Respiratory symptoms video attached anyone had ducklings/chicks like this?

Kimmyh51

Songster
Nov 16, 2015
182
117
126
Video (please ensure sound is up)


Sorry you can’t see much,it would have disturbed them to shine a torch on them to light up the ducklings more (my lights are on inside but their container is in shadows) but to be isnt there isn’t much to see, it’s what you can hear. The duckling is in the centre back, brown with yellow round the neck. You can hear the loud breathing, and it also has been coughing a bit, the coughs sound like it’s full of mucus. It’s not blocked nares that need a blow out, it’s congestion from elsewhere, presumably lungs or air sacs as you hear it when the duckling breathes through its mouth.

Has anyone encountered these symptoms in their ducklings?

This duckling is approx 4 weeks old. Been on oxytetracycline which appeared to work for other ducklings with similar symptoms, but no real change for this one. Energy levels and general behaviour normal but very obvious sounds of congestion as you can hear. A little bit of clear discharge from nares was seen a couple of days ago but not since.
Just looked now and nares have a little bit of clear fluid ,but you can see thru them (ie see the light shining thru the other side when looking at the beak side on)


Eyes clear, nares clear (apart from as mentioned above), vent clean, dropping normal. Appetite normal, energy appears normal.


This particular duckling was part of a ‘sneaky’ clutch, ie the mother made a nest in a hidden location under a large tarp and I didn’t find it till the eggs were well developed so didn’t have the heart to take the eggs containing living growing ducklings with heartbeats off her.


Diet is combination of duck eggs (mostly yolk), growers pellets, starter crumbles, malted barley (sprouted barley which has been heat dried), supplemented with a poultry premix vitamin which contains a, b, e vitamins and minerals.


Mother was fed a diet of mainly layer pellets plus poultry premix vitamins at the time she would have been laying the eggs.


Mother abandoned duckling at around 3 weeks old so I added it to a group of others in similar situation that are housed indoors. It already had these symptoms before I took it indoors.


Had a few ducklings with these symptoms this year and had other ducklings with none of this symptoms. The ducklings with symptoms have been in different clutches with different parents, and within the same clutches there have been other ducklings with no symptoms at all. All I have seen have survived to adulthood. Some have been slightly smaller or later developers than normal, but all have sounded terrible (on deaths door) but had normal energy levels, interest, eating and so on.


It seems that some ducklings are catching it from others. But other ducklings are being exposed to it and not getting it. So it’s not meeting any of the level of contagiousness of any of the viral conditions I have read about in ducklings. Neither is it causing mortality like most resp. conditions. It also doesn’t have other symptoms like discharge (no other duckling had any discharge, this one had slight clear discharge one time only, none since), or other symptoms like ruffled feathers, lethargy, vent stains, etc etc....


It seems to be something the others that have had it (that are older) are gradually growing out of and the only real noticeable symptom is the respiratory sounds. (Ie if you were deaf and could only judge their health by what you could see, you would not think they were unwell.)


Has anyone out there encountered these symptoms in their ducklings and have any idea what it might be?

The poor wee love sounds like it’s really struggling and there are no vets local to me who can diagnose it.
 

Kimmyh51

Songster
Nov 16, 2015
182
117
126
The only thing I think a vet might be able to offer me which I don’t have is enrofloxin which I think is known as baytril in many places overseas. It costs a fortune here, last time I needed it it cost me $50 to see the vet plus $10 prescribing fee and $70 for enough to last not even two days for three small ducklings, it was about 5 ml or something like that (was only prescribed to last till vet got oxytetracycline in stock). In the two situations I have been given enrotril for respiratory infections her before, one was the above ducklings who were switched to oxytet which worked just as well, the other was a goose who got pneumonia and was given enrotril, which resolved the symptoms but it recurred a few weeks later and I then gave him oxytet which resolved it and it has not recurred since. So in my experience oxytetracycline seems to normally be as effective as enrotril. However it’s not making any difference for this particular duckling, and I just did a quick google and came up with a study on E. coli in poultry that said enrotril was more effective.
However who even knows if this is an infection, let alone E. coli infection, and I am really pressed for $$ right now. If there was a good chance enrotril would help this duckling I could take it to the vet and pay out my $120 plus, but as a self funded rescuer, I have to weigh up every vet spend against where else I could spend the same money and ask myself if this is the best way to use it.

Hence hoping someone here might see the video and recognise the sounds in the video plus my description as something they have encountered in their flock and can offer some advice on what it might be or whether there is likely to be any benefit from spending the $$ to get the duckling a script of enrotril.

Here to get tests done on blood, discharge, swabs etc to find out for certain what it is would cost me hundreds and hundreds and take a few weeks for results to arrive as the samples have to be shipped to the other end of the country, so not really a practical option as the duckling will either have grown out of it or died from it by then.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom