HELP Please...Sick Indian Runner Ducks!


8 Years
Oct 20, 2011
Estes Park, Colorado
Hello All
I was hoping someone was online tonight that could help us.

This evening I was down with our ducks and everyone seemed fine. They were happily wandering around the yard and within less than an hour later two of the females are sickly looking.

They are laying down, hardly holding their heads up and when they do they bobble around. When I tried to pick them up they tried to get away from me, so they have a little "fight" in them, but honestly they look drunk when they try to get up or move around.

I have given them each a little poultry drench (vitamin/nutrient dose) to try and perk them up. I'm confused and have no clue what to think. They just were 5 months old about a week or so ago (on the 26th)

They are part of a small flock, two ducks that are over a year old and two drakes that are the same age.

My daughter (age 9) is going to be devastated if something happens to them. These are hers, she saved for two years and bought them with her own money and was looking forward to getting eggs soon!

Anyone have thoughts? Help?

Possible they got into something? a sudden out of nowhere failing of otherwise healthy birds is odd, and at least my first guess would be to see if they got into something harmful.

Since you can handle them, is there any physical injuries that you can spot?
It was my first thought too that they got into something, but I can't figure out what they could have gotten into. I was watching them out the window while cleaning up from dinner.

No injuries that I can spot.

We have had a few coyotes in the area, but not near enough to do anything, I wondered if they were frightened, but the dog (LGD) wasn't going crazy like he would if they coyotes got too close...
Since there are coyotes in the area I locked them up in the duck house and put the other ducks in a different pen for the time being just in case its something catching.

I just checked on them. The one (chocolate) is a little bit better she's still laying down, but her head isn't as wobbly, I think. Might be wishful thinking on my part :). The other one (fawn) is now closing her eyes as she bobs her head around.

I don't live near a vet and don't have any ideas, so my hubby is going to try another dose of the drench and see if he can get them to eat or drink a little. I guess we'll just nurse them along as best as we can unless someone else pops on here with other ideas!

Thanks for the responses.
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I am at a loss as to what they could have been poisoned with, but it does make the most sense.

I don't have activated charcoal sitting around ugh! I've thought over and over about getting some and keeping it on hand. I need to add it to my first aid kit.

Hubby just came in after checking. The Chocolate one, Anne, is up and looking a little better. The Fawn, Diana is looking a little better too, she's sitting in the corner pecking at the wall, which is what Anne was doing an hour ago. So maybe there is hope.

Sure wish I had charcoal on hand. I think that is a good idea.

Thank you.
I really hope that its not poisoning! I want both your ducks to improve right away. Run a search for Amiga's charcoal protocol, she always provides excellent detailed and clear descriptions. Personally I've never had to do a flush so I'm not the one to advise you on that procedure and dosages, sorry. Hopefully your ducks will be past this by sunup and you won't need it anyway. {fingers crossed}
Thank you so much for the thoughts and help. Our precious ducks survived the night! Our daughter was thrilled! I really didn't think they were going to make it. We were up ever hour or so all night checking on them. We gave them what we had on hand, Nutri-Drench and got them drinking as much water as we could. We planned on running out first thing this morning for charcoal.

My husband remembered that last week he had been cleaning a large water container on the driveway. It's a dirt drive, but with all the rain we had yesterday he wonders if they drank some of the standing water on the drive and it's possible that there was some of the cleaner still on the ground or was brought back to the surface with the torrential rains. (spell check isn't coming up with something, but that doesn't look right ;)

They are up and around today. It was so weird, but I'm guessing the water on the drive was an issue. We all watched them very carefully today to see where they went and what they ate and drank. They free range several acres, but typically only go in a few areas. We live on a mountainside in a very rustic place so we don't typically have anything around that they could get into. We don't have a garage or chemicals on hand that are typically floating around homes. This land hasn't been used in more than 20 years until we came up here two years ago.

I am planning on looking up Amiga's protocol and get it on hand either way. Each time an animal around here gets sick or hurt I learn so much, but having a good place to go to for some of these things would be great. Thank you for the suggestion.

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