More #19

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Barnyard, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    I am so stressed right now. I need help.

    I was taking care of the ducks today. They were born on 3-23-09. I fed and watered them like I have been doing since they were born. I have them on laying mesh because I can not find unmedicated chick starter. Anyway, after I fed them I was standing in the kitchen and I noticed that one of them had fallen over on his back, and they were all just screaming there heads off. So I go in there and turn that one over and I noticed that there is something wrong with it. He is just shaken and non responsive. I tried everything I knew to do to help but I lost him. Well I go back and check the other's and they have started doing the same thing. They are sitting back on there hocks almost fallen over and shaking really bad. I immediately got them out of the brooder and took them and wiped them off and put them right under a heat lamp ( yes they have a heat lamp on there brooder). I really thought that I was going to lose them all. I gave them a little sugar water and they seem to be doing better, but I still think I may lose 1 more. I have no clue what happened with them. I haven't done anything any different than I have been doing. Has anybody ever dealt with this before? I am at a total loss.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009

  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  3. Andora

    Andora Songster

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    How terrifying! And mysterious...

    The only thing I can think of is access to water and/or choking--did they have water while they were eating? Do they have somewhere to dip their bills to clear their nostrils?
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA

  5. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia

    They did have water and feed at the same time. I am using a chick waterer with them because they are bantam ducks.
  6. I don't know if this is it but did you just give them water out of the hose like greenvalleyfarms did? Because hoses put out some seriously toxic chemicals when the water sits in them. It's always best to run out whatever water is in the hose before filling up a drinking container. Just a thought. Doesn't explain the weird coincidence aspect of this. That would be more likely explained if the ducks and geese came from the same hatchery.
  7. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    No I didn't give them water out of the hose. I have them in the house and it was out of the faucet. I am still totally at a loss.

  8. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I am sorry about your lost babies. I know that ducks' nutrition is extremely important. Feeding layer pellets at that young age is not a good thing. It is not enough protein for them and too much calcium.

    Here is the information that I base this comment on. They are much like chicks...they go through food stages and as chicks their bodies cannot handle layer feed.

    What to feed your pet duck

    This is our recommendation for a domestic duck diet, based on input from Avian Veterinarians, Wildlife Rehabbers and Ducksperts all over the globe. We list food choices that are readily available to consumers.

    Avoid commercial diets designed to grow ducks fast for meat or commercial egg production. These diets often contain medications that prevent communicable diseases in large duck communities, and may be harmful to your duck. NOTE: Most newer formulations have improved - still best to be cautious.

    Ducks do well on non-medicated pelleted mash as a staple, supplemented with fresh vegetable trimmings, chopped hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, cracked corn (keep out of ponds if you have fish), garden snails (NOT if you use snail bait or pesticides), worms, night crawlers, bloodworms... They enjoy floating coy food occasionally. Most items are available at pet and grocery stores.

    Protein levels are very important to your duck's stage of growth.
    Ducklings need starter feed with 20-22% protein for 3 weeks.
    Adolescents do best on 16% protein.
    Adult ducks need 16-18% when they are laying and 14-16% if they aren't laying.

    Too much protein can cause a condition called "Angel Wing" where the feathers on the wings protrude upwards. Too little can cause nutritional deficiencies and serious health problems including death.

    Generally a mixed diet of commercial pelleted food such as Layena supplimented with green forage (or lettuce or other greens if forage is not available) and scratch grains or cracked corn will provide for a healthy flock.

    Here are some duck diseases/disorders that you might want to look at it...

    Duck Virus hepatitis
    Duck virus hepatitis is a highly fatal contagious disease of young ducklings, 1-28 days of age. Ducklings are most susceptible at the younger ages and gradually become more resistant as they grow older. The disease is rarely seen in ducklings over 4 weeks of age. The onset of the disease is very rapid, it spreads quickly through the flock and may cause up to 90% mortality. Sick ducklings develop spasmodic contractions of their legs and die within an hour in a typical "arched-backward" position. The liver is enlarged and shows hemorrhagic spots. To prevent this disease, keep age groups isolated and vaccinate breeder ducks with an attenuated live virus duck hepatitis vaccine (to produce maternally immune ducklings).


    Ducks are particularly susceptible to certain toxins, and in some cases strikingly more than chickens or turkeys. Therefore, duck caretakers must be especially diligent in preventing ducks from consuming or being exposed to these toxins.

    Aflatoxin poisoning
    Molds (fungi) that grow on cereal grains and oilseeds before and after harvest produce a number of toxins that are particularly harmful to ducks. By far the most toxic of these substance is a group of toxins called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are produced by the molds Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Ducks are highly susceptible to these toxins. Very small amounts will cause high mortality. Wet harvest conditions encourage the growth of this mold.

    Ducks that have access to stagnant ponds or other areas where decaying organic matter (animal carcasses, in particular) is found may consume toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This happens when temperature and other conditions are right for the growth of this anaerobic spore-forming bacterium. Botulism causes a progressive flaccid (limp) paralysis of the neck (limberneck), legs and wings. Affected ducks usually die in a coma within 24-48 hours.

    Castor bean poisoning
    Incidents of high death losses in wild ducks, due to consuming castor beans (Ricinus communis) have been reported in Texas. Castor beans contain ricin, a toxalbumin known to cause toxicity in humans and domestic animals.

    Rapeseed meal
    Some older varieties of rapeseed meal contain erucic acid and goitrogens at levels high enough to be harmful to poultry. Ducks are much more sensitive to erucic acid than are chickens and turkeys. Genetically improved varieties of rapeseed (Canola) contain much lower levels of these toxins. However even Canola meals should first be tested in ducks before their use in duck feeds on a large scale.

    Insecticides, rodenticides
    Duck keepers should take care not to use insect sprays or rodent poisons, that are known to be harmful to ducks, in areas accessible to ducks. Some insect sprays are highly toxic to ducks, such as parathion and diazinon. Always read the directions on the insecticide container carefully before using around ducks. Rat poisons that contain Warfarin, an anticoagulant, if consumed by ducks, can cause them to bleed to death.

    Good luck with your duckies.

  9. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    I hatched them my self. I got eggs from a BYC member.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009

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