Mysterious and tragic duckling deaths. NOT a niacin deficiency. Help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by margie2016, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. margie2016

    margie2016 New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2016
    I've been raising 4 ducklings, two pekins, a khaki campbell, and a ???. They've been on unmedicated chick food with vitamin supplements in their water, which included niacin, with a fresh water option also available. Their cage is cleaned daily and they have a heat lamp that keeps things toasty. Their pen has two sections an indoor warm spot with the heat lamp and pine shavings and a little run outside (fully enclosed though) so they can move freely between the two. We've been changing their water three or four times a day so they've never run out. They've been additionally supplemented with home grown greens. But they keep dying.

    It will look like they lose control of their legs, they aren't deformed it's like they stop being able to us their muscles. One od our pekins died first. He started moving sluggishly, then was unable to walk or hold his head up. Shortly thereafter we were down to three.

    We were so afraid of a virus we immediately moved the survivors to a clean pen and watched them closely. To be safe I added more niacin directly to their feed. For about 2 weeks they were completely symptom free and seemed to be happy healthy little ducklings. Then the other pekin started moving slowly and losing control of her legs, so we isolated her and watched her. She would have bouts of it and then be perfectly fine minutes later. Her legs were healthy, not bowed or swollen, and she had full control of them except during her episodes.For her the whole sad process took about a week and then we lost her. We would think she'd recovered and then we'd see a relapse.

    The third duckling died quickly like the first, though he did have some time where he seemed fine after his initial incident. One morning he was zooming around the brooder making a merry little mess and the next he wasn't.

    So now we're down to one and desperate to keep her healthy. Any ideas? I'm so at a loss.
     
  2. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Have they been outside at all yet?

    @Amiga any ideas?
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    What part of the world are you in? Are there black flies? Wondering if it could be leucocytozoon disease.

    Keep her inside, away from blood sucking insects.

    Other initial thought - is there something wrong with the food?

    Some other type of toxin, somehow....
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  4. margie2016

    margie2016 New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2016
    They had been outside and allowed to splash around in a little pool while supervised. We're in Oregon, haven't seen any flies apart from regular house flies. Maybe mosquitos?
     
  5. margie2016

    margie2016 New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2016
    We will try swapping the food, just in case.
     
  6. Lisaroohoo

    Lisaroohoo Out Of The Brooder

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    I was told to never use pine shavings with the ducks, chickens and turkeys. I forget why not something with fumes and dust especially when they are babies?? I wish I could remember ..I just never used it because I was told not to. Something to look into?? I was also told not to let them get wet right away as they can get chilled because they don't have waterproofed feathers yet.
    I am so sorry for your loss. All the Best!
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I believe cedar shavings are not recommended. Many folks use pine . . . .
     

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