Help, something is wrong with my duckling!!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by chicken_china_mom, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    I was out yesterday, but when I came home last night I saw my mother and my younger daughter trying to catch one of my Cayuga/Runner ducklings (just bought 5 Blue Cayuga/Runner mixes ranging in age from about 2 weeks old down to a few days old on August 7th). They've all been thriving and they fit in very well with the ducks we already had- 4 Blue Swedish of which 3 of the 4 are drakes, and a pair of Mallards. Along with the Blue Cayuga/Runner mixes I also purchased a Swedish/Harlequin mix baby girl, and a Call duck baby girl. 4 of the 5 Blue Cayuga/Runner mixes are girls. The only boy, Dexter, is the one they were trying to catch yesterday. My daughter noticed yesterday that Dexter wasn't up and moving around with the other ducks, but she didn't think anything of it. She thought he was cold and laying down in the coop to stay warm, so she didn't tell me, but when she went into the coop yesterday and he was in the same place, she was worried, so she went and told my mom who was watching her. When I got home around 5:30 last night they were trying to catch Dexter who had managed to limp out of the coop to get away from them. My DD did catch him pretty easy, and she brought him to me. Dexter was stressed out, so I told the girls to run some warm water in the tub and let him swim to take pressure off the leg for a little bit, which they did. Dexter was very happy to have the water, and I fed him as he swam. I gave him some feed, which he stuck his head under the water to eat, and I gave him some lettuce, which he also ate. I let him swim for a little bit, and then I let the water out of the tub. As the water went out, Dexter laid down on his side with his leg stuck straight out next to him. I took out a towel, gently swaddled him in it, and picked him up. He was not too happy about that, but he calmed down after a minute of being sweet talked. As I held him, I felt his leg to see if there was a break, and I touched both knee joints and the one he's favoring does feel a little swollen. I flexed the leg but he didn't fuss at all, he let me do it for more than a minute. When I laid him back down in the tub I put down a bowl of food, a bowl of water, and I kept him wrapped in the towel. He drank, then he ate, and then I turned out the lights so he could sleep. This morning when I went into the bathroom he was out of his towel and was actually on the other side of the food and water dishes, and he was hissing at me. When I approached the tub and looked down at him I was startled to see that he had pooped-MINT GREEN! He had pooped at least 3 or 4 times overnight, and it was mint green and grayish in color. I've NEVER seen my ducks poop that color before. Up until that moment I had been thinking that maybe he was reaching sexual maturity and one of the Swedish boys had kicked his butt, hurting his leg in the process, but now I'm not so sure. Minty green poop? Dexter refuses to stand up. I don't know what to do, or how to treat him. Has anyone seen this before in a duck? I love my ducks as much as I love my chickens, and I don't want anything to happen to him. Here's some background info in case it's something environmental:

    I have 15 ducks living with my Bantam chickens. There are 4 Cayuga/Runner girls, 1 Call duck girl, 1 Mallard hen, 1 Swedish/Harlequin girl, and 1 Swedish girl, 1 Cayuga/Runner boy (Dexter), 2 Call drakes, 3 Swedish drakes, and 1 Mallard drake. As for chickens, it's currently a mix of young, not yet laying Standards, and young and adult Bantams. The chickens don't fight with the ducks. If anything it's the ducks that occasionally bully the chickens, but even that isn't that bad. It's more like "get away from MY pool". The two Call drakes are new, only been here about a week and a half, and the Sweidsh drakes challenged them, and the Calls won that fight, surprisingly. Dexter doesn't pick fights with the other drakes. Dexter just got the little curl in his tail, so I think he's reaching sexual maturity, but I don't think he's making attempts to mount the girls yet, and I haven't seen any conflict between him and the Swedish boys. My Mallard drake doesn't challenge anyone, he's a very gentle boy. The chickens and ducks have a sectioned off part of the yard (it's BIG) for them to be in, but they have almost all (ducks included) learned how to escape the fencing so that they can wander the whole yard, and they do like to visit the next door neighbor and eat her weeds and occasionally her cat food. The neighbor doesn't mind, she's even thinking of getting her own chickens and ducks now. My younger DD thinks Dexter may have thrown up the same mint green colored mess. Any ideas of what could be wrong? I hope I gave enough info about Dexter and who he lives with, and where he lives at. Oh, I feed them layer feed, scraps, and bread. The ducks will seriously eat anything I give them. They LOVE oatmeal, rice, soup, cereal, and anything else we think to give them. No complaints from them. If anyone could give me an idea of what to do for Dexter, or how to check better what could be wrong with his leg, or what the oddly colored poop could mean, or am I over thinking this whole thing? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    The poo is normal. Wait until you get the dark green stinky liquid ones. It has to do with their food or what they eat. Please don't feed any bread for cereal to the ducks. It's really bad for them. It like kids eating sugar all day. They need 17% protein, so adding bread will reduce what they need. There are fat ducks out there that are actually malnourished from junk food like bread and cracked corn.

    Ducks have a natural instinct of banning ducks that look ill to them. They usually try to chaise them away to preserve the health of the flock. They cannot tell the difference between injury or real sickness to they act the same regardless. Biting tail feathers is the way they chase ill ducks away. Your duck may just have a leg injury and need some time to heal.

    Another thing that makes a duck go weak in their legs is not enough niacin in their diet. They need way more then chickens do, and commercial feed usually does not have enough of it. Greens are good sources of niacin and should be given daily. It is also a good idea to get a vitamin/mineral additive for their drinking water, which can be given to both chickens and ducks. Give it once per month and you don't ever have to worry about deficiencies. A product I like to use is:
    https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=231
    It stores nicely in a mason jar and last for a year.
    If you have not giving an additives at all I would suggest for now to get regular niacin (vitamin B3) at Walmart and mix 100mg per 1 gallon of water.
     
  3. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Ok, I will see about getting the additive to add to their water. I'm happy to know that they need more niacin, it gives me a starting point and a way that I can start to help Dexter and the other ducks. I just introduced meat bird feed into the layer feed because it has a higher protein level, and I'm mixing it. Until Dexter gets better should I give him exclusively the meat bird feed? It is labeled as what to feed meatbirds, game birds, ducks, and geese. It has 21% protein. I'll get him some niacin as soon as possible. Are there any specific greens that I should add? Like which are better than others? The darker the greens, the better, right? Avoid iceburg lettuce because it's of no real nutritional value, right? It happens to be what I have fresh at the moment though, but I do have frozen veggies. I'll have to get some spinach and some more broccoli. I'm going to research veggies high in niacin. Are gourds good for them too? My birds all LOVE pumpkin and squashes. I'm going to go now and research veggies for them, and see what other yummies I should be adding to their diet.
     
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I get the cheap salad greens and frozen peas. No spinach, because of the iron in it. Other fruits and vegetables are fine too. You will find out what they like, and what not. Stay away from onions they are deemed to be toxic, but I have not found a real reference to it. I know it is toxic for dogs. Mine also love watermelon, but the season if over. I feed a grower/developer feed with 17% protein. Too much protein is not good, plus you pay for something they don't need. Rapid grows in ducks causes leg and wing problem. These usually show before they are 2 months old. Higher protein is also linked to over sized eggs and double yolkers. These large eggs can be very stressful to a hen. I also stay away from layer feed. It contains oyster shell, which is bad for the males. Best is to get regular feed and offer oyster shell on the side. The girls will eat it as needed. I let mine free range all day and they seem to love it. In the evening they get my backyard and I can report that all the weeds are gone. Had to fence off some flowers, but that was it.
     
  5. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    5,583
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    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    Mint green poop is actually not normal and can indicate a number of factors. It often happens when a duck has not eaten properly for a few days- or when their is bacteria present somewhere in the body.
     

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