or do?

    Please help; anything is appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    It is possibly a nutrient deficiency (could be other things, too). That is a bit of a shot in the dark, because I don't know much in the way of background details.

    Could you tell us:

    How old the ducklings are?
    What they are being fed?
    The brooder or coop setup?
    Any other particulars? (recent accidents or unusual occurrences?)
    Any pictures of the ducklings? (okay, that is a selfish request - but it could give us clues)
    What is their daily routine?
     
  3. Free N Equal

    Free N Equal Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry about that; I should have thought of some of these things!

    Let's see...

    We got them in mid-March from a feed store. These are our first ducks that we've had, I think they were a week old when we got them. They are about 3 months old now.

    They're being fed grain; a mixture of mostly wheat, but also kelp, calcium, and other grains like amaranth, sesame, split peas, et cetera. They also are free to forage in the yard for bugs, slugs, and other things. We also take them to a pond about once every other week where they eat a lot of algae and plants.

    They sleep in a chicken coop that has nesting boxes. It is all lined with grass hay that we change once a week. They also have a kiddie swimming pool available that they like to swim in.

    One of the ducklings died soon after we got it, but its beak was a really dark purple, and it had several seizures and died. All the others seem fine; we haven't had any other problems until now. The only odd thing was that they were all sold as pekins, (we purchased six), but three of them are runners.

    I will post some pictures of them as soon as I figure out where I put them on my computer, but it may take a while.

    Their daily routine consists of mostly foraging through our yard, swimming in their pool, napping in the sunshine, and being fed the grain mixture.

    We really love our ducks. We don't want to lose this one if there's something we can do.

    Thank you for any help.
     
  4. Free N Equal

    Free N Equal Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay. Here's a picture from a couple weeks ago. The one that keeps tripping is the one on the left that is lying down.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Free N Equal

    Free N Equal Out Of The Brooder

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    Here's another. I'm not sure if the problem duck is in this picture. I hope it helps, though.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    When I am not sure what is ailing a duck, I start an immune system support regimen - vitamins, electrolytes, probiotics, and loads of gentle TLC. Looks like you have family members who are happy to take care of that last one! [​IMG]

    Could be something toxic has been ingested somewhere along the line, or it could be this one is simply susceptible to nutrient deficiencies or has a congenital development problem. Could be a bunch of things.

    You supplement with calcium. I am not sure how much phosphorus is in your other feedstuffs. What percentage of their diet is wheat? Is it possible that there could be some mold in the wheat or other feed? Again, some individuals are more sensitive to these things so it is difficult to tell.

    From the picture it looks like the tripper is a little smaller than the others. Is that just the photo or is he really a little delayed in his development?

    Now, on another track entirely, some ducks are simply clumsy and step on their own feet. Some are a bit pigeon-toed, actually. So are there other differences? How does his poop look, especially compared to the others?
     
  7. Free N Equal

    Free N Equal Out Of The Brooder

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    Probably about 40-50% of the grain mixture is wheat. It is definitely not moldy--we use human food-grade organic stuff that we eat ourselves, and we mix it in small batches. Yes, we are a bit weird, but we really, REALLY love our ducks! [​IMG]

    No, it's not just the picture. "Mittens" is smaller than the others, which we thought strange since Mittens is the only one that seems to be developing a drake feather. Also, Mittens was the last to really take well to the water--we think his/her (we're not entirely sure of the sex) oil gland took longer to develop for some reason.

    We haven't noticed anything different from the others; all of them have pretty green poop (they eat a lot of grass and algae when they can get it). My siblings in the picture are often out with the ducks, and they have been keeping a very close watch on Mittens: the only difference has been the tripping these past few days.

    Usually the tripping occurs when they run from one side of the yard to the other. Mittens will start to fall behind, trip, and lie down in the grass for a moment or two before hopping up and running just fine after the others.

    Thank you for responding. It's nice to know I can go somewhere for some sort of answers--not very many vets seem to work with 'pet' ducks!
     
  8. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting how your duck always trips. I have a 6 week old (tomorrow) runner duck that will flip over on its back and can't turn over. Her feet go as if she is running. My husband found her that way twice (I think it's a girl) and had to turn her over each time. She is healthy, eats fine is one of the bigger ducks out of 6. She may be the one that always sits on her knees. She lays down a lot too. She walks fine and runs but after that she will just plop down and watch the others. I think she is also one of the last ones out of the pool. It just seems strange. Any ideas or just a duck that poops out quicker then the others?
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    crj,

    some ducks seem to have a harder time absorbing all the right nutrients. You may have someone with a nutrient deficiency. Have you given vitamins and electrolytes and probiotics? That is one of my first lines of defense, especially with odd behavior. I would give her a nutrient boost.
     
  10. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    Runners are also clumsy silly birds... I've had a few that just trip for no reason, act embarrassed for a moment and then get right back up.... MY duck Vinny, was a bit dumb and always fell off things or down ramps/stairs.... their long legs tend to make them a bit ungraceful... They also seem to run faster then their brains can keep up with lol.
     

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