Sick or Maybe Hurt Appleyard?


10 Years
Jul 1, 2009
One of my year old Appleyard girls is doing something very weird.

Out of the 23 ducks I have she is the only one who is a little too fat. ( just thought I'd mention that) Yesterday at treat time all the ducks came running as soon as they heard the call. Her included. She ate a few peas and then when the other ducks went to run to the water for a drink, she collapsed forward on her "chest" , legs out behind her and couldn't get up. DH picked her up and sat her up on her feet, same thing. She fell forward. For a moment she got up, stood still for a moment, took a few steps, holding her tail down, and fell forward again. DH picked her up again and I checked out her belly for any egg binding etc. Nothing. Her legs seemed strong when they were pushing against my hand. We stayed with her and kept watching her and talking to her and in a few minutes she was walking slow, but ok. She kept up with and went out to the field to forage with the others and later she went to bed with the rest of them. I thought it odd that it seemed to be both legs, but maybe she had just twisted or pulled something wrong and would be ok.

This morning we went out to let the ducks out and the same thing. We picked her up and brought her out and once again she cant walk. She takes an almost painful looking few steps and falls forward. We have her separated in our small "newbie" pen with some food and water. (she seems to be eating and drinking just fine) She will stand up for awhile and look around and quack because she's not too happy to be in there, but then just lay back down.

I have consulted my Storey's Guide and several other sources and I just cant figure this out. Suggestions?
Is she laying eggs? That may cause a drop in her vitamins levels, but it would usually not show as an occasional drop in the leg movement. Not every duck is the same, but some are more sensitive to this. Being large doesn't help much either. I'm sure you have her on vitamins right now, since you are doing this for long.
There is a form of seizure that makes them loose muscle control when they get to exited. It's harmless but can really be scary to the duck owner. Wish I could remember the name of this condition. Try to get her exited about something and see if that happens again.
Yes she laying and yes on the vitamins. Oh and I sprinkled a little brewers yeast on her food. Doesn't seem to be a seizure. I am just at a loss. If she's no better tomorrow I will pull the money out of my meager budget and take her to our vet. I just feel so bad for her. She really doesn't like being away from her buddies.
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Is she laying? If so are you giving Oyster shell? I know my runners seem real sensitive to lack of calcium or niacin while laying , if their feed balance gets off, they almost can't walk, then I correct and they are fine in a couple days.
Another good point. Sometimes we cannot see the tiny little things. Mystical mom is a good duck owner, she will do anything for them. Even it it cost money taking them to the vet. I hope it is something easy and her girl is up and healthy in no time.
Yes shes laying just fine and oyster shell is given freely. I had to go out tonight and came in late. I walked over to check on her before I came in. She she didnt like being disturbed, got a little nervous and was up and walking around. I hope this is a good sign. We'll see in the morning.

Thank you ABCs. You've taught me A LOT about raising them. And youre right. If she's not better in the morning she's off to the vet. Period.
I have the same problem. It started with one duck last week. By the time I noticed, she could hardly walk at all. 2 days later, she was dead. Now, I see the same thing starting in a second hen appleyard. What are these vitamins you are talking about? Never heard of giving a duck vitamins?
Yotetrapper - ducks have a higher daily requirement of Niacin than chickens do.- Manufactured feeds do contain Niacin - But only the amount chickens need unless is is specifically for ducks/ game birds. Ducks however do eat more than chickens therefore consuming more of all nutrients in the feed... But can still on an occasion suffer from a vitamin imbalance. Powdered multi vitamins are available at feed stores pet shops and other outlets. Its easy to use- just a scoop in the drinking water each day.

Niacin deficiency in ducks has the following symptoms - Bow leggedness especially in very young ducks- enlarged hock joints, retarded growth,loss of appetite or anorexia, poor feather development and skin dryness in older ducks. They can also suffer from deficiencies of other minerals and vitamin as well- which is why a multivitamin may work better to treat an ailing duck than niacin alone.
Supplement do not always work, but most of the time their lack of is the culprit. I give all my birds a supplement once per week. Here is the product I like:
It contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and probiotics. It also smells like vanilla and my ducks just love it. It is preventative care for me. The product cost around 4 dollars and last about 1 year for about 6 ducks I would say. You simply mix 1 teaspoon into 1 gallon of water. PoultryPak is another product I can think off.

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