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Should I buy these ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sunny Side Up, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I certainly don't want them to bring any illness to my home flock, and neither do I want them to be uncomfortable here.

    At our county Fair there is a poultry exhibitor who wants to sell off his entire flock because he says he's getting too old & infirm to keep up with them. He has mostly bantam chickens entered and also a pair of iridescent green small ducks and a pair of small white ducks. No breeds are listed but I think the white ones are Call Ducks. My boys want to buy these white ducks because they're so adorable. I just want to pinch their cute lil' ducky cheeks, they remind me of the cartoon duck Yacky Doodle who used to rasp "Are YOU my Mama?"

    ~BUT~ One of the ducks, maybe both, have a whitish spot in one eye. I asked a man who knows a lot about poultry about it & he said it isn't cataracts, but a sinus infection that affects the eyes. These ducks don't act sick, don't sound wheezy or goobered-up. But could they still be harboring some virus that would affect my home flock of ducks, chickens & geese?

    ~ALSO~ Could I keep little Call ducks out in the yard with the rest of my flock? I have 2 Pekins, 18 Khaki Campbells, 2 Embden geese, and a large flock of chickens. Would they get picked & pecked on by these others? I do have the option of keeping them in a pen with a pool during the day & latch them into a crate at night before I let the other ducks back in. This pen is not covered, & I would be concerned with hawks attacking them. Are Call ducks clever & wary? I could also keep them in another pen that is covered & currently houses just a few little bantam chickens. Would 2 Calls make a big splashy mess for the chickens?

    Thank you for your imput, the Fair ends Jan 31 and I must decide by then!

  2. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    Dont know about the white spots but you can keep calls with your other ducks, and yes they will make a chicken coop messy fast. Call ducks can fly, but will usually stay around with the other ducks, they are an easy target for hawks though.
  3. CityChicker

    CityChicker Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    I wouldn't risk it. They are probably White Calls (or Mallards) and Black East Indies, both of which you could very well find for cheaper than treating a sick bird (not to mention the risk to your flock if it is something communicable). The first thing that came to mind reading your post was Fowl Pox, which I have seen many times over in other species of birds and can occur in waterfowl (although I have never had a duck with it, I have read in one of my textbooks that it occurs fairly commonly in waterfowl). In my experience with other species, Pox can result in reduced production. Is the white bumpy or wort-like and look like it is part of the eye structure, not something on the eye? If so, that is probably what it is.

    It could also be Candidiasis. That would appear more cheese-like in appearance. What it doesn't sound like is a Sinus infection, based on what you have said. Is there any nasal discharge or discharge from the eyes? Is there a swollen bump between the nostrils and eyes? If so, it might be something sinus related. Again though, by the time you pay for medication, you could have just bought different birds. I believe Meyer Hatchery sells both as ducklings and Ideal sells BEI for about $5 per bird. Of course, lots of people here breed both as well.
  4. Shadowhills Farm

    Shadowhills Farm Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Crystal River, Fl
    I can't help you, but I am SHOCKED that your fair let him enter the ducks....

    Is he NPIP tested?
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Yes, every exhibitor must be NPIP tested, and our judge is a veterinarian well experienced with poultry. So I guess if it were something awful & contagious he would have separated these ducks right away & boiled his hands in bleach before handling any more birds.

    The white spot isn't bumpy, cheesy, warty or anything like that. It's just a small cloudy whitish spot in the middle of the eye, if it weren't a different color you wouldn't know it was there, it doesn't otherwise affect the eye. The ducks seem perky & active otherwise, no discharge or wheezing or anything else.

    My main concern is that I have a Khaki Campbell hen who, at about 4 months old, had this same kind of thing in her eye -- also with no other symptoms, also not passed to any other duck -- and is now mostly blind and never lays eggs. She does get herself around the yard, I think she can see a little bit though she bumps into things sometimes, she depends on quack-o-location and the calls of her drake to find her way around. I never learned what it was that she had, and no other duck here has ever had anything similar.

    But I just want to solicit more opinions before we take a chance on these ducks, so I appreciate all your imput. Thank you!
  6. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    Quote:Is there any way you can ask him?
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Good idea, I called & left a message with the vet's receptionist to ask him. Thank you.

  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    The message the vet sent back was "I can't remember those particular birds amongst the 200 or so others he judged that morning, and if you're concerned about your ducks' eyes you can call to make an appointment for them." [​IMG]

    But we looked & looked at these ducks all throughout the Fair. The cloudy-eyed duck still had vision in that eye, no other symptoms, and during the 17 days of the Fair did not pass the condition to her cage-mate. I knew the exhibitor wanted to sell all 60 of his birds at once for about $5 each, but no one took him up on that offer. When I asked about buying just these ducks he said he wanted $100 for all 4 of the ducks. Which was much too much $$$ for me to spend on pet ducks small enough to be eaten by hawks in my yard.
    It just Wasn't Meant To Be. But thank you all for your great imput. [​IMG]
  9. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Crowing

    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    despite what he says, they have to be cataracts (or an injury). I've seen it many time in older waterfowl, just old age. They arent blind from it, but will eventually become so. Yes they are white call duck and the others are east indies.
    As for NPIP testing, in GA waterfowl arent tested anyway, if this holds true nation wide, saying NPIP tested on waterfowl is pointless because they arent part of the program.
    I do agree, they are easy to find, and would advise getting ducklings ordered in. This way you know what age they are and can enjoy watching them grow up, and produce. These ancient birds he has probably will never reproduce any more due to their apparent age.
    Good luck either way you go. If you just want to get these, You dont have anything to worry about, cateracts aint contagious
  10. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

    Oct 22, 2009
    Quote:I agreed it wasn't meant to be, but the post about the vet...that's just ignorant. This is what keeps me away from anyone but the horse vet, and I am sooo grateful to the person who posted on here about the book How To Afford Veterinary Care Without Mortgaging Your Kids. I bought that book with a quickness and my only complaint was that the vet writing it hasn't written more of them for more species of animals. I have been convinced for years that vets are not necessarily a pet owner's friend, and gosh darn it, no one expects the guy to recall every single duck he sees but you would think he *might* recall a duck with the problem you mention if he is doing his job, and if not, at least have a better manner with the person asking. Geez, can you say "self promotion"?

    I'm glad you didn't buy the ducks...the guy didn't deserve to get them sold and the show doesn't deserve the credit for helping him sell them. Too bad the ducks missed out on what sounds like a home where they would be loved and appreciated, but if you're going to blow $100 at all, it's better spent on rewarding a reputable breeder who has taken the time to raise and nurture their ducks and can tell you all about them, including their pedigree.

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