My first three ducklings...And I already need help! :)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by OnceYouGoQuack, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. OnceYouGoQuack

    OnceYouGoQuack Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2013
    Hi everyone! Forgive me, as I just joined BYC yesterday, and I have yet to properly introduce myself in 'new member introductions'. Rest assured that will be my next post, but my impatience has the best of me and I am in desperate need of some experienced advice. I feel confident I am in the right place, as I was lurking all day yesterday afternoon on the forum, reading some great posts and very helpful information.[​IMG] I am hoping for a little reassurance...

    On Tuesday I went to TSC to adopt two of my very first ducks ever, YAY! I couldn't have been more excited. My heart even skipped a beat when I laid eyes on all the adorable little chicks and ducklings! Anyway, one little duckling in particular caught my eye. Unfortunately, this little guy stood out from the rest because he seemed to be turning in circles and unable to hold his head up. My heart almost broke in two pieces, right in the middle of the store! Before I could ask about him, the employee already had my two healthy duckies in a box and ready to go. He then looked at the special duck as if he were anticipating my question, and explained to me that he had no idea why he wasn't able to keep his head up. He then said, "You wouldn't want him, would you? I'll give him to you for free..."

    Without batting an eye, I had the man add him to the two little quackers already peeping away in my box. I didn't tell him that I was going to ask to purchase that one anyway! [​IMG] Now, I know this is strange, but his deformity makes me love him even more than I thought I could love my little ducklings. I understand this may be quite an unhealthy attachment, but my heart doesn't always listen to my brain. SO, without any further ado, this is what brings me to this lovely forum to request help from much more experienced poultry parents than myself.

    The guy at TSC said they were 7-10 days old on Tuesday. He is eating, drinking, and pooping with no problem and seems to be pretty feisty[​IMG]!! He seems to actually be holding his head up much better than when I brought him home, it just tends to lean over to one side, making it difficult for him to walk straight. However, this doesn't slow him down one bit. He drinks and eats heartily, right along with the other two..and loves to splash around in his water dish. Both eyes are open and he seems to see clearly, but they are a little red and crusty around the eyeball itself. I will post pictures this evening so you can see him (and my fabulous trio!).

    I have done an obviously insufficient amount of research, but the only diagnosis I can come up with based upon what I've read is wry neck. Does this sound plausible? Other members who have posted about this seem to describe similar symptoms. I can't tell you how relieved I was to read that vitamin supplements seemed to help in other cases! [​IMG] If so, does anyone know exactly what mixtures of Vitamin E, Niacin, and/or Selenium I should give? Is there anything I should add? I don't want to load him down with meds, I just want to make sure I do all that I can to help him...he is already such a great duck! They have all three seemed to have warmed up to me, already. I have been putting them in about an inch and a half of lukewarm water in the bathtub when I change the shavings each day. (supervised of course, I change the shavings in the bathroom with them.) They have acclimated nicely to being handled and seem to LOVE splashing around. I let them dry off on a warm towel in the bathroom with a heater afterwards, and put their food and water bowl on the towel. They seem quite curious and personable, I never knew ducks could be so much fun!! :)

    Ok, thanks to all for reading, sorry so lengthy and somewhat incomprehensible at times..but I would be more than appreciative for any advice on how I can help my special little guy with his neck. I am excited to be a new duck mommy and equally excited to be a part of such a helpful forum!

    Thanks again!!
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Welcome, and good on ya!

    Could likely be wry neck, sounds like some kind of neurological problem. I would start poultry vitamins with electrolytes and probiotics at least once a week for everybody (in their water according to package directions), and a few special quality times with you when he can have his own special drink of vitamin water.

    Niacin is pretty straightforward. 100 to 150 mg niacin per gallon of water for several weeks. For some it's 8, or 10, or 12. In Little Buddy's case, I would go twelve weeks. He may respond within days, we cannot know ahead of time.

    I will enjoy reading recommended levels of E and selenium supplementation. You may want to look up foods high in niacin, E and selenium, then compare it to the safe foods list in the stickies to get an idea of how you could meet some of his or her needs through diet.

    Before giving treats or non-crumbles, they need to have a little chick grit in their bellies, just a light sprinkle once a day on their crumbles for a week or so. You might try chopping up some dry rolled oats (not instant or flavored) and add a few tablespoons of that to a dish of food every few days, too.

    Keep the fresh water with them all the time, and don't be dismayed if it takes you some time to get the dry bedding and constant water availability balanced.

    Keep us informed, too, and thanks! Any pics would be drooled over - I mean, appreciated.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  3. BarredRockGirls

    BarredRockGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2013
    im sorry i cant be of any help but i hope he gets better ! he sounds like quite the cutie! cant wait to see pics of them all!
  4. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2012
    Northern Arizona
    X2! I would also add to make sure that they have water that they can dunk their nostrils and eyes into - I wonder if the feed store did not have that available which could have caused the crustiness and redness around their eyes. They need to be able to rinse their head - chick waterers aren't sufficient. You can easily make a homemade waterer out of a gallon milk jug. Cut a hole in one side that is about 3/4 of the way up. That way, they can dunk their heads into the deeper water of the jug but can't climb into it and spill it all over. I also wrapped tape around mine after cutting just to make sure there were no sharp plastic edges.
    I don't know much about the vitamin supplements except that I gave mine some Poly-vi-sol (no iron) for a couple weeks and did the niacin for 12 weeks as we were raising them in the middle of winter with no access to much greens or bugs. Don't get the "no-flush" or "time-release" Niacin. I get the capsules that I can just open up and shake to dissolve in a gallon jug. Niacin can work wonders. I've seen some stories of ducklings that couldn't walk at all, couldn't keep their heads up, etc. and within a week of niacin were normal ducks!! Keep us posted on how things go!

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