Need help....ducks dying

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by charlindabob, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. charlindabob

    charlindabob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some white Muscovy ducks that I hatched out last year and are almost sexually mature. I have (had) three females that have an enlarged gullet or breast compared to the others, the red caruncles have faded to a yellow/orange, they stay more apart from the flock, not nearly as "hungry acting" when it comes to feeding and two have already died. They are definitely less active.

    In order to help these females, I have upped the protein to 30%, gave Rooster Booster multi-wormer, and have tried feeding them some fresh spinach. These ducks have a place to "free range" with plenty of grass and weeds, etc., have plenty of fresh water and are fed every day.

    What could be wrong? Has anyone else had similar problems and if so, what did you do? Any suggestions?

    Bob
    central Florida
     
  2. Mvpitzki

    Mvpitzki Out Of The Brooder

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    Try mixing in a spoon of hunny to a quart of their water, it worked for my magpie
     
  3. canard

    canard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Find a vet who treats waterfowl. It sounds serious. Better to get a proper diagnosis than to make decisions based off guesses. If no avian vets are around, perhaps they would see the ducks at a small animal hospital at veterinary college at a local university.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  4. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could be hardware disease.

    Clint
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    My thoughts.

    The pale caruncles can be a sign of anemia and that has several causes. We can make some guesses, but I urge you to get a vet's help.

    You can sometimes get a free necropsy at an ag university or vet school so ask around, keeping the bodies refrigerated, not frozen until you can bring them in.

    In the meantime, I am racking my brain trying to think of possibilities. I did not drop this thread, just nothing came to mind immediately.
    [​IMG]
    added

    Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks mentions hardware disease and esophagus impaction together. When swallowed, small objects can get lodged in the esophagus or gizzard. the foreign object may penetrate the tissue wall and cause peritonitis. With an esophagus impaction, a lump, caused by an obstruction, is often visible in the lower neck (emphasis mine).

    Examples of things ingested include wire, string, tough grass, excessive quantities of gravel.

    There is no simple remedy for hardware disease, but sometimes a vet can perform surgery.

    For esophagus impaction, the wad of material can often be kneaded loose by gently massaging the compaction from the outside, working it back up and out of the mouth. (Tubing the bird with warm water and then holding it upside down while massaging the compaction is often helpful.) If relief cannot be achieved by external methods, the blockage may have to be removed surgically.

    … there follows instructions on how to do the surgery.

    He goes on to write that large quantities of grit in troughs with feed can give a duck that has been without grit for a while an opportunity to overindulge and cause compaction.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  6. charlindabob

    charlindabob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks to everyone for their input and suggestions. It is possible that it could be "hardware disease" and I agree that the yellow/orange caruncles could be a sign of anemia and that was the reason for the spinach. Thought about using some iron tablets in their food or water but decided against it.

    Finding a poultry vet is difficult and even if found would no doubt be cost prohibitive, but it may be the only way to find out about the swollen gullet is to open up the next one that dies. Sounds cold, but I can't afford to spend a huge vet bill on these ducks even if I could find a vet that was familiar with ducks, and I have one "sick" duck left out of the three that showed these symptoms. I have 15 that appear to be fine and will keep a close eye on those.

    TY
    Bob
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    charlindabob, sometimes our circumstances leave us with tough decisions. [​IMG] If it is an impaction, you may be able to loosen it with oil, I think there was a thread about that on BYC a while back. Please keep us posted.

    If it's hardware disease, you probably already know to investigate so the other 15 don't get into whatever it is or was.
     
  8. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I treated a friend's goose who had hardware by confining, tube feeding, and offering just mash. If it is hardware in the esophagus, the hardware will work itself through the tissue, but that will take about 3 months of treatment.


    Clint
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    you mean oil like olive oil right Amiga?
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I'm kind of a novice when it comes to ducks, but it doesn't seem likely that multiple ducks would get this "hardware" disease, it sounds more like some type of parasite, bacterial or fungal infection. If they were mine I would de-worm them very aggressively with Safeguard. I would do 50mg/kg for five days.

    -Kathy
     

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