Please HELP! Very frail Muscovy duckling!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Socosmias, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Socosmias

    Socosmias New Egg

    Apr 8, 2016
    Kula, Maui
    Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here, but I've always reverted back to this site for info and help. I finally decided to join for Baby (duckling).

    I'm in a bit of a pickle. My Muscovy mama's eggs just hatched three days ago. I noticed that there were three eggs left in her nest. They all pipped on the wrong side. I helped a little. I basically peeled some of the shell off, leaving the flexible layer (I'm sorry for my ignorance, but I have no idea what that part of the egg is called).

    So, Day 1, all of them seemed extremely weak and frail which I though was pretty normal because so were all the other ducklings that hatched on their own. I kept a good eye on the three in my room which has a heating lamp.

    I noticed something really odd in their behavior though, two of them weren't able to balance their heads, and they kept ending up on their backs. They were very spastic. So I researched around, and found that they had the symptoms of Duck Viral Hepatitis. This worried me because it's extremely contagious to the others.

    Day 2, the same two still kept the symptoms of DVH. They ended up dying in the afternoon with their legs stretched all the way back, and their necks were contorted backwards as well (common death of DVH). I was devastated. I still had one more duckling left to look after. I was sure that he would die along with his siblings, but his head was NOT bobbing and contorting like how theirs did.

    He seemed healthier, but still really weak.

    Baby is on Day 3 now, and he's still alive and (sort of) well. I fed him some Pedialyte and honey for some strength and energy which helped, but my main concern is the fact that IF his other siblings really did have DVH, is it a possibility that he has it too? Or did he get lucky, and he's just a weak runt? I'm so worried because I couldn't find any sort of treatment for ducks already infected with DVH.

    I'm going to be running down to Del's and getting some poultry vitamins for him. He always seems tired, and his legs don't really work. He will hop, instead of walking. His right leg kind of splays out, and is unable to bring it back in.

    I feel really helpless, I don't want him to die, I want him to have a chance at life. He drinks plenty of water, BUT he has a hard time with food. We have the poultry starter small pebble food which he'll nibble at, but he shakes his head, and it flies out of his mouth. Is there anything I can do??? He pooped twice last night, so that may be a good sign, right?

    If anyone has any sort of insight on his legs, and DVH, I'd be forever grateful. Does it sound like he's already infected? Or does he have a chance to make it? Also, is there any suggestions on what kinds of vitamins I should be getting for him?

    Thank you so very much!

  2. Virus

    Virus Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2015
    I don't know much about DVH so I don't think I can help much with that but I do think you should take the duckling to a vet ASAP, and perhaps the others too.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    @Miss Lydia @Going Quackers @Kevin565


    another thing that can affect hatchlings is B vitamin deficiency. It affects the development of their nervous system.

    I would dissolve a B Complex vitamin in water at the rate of 150 mg B3 (one of the components of the B Complex) per gallon of water.

    That is the dosage for drinking water for ducklings showing signs of niacin deficiency.

    I have read also that thiamine can be low, too.

    The mama Scovy may have sensed something like this. If it is a nutrient deficiency, if you can provide that missing nutrient, the duckling may turn out fine.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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