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Help with my 2 laying runner ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ClarkieFarm, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. ClarkieFarm

    ClarkieFarm Just Hatched

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    Hello! I have used BYC for a while looking for answers to help my ducks, but when I couldn't find an answer specifically for my girls I decided it was time to join.

    I have two female runners that are almost 2 years old. I have noticed, only when they are laying, that they seem to have some problems. During the day their legs will sometimes begin to shake and they will use their wings to try to hold them up, and eventually they lay down. I don't think they are sick or have a niacin deficiency because it only occurs when they are laying. Over the past couple of months when they stopped laying they did not do it at all, but now that they have started laying again, their problems have returned.

    Sorry for such a long post! I want to help my girls!
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    It could be a calcium deficiency, since this is only happening when they are laying. Do you offer them oyster shell so they can replenish their calcium if they need to?
     
  3. ClarkieFarm

    ClarkieFarm Just Hatched

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    Thank you. I leave out a dish of oyster shell but they do not seem to eat a lot of it.
    Would not having enough calcium make them weaker?
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Yes, it can cause other problems like weakness. How do their eggs look? Is the shell quality pretty good? What do you normally feed them?

    @Amiga had a duck with calcium deficiency, maybe she can tell you if this sounds like what your two may have or if it could be something else.
     
  5. ClarkieFarm

    ClarkieFarm Just Hatched

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    Their eggs are fine. They always have strong, thick shells.
    We have been feeding them Dumor Grower/Finisher but our TSC is always out of it so we decided to start introducing Purina Flock Raiser. We do not feed them layer pellets because we have a male and I have read that too much calcium can be bad for him.
     
  6. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    It does sound like they're potentially not getting enough calcium from the feed if you were feed a grower/finisher, and some ducks just don't eat oyster shell, so that could be what's going on here.

    I know some people say that feeding males layer is bad for them but I feed all of poultry layer, males and females, and I haven't found that to be the case as of yet. You might want to put them on a layer feed and see if there is improvement, and hopefully Amiga can offer some help too when she gets on.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Low calcium levels could conceivably cause that kind of problem. It is needed not only for bones and egg shells but for the cardiovascular system, and I think plays a role in the nervous system.

    I understand your concern about the drake. One vet I spoke to thinks that the concern may be based on a study done on a different species of bird, so the jury - in her mind - is still out on drakes and supplemental calcium. The concept is sound - we are not advised to supplement calcium for ducks that are not laying. At the same time, many people feed layer to their entire flock and have no known problems with their drakes. What we don't know is if there are any subclinical issues. Enough of that.

    When I need to supplement just one or two ducks with extra calcium, I crush calcium citrate tablets and sprinkle that over thawed peas. I put it in a little ramekin, and sneak off with the duck(s) that need "special treats." After one time, they know what we are doing and sneak away from the flock when they see me coming. Depending on my level of concern, I may give 100 or 200 mg per treat, once or twice a day usually for three or four days. I also supplement the all-girl flock's layer feed with about 100 mg extra calcium citrate three or four times a week. I add turmeric to their food at least every couple of days, often daily. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, and the vet said it was fine to give it to them. I started after Sechs had her second bound egg in four years. Turmeric stains, so be careful handling it. But it's a spice easily available and I think it helps.
     
  8. NathanZee

    NathanZee Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    If they don't like eating calcium, you could try giving them some eggshells. Our ducks LOVE eating eggshells, way more than they like the oyster shell. [​IMG]

    ETA: I didn't see your post @Amiga , that sounds like a good way to get calcium in. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Some of mine do not eat oyster shells much - I think that's part of the issue. So I use a nice organic layer feed, and add the calcium citrate. I have used calcium gluconate liquid, but the citrate is less expensive. They don't mind it at all, it just mixes into treats or food.
     
  10. ClarkieFarm

    ClarkieFarm Just Hatched

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    Thank you both so much! I will try either the treats or separating the ducks and feeding my girls layer feed, now that the drake is getting a little rough.

    I didn't know if this was maybe just a runner problem because I had a female pekin that passed away, but she never seemed to have any problems and she also never ate any calcium supplements like oyster shells.
     

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