One Duckling has "weak legs"

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by apan, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. apan

    apan Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello,

    I have 7 Pekin/Runner mixes that are approaching 3 weeks old. As I have started letting them run around and swim more, I have noticed that one of the smaller ones is always lagging behind the others. She paddles around slowly in the tub and needs to sit and rest more often than the others when running or standing around with the others. She seems to stumble around a lot.

    While her feet look normal to me, she does kind of fold her toes together and sit back when she perches on something rather than resting on her feet like the others do.

    Is this something I need to worry about? If so, is there anything I can do to help?

    Thanks!
     
  2. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What kind of feed are you giving them? Are they getting enough niacin?
     
  3. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @lomine has the right questions I think. Leg issues is normally associated with Niacin (Vitamin b3) deficiency. If you're feeding a duck or mixed flock starter it usually has the required niacin but some individuals may still need supplementation.

    If you're feeding a regular chick started you almost definitely need to supplement. Niacin can be added through Brewers Yeast (This is not yeast, it's a manufacturing byproduct of the beer brewing industry) or B3 vitamin supplements. (These can be found in powder, pill, liquid-gel or liquid drops.) Avoid flush free and time release varieties.
     
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  4. apan

    apan Out Of The Brooder

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    Great! I hope that's all it is. I am using a multi-flock blend that supposedly contains niacin, but it helps to know that maybe it's not just enough. I will start supplementing and report back if Little Stumbly One starts keeping up again.

    Thanks!
     
  5. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, some ducklings just need a little bit more. If it is a niacin deficiency, you should see an improvement in about a week. Good luck!
     
  6. muskduck

    muskduck New Egg

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    Hi, how did the niacin supplement go? I am curious because my 4 week old muscovy duckling started getting the same symptoms you described a week ago, and the mother rejected him/her. at first I thought it was an injury so kept it at rest, but instead of improving, it has got worse. I read on forums it could be worms as they are free range, so I wormed him with aviverm, at the same time I worried it might be too much calcium as they eat the adults' laying pellets, but the other 6 ducklings are fine and are all much bigger. This duckling is 3/4 their size but a week ago was the same size. I stupidly tried to reintroduce it to the mother, it was so happy to be with its siblings, but then the mother noticed, and it was clear she had rejected it :( it swims just fine and leg joints have no swelling or heat and hips(?) look symmetrical. It doesn't do anything weird with its legs, it just can't stand for long, and sits on its belly, not on its feet, he is eating and drinking just fine but I worry it could be neurological- did she abandon him for a reason? Does anyone have any ideas on alternatives to niacin until I can get some supplements?
     
  7. muskduck

    muskduck New Egg

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    I just re-read the OP's post and it started happening around the same age of duckling, I am feeding heaps of fresh peas, chopped sunflower seeds and dissolved marmite, so hopefully that gets the niacin levels up soon!
     
  8. apan

    apan Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry, I didn't respond in time.

    Yes, I fed my duck brewers yeast and that seemed to help. I had an adult duck later on with a niacin deficiency and feeding her lots of green peas seemed to help a bit until I got my order of brewers yeast.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you already mentioned some of the other options. Niacin deficiency can cause neurological problems in some ducks. The mom may have rejected him becuase he couldn't keep up or it could be some other completely unrelated thing. Hard to say. If you can't integrate this duckling back with his family and have to raise him yourself I suggest you put one of his hatch mates in with him. It will make him feel better and will likely help him get better faster. Lone ducks just aren't as happy.
     
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