medicated chick feed fed to ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by nop169, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. nop169

    nop169 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As some of you know, I own a small feed store and Monday evening I had an older lady bring 11 mallards to my store - an adult pair & 9 almost full size ducklings. She wanted me to take them to our farm because they had begun dying on her - she had lost 4 I believe at that point. She thought it was too cold for them & that is why they were dying. When she called she said they were ducklings so I assumed she may be correct.... however when she arrived they were young adults - fully feathered but obviously feeling poorly as shown by their eyes & huddled positions. She also brought in a half bag of feed & set it down at the loading door. I did not look at the feed at first as I was getting water for the group & watching them trying to figure out what was going on. Within a hour one was dead. About 3 hours later as I closed up & loaded the ducks in the truck to carry home I picked up the bag of feed. It is not one of the brands I typically sell so I began reading the bag ingrediants. It was medicated chick feed (not the newer med APEX which is safer for use in ducks). Thats when I figured that this is the culprit. Our weather has been cold this week - down to the high teens at night & 34 or so during the day but not excesive for fully feathered ducks. Had to be the feed - due to they are eating more as it is so very cold & the higher input of the medicated feed is poisioning them. So got them home - set up a 10 x 10 kennel with doghouse & water/swimming pool. Ducks are still hunched up & about half have that "look" in their eyes..... supplied them with a auto feeder with just scratch & filled the pool. About all I can do at this point. Tuesday morning..... 5 ONLY 5 of the 10 are still alive. The parent pair & 3 of the subadults.
    JUST WANTED TO EMPHASIZE to everyone to use care in feeding medicated chick feed to ducks especially young ducks & especially free feeding it this time of year. Ducks GOBBLE in good weather but GORGE in cold weather.... I am positive that this is why they are dying. I did not call the older lady & tell her - I don't have the heart to as she was so concerned & upset about it. I don't want her blaming herself. I do not know where she bought this feed or if anyone warned her about medicated feed use in ducks. These animals were absolutely beautiful - glossy feathered - obviously cared for but as the grass has died & cold weather set in, she had penned them & began feeding heavy with the starter feed.... thought she was doing the right thing & wound up killing over half of the ducks she had raised. As of this morning - the remaining 5 look good & the 3 remaining young adults are no longer hunched up - hopefully the medicated feed has traveled out of their body after 2 days... of course - if they live - it means we now have mallards to mix in the farm flock! Reckon the scovies wont mind - as long as it doesn't affect the amount of food THEY get!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    When I bought chickens in the spring at the feed store my son wanted to get one duck too. The lady there said that no that wouldn't be good since the chick feed would kill the ducks.
     
  3. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    I had heard it was the amprolium(sp) in the medicated starter that could possibly kill ducklings, but some say that is no longer true. Thanks for the info.
    I NEVER feed chicken feed to my ducks-no matter how old they are.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  4. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll always given my Pekins medicated broiler starter. I haven't noticed any negative side affects. My feed mixer/supplier says that he has been told that ducks could overdose on it as well. He also mentioned that he hasn't seen any cases of it happening personally.


    [​IMG]
     
  5. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    I had thought all medicated starter was bad for ducklings, thats what the feed store told me. When someone asked on another thread I had some people telling me to "get with it" because that was not the case. [​IMG] I never feed chick starter to ducklings, out feed store has duck and goose starter readily available so why take the risk?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  6. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    Quote:That is what my feed store told me, because they eat too much and get an overdose of the meds. Ducks are more sensitive to meds then chickens so I guess it would harm them more then chicks.
     
  7. OverEggstended

    OverEggstended Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not a big fan of medicated feed for the darn chicks even. Am I the only one that uses unmedicated starter chick feed? All my chicks did well on it. I did not lose any... but then again, I only had 6... and they lived in a box in my den.
     
  8. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    Quote:My feed store doesnt carry unmedicated feed, but I was use the medicated one anyways. It helps prevent cocci
     
  9. nop169

    nop169 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To respond to a few of your comments:
    You are correct that feeding medicated feed IN MODERATION usually has no adverse effects on ducks - the problem is when they overeat & the medication dosage exceeds safe levels. We all know ducklings/ducks will gorge so we either limit amounts fed or use med free feed.
    APEX* is a newer medication being used by most feed mills now for coccidia control & it is supposedly safe for use in ducks.
    I normally will not use medicated feed on any of my poultry/livestock - but many companies do not offer a med free starter feed now. Although I can order game bird starter that is med free.
    Personally I have never had an issue even when I used med. feed BUT I also insure my chicks/ducklings/goslings are feed greenery - whether grass in the outside brooder or rye grown in trays for the inside brooder & I limit the feed if it is medicated. IMO ducklings & goslings need greenery to grow properly & strong so I usually supply greenery & use game bird starter for my waterfowl.
    With chicks I would rather use an unmedicated feed & dose with ACV, Yogurt & so on unless I have a major issue with sickly chicks - then I do use sulmet - but for a limited time rather than a daily feed additive.
    In the case I wrote about - I am sure that it was the feed - as the lady had penned them recently & they were being fed only the med starter. I believe this due to the fact that the ducks look so good - as far as plummage, overall condition, weight & so on. If they had been dirty, underweight, no luster to their feathers, nasal discharge, bloody stools & so on - I may have contributed it to parasites, viral or lackluster care. Also the fact that 36 hours later the remaining ducks seem to be over it - eyes clear & posture normal.
    In the 20 years I have owned ducks I have heard of this from other people but had never saw it happen firsthand. It was sad - droopy a day or two then dead.
     
  10. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine free range so that might help as they probably don't consume as much feed.
     

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