Need recipes for soft nutrient-rich food for ailing duck


Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
Drei has been struggling with something - not sure what, and cannot afford expensive testing. At this point I suspect some kind of poisoning, either plant or metal. None of the other ducks is ailing. I am giving her antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, probiotics, vitamins, trying to support her little body to get through this. I also put activated charcoal into her water at night. She has been drinking fine.

She is getting better, slowly (it's been a couple of weeks since I noticed listlessness and lack of appetite).

I bring her in at night, give her a tonic at night and again in the morning. So far, she will try to eat while she is with the flock, but does not eat much. She will eat a slug or two in sick bay.

But the weather is turning and slugs won't be available much longer. I need a very nutritious porridge for her. Last night, rolled oats soaked in water with a teaspoon of apple spread (apples and apple cider) were offered to her. She has been nibbling at that. I have tried moistened cat kibble. Nope. A piece of tuna. Not so much. A piece of tilapia. Pleh!

She's not a big fruit eater. Doesn't seem to like yogurt. I am praying that she will continue to recover, but it's a slow go. So I reckon getting nutrients into her will be a big part of this project.

During the day, when she is with the flock, she does a fair job of keeping up. But she rests quite a bit. She has, as I wrote, been getting better. She fusses and wiggles quite a bit when I pick her up, can trot around a little, and has put some weight back on.
In our house, any sick poultry gets a mixture of their food soaked and mashed, some yogurt or soy milk, some vitamin mixes, and something to make it tasty (sometimes we don't even have to do this, depending on the animal). I dunno what you feed, but any crumbles/pellets will make a nice soft mash if some hot water is put in. Sometimes, we have to force-feed them a bit so they get the taste and realize it is food, then they'll usually eat it on their own.

Good luck with your duck! I wish her a full recovery.
A nice liver shake can always perk them up. Usually ducks (my muscovies especially) LOVE liver, and it's really good for them. We butcher a lot of animals here so there is always some available.

Hope she recovers soon!!
Thanks, everyone!

ultasol, fecal looks and smells okay to me. It's a bit watery, but that makes sense since she is drinking fine but not eating as much.

I have some frozen chicken liver - Caprice_Acres, since I haven't ever made any, could you offer a recipe?
Throw the liver in a blender with a little water. Then, mix it into warm mash with the feed. If it's eating at all, it may very well love the new mash. I'd offer it then check back in a couple hours, to make sure it's eating it. Try putting peas on the top to encourage eating the new stuff. Most of the time with poultry, I notice when you first offer a new food source, the birds stare at you in confusion... "That can't POSSIBLY be edible!"
You can also mix in vitamins/electrolytes into the water to help keep it drinking and getting vitamins.
Some more ideas:
1. I make an alfalfa tea for my ducks in winter, that has to have some good nutrients in it.
2. Mealworms are availible year round at pet shops and can be farmed at home.
3. Scrambled or boiled egg are another possibility.
4. Did you try canned cat food or dry? Maybe try the other.

Glad to hear she shows improvement!
Thanks, everyone! She is still with us - hasn't slipped back, but seems to have reached a plateau for now.

Last night outdoor temperature was lower 30s F, so just as glad to keep her in overnight for now - she can use energy to heal, not just try to stay warm.

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