My less than a week old ducklings are dying and I can’t figure out why.

Bebe032206

Hatching
Nov 27, 2021
10
8
9
Hmm. That rules out some of the obvious. I could maybe see the airvent being a problem if it was blowing hot air on them or heating the area around them. But if you have been monitoring the temperature, that is unlikely.

Did you notice any excessive head shaking or any gasping? I had chick crumble recently that was unusually hard and a duckling choked on it.

I also read about someone being given the wrong feed from a feed store. It was a layer feed, and it killed several of her ducklings and other baby fowl. She had to call the manufacturer to figure out it was the feed killing hers. If the label is not obvious on the feed, it would probably be worth just double checking.
No there was never any choking that I noticed and when the ducklings died they weren’t near the feeder… and I’ve used the same food with all my duckings
 

Bebe032206

Hatching
Nov 27, 2021
10
8
9
Can you post a pic of your set up?
There’s a pic of the setup and a picture showing where the vent is. The bigger ducks I just got today they are 2-3 weeks old and I felt bad because no one wanted them, the little ones were the ones I made the post about. I always give the older ones a small tote with water because when I have a regular waterer they go through it way too fast because they want to play in it. And I monitor the water temp too to make sure it isn’t too cold.
image.jpg
image.jpg
 

Bebe032206

Hatching
Nov 27, 2021
10
8
9
I have successfully raised 8 ducks. I get them in sets of two so I have had some expirence. Three days ago I got two more ducklings and when I got them one of the duclings slept more than any I had before. I kept an eye on it but I didn’t think too much of it but it died the night after I got it. I was very upset and I know that ducklings don’t do good on their own so I made a quick trip and got 5 more ducklings. I was gone for no longer than an hour but when I got back I noticed the other ducking was sleeping a a lot (which it had not done previously) and it ended up dying almost exactly 24 hours after I noticed the tiredness. The ducklings I got the day the first one died all seem to be doing just fine but I am still worried this might be a disease. There was no other symptoms than excessive sleeping. I’ve googled all sorts of diseases and I can’t find anything. Im not doing anything different than I’ve done with all the other ducklings I’ve raised. I would appreciate any ideas. There heat lamp is the right temp and these duckings have the same bedding, feed, and waterer that all of the ducks I raised had and I never had a problem.
UPDATE: the five are all doing good. I’m still keeping a close eye on them but I haven’t noticed any excessive tieredness or anything that would indicate that any of them are sick, I also got 3 more ducks today they are 2-3 weeks old, I had to go back to rural king and I noticed that almost none of them had been bought in the last 4 days and decided to give a few of them a home.
 

RosemaryDuck

Crowing
Dec 15, 2020
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There’s a pic of the setup and a picture showing where the vent is. The bigger ducks I just got today they are 2-3 weeks old and I felt bad because no one wanted them, the little ones were the ones I made the post about. I always give the older ones a small tote with water because when I have a regular waterer they go through it way too fast because they want to play in it. And I monitor the water temp too to make sure it isn’t too cold. View attachment 2912863 View attachment 2912862
I can see your problem. Those tubs are extremely small for those ducklings and have almost no ventilation. They also have no way of escaping the heat bulb if they're overheating. They need larger brooders, with room to move if they get hot and so they don't trample each other.

There's also a risk of Aspergillus with this type of set up, since it's likely staying very damp and wet inside these tubs.

Ideally you want something large like this:
https://images.app.goo.gl/5zxQmZcG3c5ej5tR9

I hope this helps and things improve for your ducklings.
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
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I agree, they do need a bigger brooder. It doesn't look like they have anyway to get away from the heat if they needed to. You could make a large enough brooder one that all can fit.
I used a similar tub for 2 polish chicks and even as small as they are they outgrew that fast.
With that said, I don't think that's why your ducklings died. Other issues will definitely arise with that set up.
However, what type of shavings are you using? It looks like cedar to me. Although some use cedar, I wouldn't for young birds.
Also, the feeders and waterers aren't good for ducklings.

This is a sticky in the duck forum: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/ducks-sticky-topics-index.256233/
Look in the caring and feeding of ducklings - there are examples of feeders and waterers. Many just take a plastic container with a lid and cut holes in it so that the duckling's head can fit, but not body.
@Miss Lydia has good examples.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
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Oct 3, 2009
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Since you have many more ducklings now, it's great your giving them a new good home. you're
8AFFB8E6-980F-4D46-B4BB-0F9C04A19524.jpeg
going to need more than one water container and a very large brooder. Everyone has already replied on the need for a large brooder and how important it is for their health.
 

Bebe032206

Hatching
Nov 27, 2021
10
8
9
I can see your problem. Those tubs are extremely small for those ducklings and have almost no ventilation. They also have no way of escaping the heat bulb if they're overheating. They need larger brooders, with room to move if they get hot and so they don't trample each other.

There's also a risk of Aspergillus with this type of set up, since it's likely staying very damp and wet inside these tubs.

Ideally you want something large like this:
https://images.app.goo.gl/5zxQmZcG3c5ej5tR9

I hope this helps and things improve for your ducklings.
Thank you that definitely helps, I’ve been concerned about not having enough room in the past but I never had a problem until now.
 

Bebe032206

Hatching
Nov 27, 2021
10
8
9
I agree, they do need a bigger brooder. It doesn't look like they have anyway to get away from the heat if they needed to. You could make a large enough brooder one that all can fit.
I used a similar tub for 2 polish chicks and even as small as they are they outgrew that fast.
With that said, I don't think that's why your ducklings died. Other issues will definitely arise with that set up.
However, what type of shavings are you using? It looks like cedar to me. Although some use cedar, I wouldn't for young birds.
Also, the feeders and waterers aren't good for ducklings.

This is a sticky in the duck forum: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/ducks-sticky-topics-index.256233/
Look in the caring and feeding of ducklings - there are examples of feeders and waterers. Many just take a plastic container with a lid and cut holes in it so that the duckling's head can fit, but not body.
@Miss Lydia has good examples.
I used to use cedar but I switch to recycled coffee grounds a while ago, I just used cedar again this one time because that was all I had on hand at the time.
 

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