New Ducklings - UPDATE!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DesertDucks, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. DesertDucks

    DesertDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    My new order of baby ducks came in Wednesday morning! I have had chickens/ ducks/ turkeys before but not for a few years so I am re-learning what I am doing with them.

    I wanted a color mixed flock so I have one of each: Saxony, Pekin, Buff, Silver Appleyard and Welsh Harlequin.

    Four out of the five ducks are doing fine (I think). The Saxony has me concerned. She is eating and drinking and pooping but she is "off" compared to the others. Her breathing appears to be much more rapid and she holds her wings out from her body, which the others don't do. She opens and closes her bill a lot and I doesn't "peep" as much as the other ones. She is the largest so far. I began to notice this on Wednesday afternoon (today is Friday). So "symptoms" occurred only a few hours after arrival. Also she walks ok (so far) and doesn't seem to be lethargic or anything.

    When I offered a dish of water the others dunked their heads and blew bubbles etc. She just barely dipped her bill in to drink. The others wanted to climb in and go for a swim but she isn't keen on water it seems like and avoided the whole situation.

    Like I said she isn't obviously sick but she is "off" from the other ones. My DH says she is fine and I am overreacting (this is admittedly a possibly) but I don't want her to suffer from my own negligence. He thinks she is a different breed and therefor acts different.

    About my set up: When I got the ducklings home I had a heated brooder ready. I used a galvanized stock tank (in the garage) lined with towels. I had probiotic/ electrolyte water for them. I offered only water for about 1.5hrs and then introduced food. The temp was at 90-93 but I turned it down to 88-91 because they were all trying to escape the lamp. This group didn't seem to like it too hot. I am feeding an unmedicated chick starter (it is what they had at the feed store). I also have been adding vitamin to their water every other day as directed on the packaging and this vitamin does include nician.

    I am thinking of offering a few inches of warm water in the tub tomorrow to encourage her to get her head and bill wet? She is only 6 days old so I know that is young for swimming?

    Anyway any advice is appreciated. I know it sounds really silly to say her symptoms are "holds her wings out more and breathes faster" but it just feels off and if I can catch something early I would like to.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  2. DesertDucks

    DesertDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry to double post but here are some pics from the "photo shoot" I did with my DD:
    (If I can discipline my self to do it again I would like to do week 2, 3, 4... etc to get an idea of how fast they grow!)

    This is the Saxony - Cleo - the one I am worried about.
    [​IMG]

    Margot
    [​IMG]

    Puddles
    [​IMG]

    Meredith:
    [​IMG]

    Videla:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. DesertDucks

    DesertDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Bump
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @DesertDucks for one ducklings don't really like it that warm, 85 is fine to start with then drop the temp each week 5* till they are at normal outside or inside temps.

    If you have Poultry Nurti Drench you can give her tiny drops right into her bill to give her a needed boost and this can also be put into their water.

    Go ahead and let them have some tub time in nice warm water, start with water just up to tops of their legs then increase dept as they get use to it being deeper. They will have a blast. make sure to always stay by and then pat dry and back into warm brooder.

    Since you using chick feed I'd also add some Nutritional yeast at 1 tab per cup of feed daily for 10 weeks or plain niacin added to their feed or drinking water 125-150 mgs to 1 gal of drinking water for 10 weeks . emphasis on Plain.

    I'll get you more info and your ducklings are just adorable great pics. your lil WH looks very healthy.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  5. DesertDucks

    DesertDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info. I will take the temp down a few deg. The paperwork they came with said 90 so I wasn't going to second guess it but a lot of what I read online said that ducks/geese don't like to be overheated too, so I felt conflicted. Our temps are normally in the high 70s low 80s this time of year but we had an unexpected cold snap this week and it dropped to 30 last night which is WAY out side the norm.

    Any reason why plain Niacin is better than a multi vitamin? Is it because of overdosing?

    Also when can I give them some greens from the yard? I thought it would be nice to pick a few weeds and chop them up? I have some grit I can sprinkle in their pen as well.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    No reason they can't have some greens as long as you sprinkle grit. You can even bring in the greens with the dirt if you don't mind a messy brooder. lol

    Water fowl need any where from 125-150 megs of niacin a day to have strong legs and neurological heath, so when I said plain niacin I meant not flush free or time released. Just plain old niacin or nutritional yeast. Check what your giving them to see what the niacin level is. 90 is chick temps I have never had my duckling or gosling at 90* always started them off at 85 as long as they are out of drafts they are good at that temp.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Oh Boy!....Absolutely ADORABLE !....Congrats!
     
  8. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you haven't already, cut the leg bands off.
    Ducklings can swim at any time. I usually let mine get settled in for a day and then let them have at it. First time I gave them a paint roller tray of water, but batches of ducklings after that just got warm water in the tub they could dive in or if warm enough, water outside in a kiddie pool. After a couple of weeks, I didn't worry about warmish water for them.

    The niacin in the vitamin is probably not enough for ducks.
    As for temp, don't worry so much about the actual temp, let the ducklings tell you what they need - as you have done already.
     
  9. DesertDucks

    DesertDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    I left them on for the pictures (to help me ID them) and cut them off right after! I used toe-nail clippers and all five were fine about it.

    We are getting a "bath" ready in a few and hopefully swimming will pep up the Saxony. Are they typically shy? I based my breed selection off of calm reputations but this one isn't as precocious as the others.

    Puddles (the pekin) is the first to try anything new, i.e. new water bowl or when I tossed in some greens. But Cleo is the last by a long time to approach anything.

    She is still eating and drinking but is still breathing fast etc.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @DesertDucks you might go on the Saxony thread and talk with those who have them maybe this is a natural trait for this breed.


    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1107805/saxony-duck-thread/110
     

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