Lameness and Gasping

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Dev, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Dev

    Dev Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Hi everyone. I have two almost 3 week African Gooselings and both were fine last night when I put them up in their brooders. Every day I take them out and put then in the yard in a 4x4 welded wire cage so they can be outside instead of cooped up all day. The brooder is getting too small for both geese and we are in the process of moving them once we have something else ready. When I put both geese in their brooder last night they were fine and this morning when I went to get them out one was stuck between the waterer bowl and the side of the brooder which is a plastic 18 inch wide by 4 ft long bin. Why he was stuck there I am not sure as I would have thought he could have got out from between this but maybe he was strong enough for some reason. Anyway, I picked him up and moved him to the ground in front of the bin and he stumbled and kept stumbling until he got his balance. I always let the geese follow me across the yard to their bigger cages for the day and they waddle right along. This gooseling did come waddling but he would stumble on the way. I thought maybe his leg or legs had went to sleep on him if he was stuck in a position for a while to maybe all night. I have no idea how long he was stuck between the waterer and the side of the bin. I left them out in the yard to walk around and eat grass while watched and he was eating grass but was wobbly all the while. I had to leave so I had them go into their cage, they usually do this themselves, I don't usually have to help them get over the small step into their cage but this time I had to help the one that was stuck. I came home and now I find that same gooseling intermediately gasping, like he is gasping for breath. I got them out of the cage and let them walk around the yard again and the one having problems seems to be more unsteady on his legs...very wobbly and he sits while eating grass instead of standing. I walked across the yard to see if they would follow me and both did but the the one having problems keeps falling and gave up half way and just sit. I had to pick him up and take him back to his cage area. There he just sit and ate grass while gasping intermediately. I put them back into their cage and just checked on the one again and he is still gasping, seems more often now and he is acting like he just wants to sleep. I put a tray of water in front of him (not his normal waterer) and he takes a drink, dunking his head and shakes his head from side to side and then gasps.

    I am thinking that when the goosling got stuck and was unable to move that it is possible his legs or one leg went to numb and with the blood circulation being cut off it may be affecting his balance even thought the feeling is back in the legs or maybe it isn't completely. But I am also wondering if by not being able to move caused him to develop pneumonia like it does in old people who are immobile?? and this is causing the gasping??

    If he is developing pneumonia, what do I do about it or is there nothing I can do about it? What would you do if you had a similar case? Where he was stuck, he would have had access for the night to water, but not food...could that be what is causing him to be so weak and wobbly acting?

    They both have been fed chick starter (which says it has b12 and niacin supplement) since I got them at Cackle Hatchery at 1 week old.

    I would appreciate any help or suggestions.
     
  2. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    Gosling can be stressed, but by 3 weeks old they bounce back fast. Make sure it's warm, dry and has some green food-grass, and dandelions being best, and drinking water. Hopefully your chick starter is NOT medicated, that is bad for geese-FlocK Raiser is better.If you have medicated feed stop feeding it and fed oatmeal until you can get something else. Geese are clumsy and lame themselves all the time. They will just sit on their bums and rest for a few hours, then are fine. Can you get some powdered bird vites/electrolites to add to the water? If any gasping persists, I would wonder if there might be a respiratory problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  3. Dev

    Dev Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Thank you for your reply, I will see if I can find the vit/electrolites. This is all new to me. We decided one day to get chickens and meant to get 10 and ended up with 28 and now we have 2 turkeys and 2 geese!

    After my first post, I got the gosling out with the other one to walk around a bit and it walking a little better, still pretty unsteady though as it will rock back and forth just standing still, having a hard time standing but at least it is standing more now after eating quite a bit blades of grass. It seems so strange, it will walk pretty good for a few steps and then start rocking and wobbling and then sits down and intermediately opens it mouth like it is gasping or something is bothering it. It will also shake it's head from side to side real fast and act like it is trying to shake out something and also takes it foot and scratches the side of its head. Too me it acts as someone who has a stuffy nose because when it is trying to eat it will eat a few blades of grass and then stops to open its mouth and breath and then goes back to eating. It doesn't act sick, just unsteady and the weird opening of its mouth like it is having a hard time breathing every few seconds. It did eat quit a bit of grass this evening and it did walk with me, I took it slowly because I noticed that if it tries to run to keep up with the other gosling it will then tire out and have to sit longer and seems to gasp or open its mouth to breathe. I put it under a light and opened its mouth to see if I could see something at the back of its throat and I didn't see anything but I couldn't really see at the very back of its throat.

    The chick starter does not say anywhere on the package that it is medicated and I only fed it that for a few days after reading here that I shouldn't feed it medicated chick starter and not knowing for sure if this was or wasn't since it didn't say it was but the guy at the feed store said it was medicated, I bought wild game feed and was feeding this to the goslings. I today bought a bag of Nature Wise Premium Meat Bird Feed that says it is for a lot of fowl including water foul/geese up to 5 weeks old. I gave them some of this and the one that is not sick ate some of it but they both seem to like the MFA wild game feed starter much better. I always make sure they have lots of water and change it up to 3 times a day and not less than twice a day. While I have them out walking with me I make sure they have water at a stopping point so they can rest and drink.

    Could a spider or a sting by a bee or wasp do this? I have a 25 watt yellow bug light hanging over their brooder the last few nights in the cage outside where their brooder is and I am wondering if it ate one of the bugs that may have flew in the wire top of their brooder that could cause this? I have changed out the waterer to prevent the gosling from getting caught between it and the bin again. I am not totally sure that is what the problem was, he may have just been to week to move and I thought he was stuck. He was pretty wedged in there though.

    So many things that could have happened....I wished I knew what it was because the gosling seems to be strong enough to survive if I could just figure out what the problem is and treat it ..if not I am hoping that it will pull through it. It is eating pretty good, almost as much as the other gosling so maybe it will get stronger and more steady from that. When I left them in the brooder a few minutes ago they were both eating the wild game bird starter feed and fresh tender grass I had put in with it, the one that has the problem was eating just as well as the other one but he was rocking front and back trying to stand while eating and shaking his head ever few seconds, wished I knew what it was.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  4. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I... think I just heard of this a while ago. What protein percentage are you feeding?
    I believe what I saw was someone with a gosling swaying and having troubles that seemed neurological... And cutting down the protein percentage fixed them. Also, with chick starter and game bird food, which tends to have very high protein by the way, they are not getting as much Niacin as they need. I'm not sure the dosage for that, though. Maybe one tablet in the water, for now, or do a google search.
     
  5. Dev

    Dev Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    The Game Bird Starter Crumbles the goslings have been on for most of the time since I got them almost 2 weeks ago (they were a week old when I got them) says it has 27.0% crude protein. It says it has a b12 supplement and a niacin supplement but doesn't say how much. I thought high protein was ok until they were older, maybe I misunderstood? Only one of the goslings is having a problem, the other one is just fine so far.

    Putting a niacin in their water, are you referring to the niacin that one buys in the supplements section like at Wal-Marts?
     
  6. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    27% is too high, 20-22% is what is suggested, until the third week when it should be 16-18%. My bag of 22% starter says to stop feeding it and to move onto the grower (18%) at three weeks of age. The healthiest goslings, however, are grown on grass. Many people disagree with me despite it being backed up by science, but high protein diets are NOT natural and not good for goslings. These birds are herbivores. They eat greens primarily. Grass has a very low protein content. I would go off the high protein for a little while and see what happens, and pick up a Niacin supplement. And yes, I am referring to those found at pharmacies, such as at Wal-Mart.

    Actually, I've heard of people supplementing their goslings with Brewers Yeast. That is a possibility.

    I'd make a separate topic about that, if I were you. Unfortunately, I know nothing about it... Perhaps just a sprinkle over the food would do?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  7. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would, however, like to get it out there that I can't know for sure...
    The gasping sounds like the worst of it, so it could have some sort of infection... Neurological symptoms are common with poisoning, salmonella, botulism, etcetera... You just never can know for sure without a vet.
     
  8. Dev

    Dev Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Ok, I am trying to find out what precent of protein is in the meatbird feed I purchased yesterday as it says on the back that it is for geese up to 5 weeks. There is no ingredients listed on the back and the tag that usually has the ingredients is missing. I will be calling the feed store today and find out how much protein is in it. I let the goose out this morning (Lucy is its name, I don't know if it is a female or not, ducy is the other gosling's name). And it was much better this morning, walking a lot better, standing for the whole time instead of sitting and not nearly as unstable on its feet. I also noticed that it is not gasping anymore although it is still shaking its head from side to side like it is trying to clear a stopped up ear or nasal passage...just what it reminds me of. Although the gosling seems to be much better I put niacin in their water. The only niacin I could find was a 500 mg capsule. I did not know how much to add to the water which is almost a gallon of water, but remember reading someone here used a 1/4. So I poured out the capsule and halved it and then halved it again and used 3/4 of the 1/4 and added that to the water until I can find out how much to give exactly. I can't find anything online, does anyone here know how much I should give and is the capsule niacin ok to give? It is Spring Vally Flush Free Niacin Inositol Hexanicotinate 500 mg.
     
  9. Dev

    Dev Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Ok, found out that the new feed I bought yesterday is 22 % protein, better but I probably should try to find feed with less protein right?

    Btw, the geese do get a lot of grass daily. When I move them out of their brooder for the day they are moved into cages that has not floor and sits directly on new tender grass that I move the cage to a different area every day. Then I go out about 6pm and spend the rest of the evening until dark with them loose in the yard, watching them and letting them eat as much grass as they like, then they are moved back into their brooders for the night for safety.

    Anyway, I hope I am doing things right and making things that are not so right better by going lower with the protein and giving a nician supplement as soon as I find out how much I should really give. If anyone knows, please let me know....or should I go with brewer's yeast, is it safer to use?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  10. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Regina, SK
    In my opinion Brewers yeast is probably safer to use. Lots of animal people use it for a supplement for Niacin among other things. Just a little sprinkle over their food should be good; I highly doubt it would do any harm! 22% is much better, but lower is always better as they get older. It sounds like they are getting a good amount of grass, as well, so you are certainly doing a good job. If you can also find a vitamin mix for parrots and pet birds, at a pet store for instance, you can mix it into the water. There are usually directions on the back; just follow the directions for medium or large birds, as you see fit depending on how large they are. Usually the vitamins come in a powder. Don't do that for too long, just a few days perhaps, because you want the little one to be in good condition, want to do all you can to knock out any possibilities for what could be causing the weakness. If, when the gosling gasps, you can literally hear it struggling for air, there could be a serious problem that would require a course of antibiotics.

    Oh, I also should say...
    Shaking the head usually is a respiratory symptom.
    From what I have read it is extremely common with a condition called "gape worm"; if your guys are out there eating worms, for instance, they can get this parasite, as worms are often carriers. They are worms that attach themselves to the trachea. The birds will gasp, and shake their heads in an attempt to dislodge these worms. Just a heads up. It can be extremely serious and if not caught early enough, there can be so many worms that treatment without seriously endangering the birds' life is impossible. In short, the worms become so numerous that, when they die, they will block off the trachea entirely.

    It is highly possible that the goose has an ear infection that has been causing disorientation, and it has been shaking its head because there is fluid in its ears. That is another possibility. I'm not sure how one would treat an ear infection, but I imagine it may require ear drops that might only be obtainable from a vet. Just see how things go first, though. There are very many possibilities.

    When I had a six month old gosling with heart failure, although it was not diagnosed, we thought she had gape worm due to her gasping, exercise intolerance and shaking her head. She would wobble, but earlier on in her life, much before the gasping and shaking came into play. She also had red, inflamed eyes. Keep a very close eye on every aspect of the gosling's health, because it could be so many different things, from a simple issue of diet or malnutrition, to a small infection, to a parasite infection to something that could shortly take the bird's life. So, constant vigilance!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010

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