Is it normal for ducklings to shake when they eat?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Bokbok, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Bokbok

    Bokbok Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been reading other posts about shaking ducklings who eventually die. Ahh! My three buffs seem to shake for about ten seconds after each bite they take. Is that okay? They drink, run around, sleep, and seem otherwise normal. But this is my first time with ducklings. I can't remember if the chicks ever shook. If they did, I don't think it was this much. No walking backwards is happening at all.
     
  2. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    Sometimes they shake like crazy because the food is stuck in their throats. I had this happen to my 3 week old snowy mallard. She shook so hard she threw up a hard chunk of food.

    Easy solution:
    Add water to moisten the food! it'll help the m swallow it easier and the shaking should stop.
     
  3. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    I have been told by many people not to wet their food. Mine do that, like they are choking it down. Just make sure their food and water are close to each other so they can eat and drink at basically the same time. They will usually take a bite, then take a drink to wash it down.
     
  4. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    you've heard not to wet it? really?
    I've heard from lots of different poeple/places to wet it... weird...

    It doesn't hurt them or anything... but if they don't eat the food within a couple hours, you shoudl replace it... wet food can grow bacteria... (that might be why you've heard not to wet it, shelley)

    I only do it during the first week or two. After that they really don't do that shaking thing anymore.
     
  5. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    I have never wetted my ducklings food, and they have been fine. As long as their water is close by, they don't need it. I have heard it was something like it can stick in their crops if it is wet? I don't know, but I don't do it.

    To each their own, I guess. [​IMG]
     
  6. wasatusay

    wasatusay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A duck can not eat with out water. For ducklings the food should be wet. But in the summer never let wet food set for more than an hour or two. You should have dry food out also, and make sure it is side by side with the water. Your main concern here is to never let wet food go sour.
    When I have had young ducklings I would add a boiled egg yolk to their feed every few days, to encourage them to eat right away and come back in an hour and clean out the feed pans. You will have more feeding times but no problems. Limit giving yolks,you do not want too much protein or you could get angle wing.
    quoted :(If part of a duckling's wing (or wings) start to grow out from their body instead of folding flat, the condition is known as Angel wing. As the primary feathers start coming in they turn out away from the body instead of folding in under the secondary feathers. It can be caused by excess protein)
    Also important is not to feed ducks medicated feed. It collects in the fatty glands and can eventually make them sick or kill them.
     
  7. wasatusay

    wasatusay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forgot to add that the reason to have the dry feed out (pellets, since ducks, even adults, can choke on dry crumble) side by side with the water is so you can monitor when it is Okay to quit with the wetted feed. At the most it should be within a few weeks after hatching.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  8. Bokbok

    Bokbok Out Of The Brooder

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    I feel so much better with the input from all the nice people here. I am going to try giving them a boiled egg tomorrow, and I think I'll give strictly short term wetted food a shot. The food dish has been, literally, touching the water dish all these five hours. It's a relief to know, though, that my three little babies aren't abnormal. No offense to all you chicken lovers, I am one myself, but these things are so cute, I think it's true love, guys. The real deal. They all look exactly alike (yellow), but I am imagining that I can tell one apart from another already. My favorite tried to jump out of the box into my hand the minute I opened up from the post-office pick-up, and immediately comes to check out my hand now if I reach in to grab a thing. When I am hovering, she cranes her head up in the air, thinking real thoughts probably. Is that possible, being only 24 hours old? Don't answer, I'm going to tell myself that yes, a small bird actually likes me.
     
  9. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    The good answer is, she probably does! Sometimes baby ducklings can imprint on a particualr human depending on how they were incubated/handled.... Your little duckling is probably imprinted on you! If you continue to handle her alot, she coud end up be really friendly when she gets older
     
  10. wasatusay

    wasatusay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love my chickens but I love my duckins (I call them that because they were all hatched and raised by my chickens). Hubby thinks they are boring, but he never takes the time to just hang out with them. They are quite comical. The girls are very good beggars and quite loud about wanting their way.
     

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