New Duck Owners With Questions!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by thesmiths, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. thesmiths

    thesmiths Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 23, 2014
    Howdy! I realize this is a site emphasizing chickens, but we have seen a lot of info on ducks too so we though we would join. :) Four days ago my husband rescued a duckling from the feed shop he works at. It was the only duckling that wasn't like the others (crested and not walking) and so they asked my husband to take it outside and kill it. He told them no and said he would take it home and we would take care of it. So here we are!

    We are unsure of the gender, but we've been calling it a 'she' for now until we find out for sure. Her name is Ducky and she is a super sweet! She has very strong legs, but can't seem to keep her neck/head straight long enough to walk or stand. She swings her head to the left or right and just falls over. She has taught herself to get around by sliding on her side until she reaches something that she can prop herself up on, stand up, flop over, and start the process over again. She is fully capable of getting to her food and water, which was a big concern for us, so we're thankful for that. She started getting depressed after being separated for a day, so we went the next day and got her a buddy (unsure of gender). We call 'him' Scuba because he loves to dive underwater! They are both rouen/mallard ducklings, from the same mama. They like to cuddle together which just melts our hearts!

    We made a brooding box with a plastic tub, heat lamp, pine shavings, old towel, and a stuffed animal. We feed them un-medicated started feed in a shallow mason jar lid. We read online that ducklings have a niacin deficiency, so we give them water that takes care of that (100mg niacin per gallon water) and they've been on that for 3 days now. That is the only supplement they are on. Scuba is very healthy and doing well, but Ducky is still unable to walk upright. Her legs are not splayed at all, she just can't seem to hold her head still and keep her balance. If I can post a video I will be sure to show everyone what she looks like. They're both good swimmers! Ducky constantly moves and doesn't have any trouble keeping her bill above water, which is good. She tends to swim straight and then in circles until she finds a wall to lean on. We are afraid that Ducky will never be able to walk properly and that she may have some sort of neurological damage from hatching or being crested...does anyone have any experience with this type of thing? We have never had ducks before, but we are doing our best to give them the best life they can possibly have.

    ANY advice or help would be greatly appreciated! We can't seem to find anyone online that has described the same issues that we are having with our little Ducky...

    Thanks! -The Smiths (from Texas)
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    If we could see video that would be great. In the meantime I am wondering if what you describe is like "wry neck" in chickens. You could post on "emergencies, diseases,injuries, cures, " thread in detail and mention she is a duck.

    Also if you go to the 'Other backyard poultry' forum above, you will find threads specifically for ducks, etc. Duck people would probably offer the best advice.

    I'm not certain but, I think I've read that crested ducks can have the same problem as silkies with vaulted skulls - where part of the skull hasn't hardened over. This makes them very prone to brain injury if they are pecked there. It's very good that she swims well - her legs are okay.

    Wry neck does cause balance problems - sometimes it is due to a nutritional deficiency .
  3. thesmiths

    thesmiths Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 23, 2014

  4. thesmiths

    thesmiths Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 23, 2014
    Most of the "wry neck" videos I have seen are kind of similar to Ducky, but the other ducklings seem to be able to actually stand up. I will upload the video somehow so you can see.[​IMG][​IMG]

    I have already posted to the "Ducks" forum. Thank you for that direction!

    We knew that Ducky was going to be special because she's crested, I'd just hate to think that she has brain damage :( When we picked up Scuba, we looked at all the ducklings and picked the one that seemed the sweetest. He didn't peck at the others or trample over them, he just followed and waited his turn to eat and drink. He is just a big softy with Ducky! We have not seen him peck at her, but it's hard to know if one of the others did while they were being delivered to the feed store... I sure hope not.

    Also, totally random, but have you every seen something that looks like a chicken toe/claw coming out of the bottom of the crest? It's looks like a dark toe with a couple feathers and a odd. It doesn't seem to bother her though.
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop

    Sometimes these things are genetic or deformities during incubation. But I would get him on vitamins. Wry neck, falling over backwards and leg weakness's can stem from vitamin deficiencies from the parent bird or something went awry in the egg during incubation. This little one will benefit from Vitamin B, Vitamin E and Selenium. These 3 things can greatly aid with wry neck and weakness. Even adult birds that lack these nutrients can develop weakness to the point of hanging necks and weak legs. Also give this little guy more heat than the others. Ill or sick birds need more heat than healthy babies or adults.

    Good luck with your new baby and enjoy BYC!
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sorry about your duckling, hope it is OK.
  7. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright [​IMG] great to have you joining the BYC flock [​IMG]

    Try this, boil up an egg and peal it and mash the boiled egg
    up real good and serve and keep it up for a week and see
    if she get any better and some sun light would not hurt [​IMG]
  8. thesmiths

    thesmiths Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 23, 2014
    Believe it or not, our part of Texas is still pretty cold, so I'm afraid they cannot go outside just yet. They're only 6 days old and I do not want them to get chilly! But as soon as it warms up and the sun is out, we'll start playing outside!! :)

    We mashed up the boiled egg and will give her some tomorrow. She is so pooped from her swimming and feeding, so we are letting her rest. She is swimming a little more straight today and appears to be getting stronger. Still has no control over her walking or neck or feet. We are working on it though! We tried doing a reverse hobble on her legs and she was so frantic and stressed that we took it off, she couldn't even prop herself up to stand :/

    Here's a video of Scuba diving and Ducky swimming. We were focusing the camera on Scuba because he always dives when the camera isn't on him![​IMG]

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