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Perplexed by Duck, please advise

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Bookworms, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Bookworms

    Bookworms New Egg

    Jul 26, 2011
    Greetings, I'm new to ducks, but have been doing lots of research, which has included this forum quite often, so thank you! But I need to post about a duckling I just can't figure out. First a little background...we got five ducklings in March which were supposedly Buff Orpingtons (now I have my doubts but that's a post for another day.) They are all doing very well and are happy and healthy (except a snapping turtle scare.) In the middle of June we added five more ducklings, a mixed bunch, the farmer said of campbell, cayuga, buff and muscovy. Still unsure as to which ratios of what. We slowly introduced the newbies to the older ducks and aside from a few nips and jabs they seemed to be getting along fine, though one of the males (Summer) seemed to single out the darkest one, we're calling him Blackie for now. The last week or so Summer has been really going after Blackie, and the last few days all of the older ducks are chasing him around, penning him to the ground, biting and holding his head/back of neck, and pulling out feathers (he's got bald spots under his wings) until I arrive and have to pull him away. Poor Blackie started to kind of hide out under things and wouldn't take part in eating or drinking or wandering, and always lagged behind the group when going into the barn at night. I realize a certain amount of "pecking-order stuff" has to happen, but I began to be afraid for him when the attacks continued all day, I felt I needed to be responsible for his overall happiness and safety, so I brought him inside the house full time the day before yesterday.

    So now he won't eat, maybe two or three mouthfuls a day. He drinks and drinks and drinks incessantly. His poop is basically water with some bright green bits. He does a little preening but always just his chest, rarely his wings/back. He doesn't seem interested in swimming about when in the tub, he just sits on his perch a drinks. I put his best buddy in the tub with him last night and the buddy splashed around and took a normal duck bath. Blackie watched him for a while, the started bobbing his head kinda sideways into the water, not straight down into the water like the other ducks do. When he sits or sleeps he never tucks his bill under his wing, he just kind of tilts his head to the side. I've been reading about a lot of different symptoms/illnesses and was worried about botulism, but he really isn't showing weakness exactly, just extreme lethargy. He has no eye or nostril discharge. I started giving him an electrolyte/vitamin mix in his water yesterday but I'm really worried about his not eating/lack of poop.

    Could a duck have post-traumatic stress disorder or something from bullying? Could he have a neck injury? Will epsom salts hurt him if it's not botulism? Any other advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Quote:Here is a link about Botulism and how to treat it, Seems like you would be noticing your other ducks with symtoms though, I think after being treated like Blackie has been I would have PTSD, or maybe he has something wrong and the others have picked up on it. Now that you have him in the house you can watch better just in case. Try giving him some peas, little green peas, I use frozen ones and put into their pool when i empty and give them fresh water or into their bucket of fresh water. you might have to steam a few min. and mash for Blackie till he gets the hang of it. Another thing my ducks love is mealworms.
    Hopefully with some time without being bullied you'll start to notice him coming around. What is your ratio of males to females? Please let us know how he is doing. Maybe even a pic. of Blackie and your set up you have for your ducks. All the best. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=417796
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    My gut feeling: Blackie is female, most of the rest are males, and her health is seriously at stake until you fix the drake:female ratio.

    Keep Blackie away from the others - unless, as you say, there is a special friend duck who doesn't harass her.

    Such aggressive behavior can cause internal injuries.
  4. duck&chickencrazy

    duck&chickencrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2008
    Quote:I agree!
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    duck&chickencrazy :

    Quote:I agree!

    Me too. Hopefully, she has not been physically injured.​
  6. Bookworms

    Bookworms New Egg

    Jul 26, 2011
    I'm not certain what the sex is of everybody....there are definitely two of the older ducks that do all the mounting, but I'm not sure about the younger ones yet. Late this morning I made a mush of plain yogurt, cooked oatmeal, thawed peas, a few koi pellets and some of the regular duck feed. I tried force-feeding her, but that didn't work so well. I put some of the mash into her water, which she been drinking so well, and she took some bits of food in while she drank and swallowed it down. Still not enough to make me happy, but hopefully a good starting point. She then sat for hours, but I got her up and she drank/ate more. I've got more oatmeal cooking now! I've attached some images, hopefully she'll keep eating more and more.
    [​IMG]] This is how she's been spending most of her time. Notice the bright green poop/pee.
    [​IMG] Action shot from 20 minutes ago. This is how I got her to eat a little.
    [​IMG] Tired from the effort, maybe I'll just stand here a while.
    ][​IMG] Pretty good shot of the rest of the gang. Any ideas on sex? breeds?
    Thanks for your replies.
  7. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2011
    Blackie certainly looks like a duck. Of the other 8, at best I would guess there are 2 more ducks and 6 drakes. They're mixes.

  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Time to get some more girls or find good homes for some boys. And keep Blackie away from the boys.

    By the way, females make a "quack" or "wak" sound - the boys make a more mumbly, whispery sound. How do they sound?

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