new ducks! some questions and identification issues!


9 Years
Apr 16, 2014
I have received a group of four ducks from McMurray Hatcheries. Despite it being a low of 20ish degrees last night, they arrived this morning safe and sound.

I have questions about a few of their quirks. One duck seems to have some issues swallowing. She seems to try to dry swallow often even when she is sitting not drinking or eating. I'm worried she could have something stuck in her throat. Another duck is doing a lot of spitting up food. They have sugar and QuikChik in their water.

We are also having a difficult time telling apart two of the ducks and figuring out if they are label correctly.

Based on the color of their ankle tags, the small one is a chocolate runner while the larger one behind it is a blue swedish. Based on colors this is correct, but based on sizes this doesn't make any sense. The one labeled as the runner is much more stout than the one labeled as a swedish.

Here they are from above, the "runner" on the left and the "swedish" on the right and the yellow one correctly identified as a runner.

And here is the whole gang, from left to right: fawn and white runner, labeled as blue swedish, pekin, and then at the bottom furthest away from water is the one labeled as chocolate runner.


Brooder full of runners.

Might be a runner, it's a bit early, though, as I recall mine all being little round fluffs the day they arrived. And Elfie was always small.

I think if it were me I would not have sugar in their water. Is QuickChick a vitamin and electrolyte or probiotic?

Things can get stuck in their throats. Can you get a video? Is the spitter-upper doing this when being handled? They do slosh easily at this age.
The one identified as a runner started standing up more, so I think she's identified correctly as a runner.

QuikChick is this, says it can be used with sugar in the water. Should I stop? I've done it more diluted than recommended.

I think they all went a bit nuts when they first found their food and ate too much at once. They are still spiddling up a little bit but I think the weird swallowing is gone. They all do a lot of head shaking when they're eating and drinking through.

Also, is it an issue that they seem to be eating (or at least trying to eat) the pine shavings? I don't know what they wouldn't eat...
Last edited:
I would use the vitamins once a week, without the sugar.

Watch that shavings eating - I think they could get impacted (digestive system stopped up) and that can be fatal.

I am not trying to scare you, ducklings are such a joy - but they can get into the weirdest trouble. Mine started eating shavings so I went with old towels. Shake'em out over the compost or garden, toss 'em in the washer, hang 'em dry and go again.
I've just switched them to regular water. I think they probably needed the post shipping boost. I'll offer it to them every once in a while before I put them outside.

I'll keep an eye on the shavings issue. Old towels seems like a really good idea! I've read a lot of things will cause them to slip around, but towels seem easy to clean and comfy for them. Thanks for the suggestion!
I think the initial vitamins was fine, you are being careful and good to your ducks. I also think water most of the time is good, too. Vitamins sometimes. And in the case of certain illnesses and dehydration, then a little sugar might make sense. There are a variety of opinions about that. Heck, about just about every aspect of critter care!

Please keep us updated.
Thank you! I have for the night put down some old towels on top of the pine shavings that were down there. Tomorrow I'll clean it out and do just the old towels at least until they're a bit older. I THINK they were just nibbling the pine shavings and spitting them out, but it was enough to make me worry.

(edit: whoops, looks like I used two accounts... same person. Forgot I already had an account and made another and then got automatically logged into this one somehow! weird)
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom