My drake is not looking very well.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Soose, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Soose

    Soose New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Sep 20, 2010
    Long Island
    Happy Thanksgiving to all the great BYC family!

    I'm a newbie to having ducks, just having raised them since this past April. So I'm hoping some one might be able to help me in figuring whats up with George.

    I've got one Khaki Campbell drake and six hens. The hens look hale and hearty, busy, glossy and generally healthy. The drake, George, on the other hand looks a bit unkempt, feathers askew, doesn't seem to eat or graze (feels thin to me), stands off from the hens, except when we have their pond set up. Their getting layer pellets and fresh veggies daily. As well as grazing several hours daily.

    Is this typical behavior? Is the drake normally thin and stand offish? Is there something I can do to entice him to eat more? What might be going on? Ony advice or thoughts would be appreciated.
     
  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Is the drake eating layer pellets?
    They are toxic to him, because of the oyster shell (calcium) in it. It attacks his kidneys. Stop feeding them immediately and get regular grower developer pellets instead. For the hens offer oyster shell on the side. The hens will eat it, and he will not. They sell layer feed pellets for those that don't keep drakes around, because it is just so much simpler then offering another bowl with oyster shell. Hope he recovers soon.
     
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    You will want a feed that is for Ducks or a multi-flock. I feed Flock Raiser - has all the goodies that ducks require like niacin.

    The Flock Raiser does not have extra calcium so you will need to supplement with oyster shells.
     
  4. Soose

    Soose New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Sep 20, 2010
    Long Island
    Thank you...he's now off the layer pellets and will get the flock raiser ASAP. Thank you for your most speedy responses!
     
  5. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

    2,622
    39
    213
    Mar 20, 2008
    n.w.FLORIDA
    Could be worms, might have a clogged oil gland for unkept feathers. hopefully not duck tb (no cure for that),. On the food part I have been feeding mine Purina layer pellets for many years (boys and girls ) so if it was toxic me and a whole pile of people would have a bunch of dead males. simply 100 % not true (no offence katharinad) Best easiest thing to do at this time is worm them and check the oil gland.
     
  6. Soose

    Soose New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Sep 20, 2010
    Long Island
    Now my concern, of course is that George has been on these layer pellets for since September. Have I caused him irreperable damage? Is there anything else that should be done to help him recover from my ignorance? I had read that it was okay for the drakes to have layer pellets...[​IMG]
     
  7. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Some drakes may be fine, others are not. Even Holderread warns in his book about layer feed and drakes. So this is not a complete myth at all. It can cause permanent damage. A free ranging drake my choose not to eat the layer feed or eats very little of it and therefore not get any signs of illness. For now I would take him off the layer feed and see how he does. I'm not to convinced about the worms thing either, because then you would think the rest of the flock has it too. Checking the oil gland is a good idea, but it does not count for the weight loss. Put him onto flock raiser and add green leaf lettuce to his diet. I truly hope it is nothing more serious. I would consider worming the hole flock in a week, if it does not get any better.
     
  8. Soose

    Soose New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Sep 20, 2010
    Long Island
    Thanks so much. I've got George seperated out from the rest of the flock, just in case. Even though if it is anything contagious it probably is to late, at least I can keep a more vigilant eye on him. He is so delpeated and thin. I think you were right that he simply wasn't eating very much of the layer pellets and our yard is not so huge that the free ranging gave him enough to forage on.

    This morning when I went in to refresh water and greens, his pen was about as foul (no pun intended) as I could imagine. His urine and poop was so vile and plentiful that he's been moved from a spare room in the house to the garage. Now he's in a larger crate where he can move around more and even go about the garage when my husband or I are in there with him. Today, the his excretions seem more normal. I haven't seen him eat, but the food level seems to have dropped. Also added some sugar and salt to his water in lieu of electrolytes. What vitamins/electrolyte supplements would you suggest, if any? Where I am, there isn't a whole lot of choice, so anything most likely would need to be ordered online. I'm hoping with in several days or so he'll feel and look a bit better, enough that he might enjoy a bath and encourage some preening.

    Again thanks to all. Back Yard Chickens has been such a tremendous source of information and help.
     
  9. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I use this product:
    https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=231
    It's quite inexpensive and lasts a long time. It comes in powder form and 1 teaspoon is enough for 1 gallon of water. Very easy to dose. I would add protein to his diet so he regains some of his muscles. Hard boil some eggs and chop it up for him. Some plain yogurt is also good because it adds probiotics to his gut, which will help him to digest food better. Get some greens (no spinach) and frozen peas to mush into his food. He will love the flavor of the peas. Don't forget to offer him some grit for digestion. My ducks love night crawlers, which I buy in the hunting/fishing section at Walmart. I hope he will get better soon. Poor little boy. Can you put him so he can see a body of his. Ducks hate to be by themselves. I would still keep him isolated so you can see how much he eats.
     
  10. Quacking

    Quacking Out Of The Brooder

    91
    0
    29
    Oct 23, 2010
    Quote:I have to agree with destinduck. Regardless of what type of poultry is kept, layer is fed to ducks chickens turkeys and pretty much every other type without consequence. It is not possible to provide 2 seperate types of feed and expect the males to eat from one, and the females to only eat the other. While there are some feeds that are more suitable for different purposes, layer will not cause issues in a otherwise healthy drake eating a ballanced diet of fresh vegetation, freeranging, bugs insects and layer as a maintanence feed.

    Have you considered than in Georges case 6 ducks is too many for him? Trying to mate with 6 ducks- if he has to constantly chase them down could also have contributed to some of the difference in condition between the sexes. It sounds like there is something more to his condition, but it is something to consider as to why it is only the drake doing poorly. Also while checking the gland, check for mites or lice. While waterfowl dont get them as often as landfowl, it is still something to check for regularly.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by