Lazy duckling, or sick duckling?


In the Brooder
Aug 9, 2019
I have 4 ducklings right now, a Cayuga and a crested that are 4 weeks old and a blue swedish and a welsh harlequin that are 3 weeks old. The welsh harlequin is much smaller than any of the other 3, and she hardly ever walks. She has a great amount of trouble getting up from sitting and stumbles a lot, then flops/lays down and stays put. The others sometimes walk all over her, to which she squeals, but doesn't move. She also seems to breathe much more heavily than the rest.

I have hand-fed her extra food away from the others every night, along with giving her electrolyte/vitamin water and extra niacin, but I'm not seeing any improvement. It doesn't appear that the other pick on her or anything. I feel so bad for the poor little girl, she is the sweetest thing!!

Anyone have any advice? Are Welsh harlequins typically more delicate or prone to leg or growth problems? This is our first WH.

chickens really

I am a legend
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 8, 2015
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Is she getting enough excerise? Electrolytes are not to be used to much because they are too salty and hard on the heart. Fresh water, feed and fresh grasses are needed to maintain healthy Ducks. They need lots of excerise to develop strong legs to hold up a growing body.

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16-17
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Oct 3, 2009
Mountains of Western N.C.
You might also try a liquid b complex and see if that helps. We’ve seen some very good results from using b complex even over just niacin the bs are so good for them. You can buy one at TSC in the cattle dept it will say injectable but just peel the foil off an use a dropper to pull out 1 ml put it over the special food you give just to her that way she gets the full dose. Exercise sunshine is awesome for our ducklings but sometimes they just need a little extra to get going in the right direction. And weak legs is usually a sign they need more. We see it a lot in Pekins but other breeds can also have a deficiency an need extra help. What niacin are you using. Do stop the electrolytes and for now just use the b complex.
I ordered this one from Amazon since I don’t have a close TSC the next one is from TSC same brand just larger bottle
so don’t worry about overdosing her she’ll pee out what her body doesn’t need.

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