How fast should Brewers Yeast take to "kick in"?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TheFinalGirl, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. TheFinalGirl

    TheFinalGirl New Egg

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    Apr 15, 2016
    Hi guys, I'm new here. I recently got 3 Pekin and 3 Khaki Campbell babies. I've estimated they're around 3-4 weeks old. One Pekin has lame legs. He can walk/stand but doesn't prefer to, and often just lays down by himself. When he does walk, he "paddles" his feet out sideways like a weird cartoon. I'm guessing this is a niacin deficiency. I have started them on Brewers Yeast (in the water, and I let them nibble a little bit from my hand.) A few questions, however:

    - How long should it take before I see and improvement in my limpy duck? Could these feet be a different problem other than niacin?

    - Is it normal for one duck to develop a niacin deficiency, but not others?

    I love my little Forrest Gump duck more than the rest because he needs it the most right now and I want to nurse him back to health good and strong! I get so worried and get up to check on him 3-4 times throughout the night to make sure no one is sitting on him and he can't escape, haha.


    Thanks for the help guys!
     
  2. jessicascakes

    jessicascakes New Egg

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    I am really interested in what people say about your issue. I have 2 KC's, one is big and strong and the other was slow to grow and is wabblely when standing and walking. I too thought this might be a niacin deficiency. I have not started them on Brewers yeast yet but plan to this weekend. I want my babies nice and strong and this worries me. Please let me know how you make out. Thank you.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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  4. Jdastardly

    Jdastardly New Egg

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    I just had a similar problem with one of my pekins. I started treating with niacin in the water and Brewers yeast in the food last Sunday. Happy to say that today, even though it's still a little wobbly, it's moving around nicely. My concern when I first started treating was that it's belly was going to develop skin issues because it tended to just sit by the waterer. So there were regular cleanings, but this morning it had cleaned it's belly on its own. Another user suggested that you give them tub time so the can exercise their legs, and that seems to have helped too.
     
  5. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Pekins grow at nearly twice the speed of other ducks. Here is the weight chart of my current brood which consists of a Pekin, a Buff Duck and a Khaki Campbell.

    [​IMG]

    You can see they are just getting now to the point where growth is not the priority. Their systems are solidifying and strengthening, feathering and such, but there are some growth breaks now. Looking at the graph, you can see that what is expected of the Pekin is FAR more than the other ducklings and ducklings are already one of the fastest growing babies out there.

    I have raised two Pekins so far. Mine have gotten electrolytes, probiotics, and either brewers' yeast in their food (1 tablespoon to 1 cup ratio) or niacin (non-time release and not no-flush) in their water at 150-250mg / gallon (that is a bit more than recommended, but is what the capsules worked out to). My first Pekin had this problem for quite some time and when she would stand her legs would shake a bit - not a lot, but you could tell she was straining. She would lie down between the food and the water and turn her head back and forth between them. I moved the water a couple feet away from the food so she would have to take a couple steps between them. This both forced her to exercise and throttled her food intake. At around 6 lbs, her growth slowed and her legs got stronger. My second Pekin I started out with the food and the water separated by a couple feet. So she had to run back and forth as a little duckling. When she got to 3 lbs or so, she got "lazy" and would lay down as much as possible. She got to where she would very seldom take more than 3 or 4 steps in a row, then lay down again and would lay down for preening everything but her belly, but she never got to where her legs would shake, she was always strong getting up and down, just no endurance. She also sported a somewhat wide legged stance. She is now a little over 6 lbs and can walk fine and is starting to try to scratch her face standing on 1 leg while preening (not successful yet, but close). And her legs are getting closer together. So those are the "facts". Here is my extrapolation which may or may not be accurate. I can think, but I am not a vet and don't have all the answers, just my experience.

    A Pekin is still a duck. The fact that we have selectively bread it to be such a large, fast growing duck doesn't change the limitations on muscle and bone development. In the 3-6 lb range, I think they outgrow (and this might vary a bit by who eats the most and who's genetics produce stronger muscles) their legs by a day or two. (Today their legs could lift yesterday's weight, but today's weight is just a bit too much). If they are having a hard time, because they seem a little weak, but it doesn't seem like nerve issues or deformity and they are getting their "extra" nutrients, this may be normal. Allie's (I didn't pay as much attention with Snow) wide legged stance was at max, about 1-1/2 times her shoulder width. This I think is due to two things. 1. A non-perfect surface. She is mostly on towels or carpet. Although these aren't a slick surface, they don't provide as much traction as grassy or rocky terrain. I have observed her legs sliding slowly apart, then she tries to pull them together if they get too far apart. 2. A combination of a soft skeletal system and the previously mentioned weak muscles. Until the birds are close to full grown, their skeletons are somewhat soft (that is why baby wood ducks can bounce and not break when they leap out of their trees) and haven't fully calcified yet. You just look at a 3-6 lb Pekin and you can see they are almost a gelatinous mass. [​IMG]So a wide legged stance itself I don't think is a problem if you can rule out actual splay leg. Splay leg happens to young ducklings or chicks (less than a week old) because of slippery surfaces. The birds' bones are really soft and if the condition is not corrected, they will "grow wrong" and have a life long problem. If your Pekin walked fine until it hit a pound or more, I think it would more likely get a pulled muscle or slipped tendon than splay leg and that would be the same type of problem an adult duck would have. If your duck CAN pull its legs in normally and has full range of motion, and the wide stance is in that 1-1/2 times shoulder width range, I think it may be for stability and compensating for weakness and a flexible rib cage.

    Let the Pekin swim a lot. This takes some weight off their legs and allows them more exercise. Motivate the Pekin to walk more. Make it walk 3ft for a pea, then go back the other way for the next pea. I think Pekins are a special case where we have pushed nature to its limit. So I am not telling you to ignore all these symptoms, but rather that if you watch them very carefully to make sure nothing other than a bit of weakness is going on (no slipped tendons or balance issues - although Pekins are somewhat clumsy and prone to plowing through things instead of walking around them) and encourage your Pekin to exercise (with peas / lettuce and swimming) at around 6 lbs, the growth becomes slow enough that the legs can catch up.

    I hope this is accurate and I hope it helps. It has been what I have observed so far, but again I have only had two Pekins.

    @jessicascakes I have had only one KC and she has been a little spaz since day 1. I have only observed the weak leg issue in my Pekins and in one of my runners who was constipated when we got her. She was very weak for her first week of life. Once she was "flowing" normally, she was running around with the rest of the ducklings in a day or two. Hopefully the Brewers' yeast helps with yours.

    @TheFinalGirl Allie's brooder mates stepped all over her when she couldn't get up easily... Now she weighs more than the other two combined... It's STOMPIN' time... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
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  6. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    @TheFinalGirl how is your gimpy duckling doing?
     
  7. TheFinalGirl

    TheFinalGirl New Egg

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    Apr 15, 2016
    He has only gotten worse, as well as another duckling who is pretty much crippled as well, despite niacin and electrolytes, etc.

    My new opinion is they probably both have perosis. Trying to figure out what to do, hoping it's not too late because I was treating for deficiency instead of slipped tendon.
     
  8. laisi

    laisi New Egg

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    Apr 23, 2016
    I have four, 4 week old pekins who have pretty bad legs, bowed legs, and overlapping paddles. I started supplementing their Niacin levels but to no avail I have not seen improvement. It wasn't till it got slightly worse that I took them to the vet. It has only been since yesterday that I was at the vets. She said the niacin supplements are good and to also supplement their D3 levels. She gave them each a vit B complex injection and suggested I provide feed at a 22% crude protein level. Its rather hard to find but I ordered it from my feed store. She recommends the brand Mazuri.
     
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  9. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    So sorry. I know slipped tendons can be very difficult. Here is a link with some info, but I think a vet's evaluation would be best if possible.
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/220/slipped-tendon-perosis/

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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