Month old Harlequin Panting, Red eyes


In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 14, 2010
New Orleans, LA
We have a group of ducking that hatched about a month ago. Since the weather is so warm down here, they have been outside since they were about two weeks old. Though they have plenty of shade and access to a tub of water, during the day most of the ducklings are panting with the heat. Lately, however, we have noticed our one male Welsh Harlequin panting even in the cool weather and at night. He is very weak on his legs, they shake if he stands for too long and he tends to lay around more than the others. Also, we noticed yesterday that what appears to be his 3rd eyelid is looking red. He is still eating and drinking and getting around for the most part.

I should add that he and his two WH sisters are HUGE. They are about twice as big as the runner/buff crosses that were incubated and hatched at the same time.

Any ideas what is going on with this poor little guy?
You may have a niacin deficiency on your hands. Get some brewer's yeast tablets and crush them up and add it to the water.
I did fail to mention that these guys were started on unmedicated Start and Grow but were switched to Flock Raiser within a week. They have been on the FR ever since with peas and some greens for the occasional treat. I have some powdered brewers yeast that I can add to the diet if you think that would help.

We had an outbreak of gape worms about a year ago, but no one is coughing or acting like they did back then, so I'm doubtful that is the cause.
I would try it. It isn't going to harm them and you should be able to see in a couple of days if that is helping.

I am not a flock raiser fan. I got a few ducks from someone using flock raiser. Their feet had pinholes in them and their legs looked terrible. Once I got them on the game bird feed they healed up really quickly. I buy game bird feed because I also raise quail. Some freak over the higher protein percentage, but if you are feeding greens daily, it isn't an issue.
I never would have believed it, but when I got home from work yesterday, I mixed in a healthy portion of brewer's yeast with my duckling's flock raiser. Within two hours, little Arthur was up and around with the rest of the flock. No leg shakes. No panting at all. Hard to believe it could work that fast. We will, of course, continue to monitor him.

I think from now on all my ducklings will be supplements with the brewer's yeast. I'm sold.
I am so glad that was the issue because, as you saw, it is easy to fix. Flock raiser seems to be too low in niacin for ducks so supplementing is a must.

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