Sickly duck at local produce store...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SampyArctica, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. SampyArctica

    SampyArctica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey guys, I've never visited this part of the site before - I only have six chickens and have never had any other fowl. But. I recently visited the local produce store who take 'pride' in having a mini-farm down the back (not in any condition I would be having on view to the public, but my concerns were shrugged off when I first messaged them). Some birds and poultry are for sale, some are free-rangers and I'm not sure about the pigs, sheep, cattle, goats etc in the small pens. But there's this one duck in particular that caught my eye (and my heart). It was being kept apart from the other ducks, had barely any feathers in which it looked quite young but it was about the size of a 17 week old pullet (comparing to some of my girls). It looked as if it had difficulty standing and supporting it's own weight, was being kept in a small open-bottomed enclosure on the parking lot tarmac, with some straw as bedding and access to a little chick waterer but no pool with about six baby pheasants that would peck at its beak while trying to eat. It also had laboured breathing, sounding very raspy and looked as if it was almost fighting to breathe.

    I have sent a message to the store, asking for more information on this duck/drake - breed, gender, age, why it's separated/what may be wrong with it, if it's treatable etc - but that was only this morning so I have not yet heard back.

    My question in the meantime is - would this duck be worth purchasing? I don't care if it's a duck or drake, I just want to get it out of that place. But if it's something I just won't be able to treat, I also don't want to run the risk of bringing it home to my other girls in case it spreads and the duck ends up passing away soon after bringing it home. Of course it would be confined/kept isolated from the girls we have now for a few weeks, but...would I be buying it to give it a better life it will be able to live, or is this poor thing already knocking on deaths door?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Ducks can recover. It may be suffering from an infection, in which case antibiotics would help.

    I also may simply need:

    decent food

    fresh water, enough to bathe in and wash its head in

    decent bedding

    the company of one other duck, although some ducks do okay with other poultry and animals - it depend on the duck but usually they need a friend 24/7

    Vitamins, electrolytes, probiotics can often help bring a duck back to vim and vigor as well.

    I admit, I would give it a go - and keep it well separated from the rest of the flock. But you know what your boundaries are.

    I know someone who always sends a fecal sample to test for parasites, too.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    So sweet of you to care, and very hard to know what maybe going on with this duck. Hopefully you'll hear back from them and they may tell you to come get it, If the pheasants are pecking at it others may have been too and it's not getting to eat which could be one problem, Bringing it home you would at least be giving it a fighting chance, just do as you said by keeping it isolated with plenty of good feed and fresh water some poultry vitamins in the drinking water and hopefully the TLC will bring it around if not at least it won't have to suffer a sad death being where it is. If you can maybe go and personally talk to the owners, I know sometimes here if Tractor Supply gets in a less than healthy chick or ducklings they will just give it away. let us know how it goes.
     
  4. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm with these Ladies. The risk is ANY TIME you bring in new birds, you are taking risks and potentially could expose your birds to something. That's why quarantine guidelines/rules are what they are. You'll want to be very strict, hand washing, not Wearing same boots, hand washing, etc.

    My guess would be the baby you saw was stressed from shipping and so was separated. Usually I believe hatcheries ship out the day of hatch. Not sure on size of 17 wk old pullet.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    And the members of the BYC Duck Forum are a lovely caring group (okay, sometimes a few of us get a little ornery, but I mean just about all the time [​IMG]) and they have helped me get through all kinds of things with my flock, and I have learned about so much more from the sharing that goes on here. Most of what I know has come from the Duck Forum and its members.

    A bunch from my ducks, and a bunch from Kim Link and David Holderread, and some from my vet - just want to acknowledge the folks who answer my questions and hold my hand.

    And bless you for even considering taking this on.

    I recently changed my signature to a quote by David Holderread. It is something I want everyone to read and consider.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    It's a very good quote Amiga and many on here can surly vouch for it.
     
  7. laughingdog

    laughingdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What's the signature say (my phone won't let me see some features on here)? One of holderheads poultry books was first and only guides i could find.
     
  8. SampyArctica

    SampyArctica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ^ I am also on my phone and so cannot see the signature but am curious.

    A 17 week old pullet is maybe 30cms long and maybe 40 cm tall when at full height? Approximate estimation, and going from the sizes of my girls. It looked like a young duck, but definitely not a duckling, far too big. As long as a 17 week old pullet, maybe even a tad smaller, but not as tall I think. I didn't really see it stand at full height though, it barely moved. It had very, very little feathers on its body though, and none on its wings at all. I could the pink of its skin very well. As in, the wings and part of the body were bare, not really any fluff either.

    I haven't yet heard from the store unfortunately, I think if I still haven't heard by tomorrow mid-morning (it's 5:45pm on a Sunday afternoon here, so they're closed right now), I'm going to go down to the store myself and try to find someone who knows about it. If it's still there!

    I've been trying to read up on duck respiratory illness and it kind of seems similar to the symptoms of aspergillosis...do you think that this could be likely? If so, I have also read that it may be treatable with somethings called terbinifine and fluconazole...in case I do end up bringing this duck home - where would I find these things?

    If I bring it home, of course vitamins, electrolytes and probiotics will be administered, but could this aspergillosis be a credible possibility...?

    And thank you all very much for your input! It's really very appreciated! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    If it's missing most of it's feathers I'm thinking it has gotten beat up pretty badly by either the pheasants/other ducks or even chickens. some are just at the bottom of the pecking order and just get beat up. One reason I don't recommend keeping young ducks and any other poultry together. Ducks especially have no way to defend themselves. This could be Aspergillois or it could just be it's run down and needs some TLC. there is no known cure for Asper it's called brooder pneumonia also and is caused by moldy bedding or being fed moldy food. But you know you maybe able to get an antibiotic and treat this lil one and if it's another type of URI it may respond. It would be worth trying. I hope you can find out some info about it today. Looking for antibiotics I'd start with a feed store here in the states they sell them. Vet maybe able to help to if your on speaking terms with one. If you found where they are saying asper is treatable then by all means find out where you can get these drugs. I am going by what dave Holderread wrote in his book but new drugs are coming out all the time and this book was last copy written in 2001. Alot can change since then. [​IMG]
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    David Holderread:
    People often ask if they should "put down" a bird that has suffered major injuries. In my experience, birds appreciate the opportunity to recover. Ducks have an amazing ability to heal, even from injuries that appear to be catastrophic.

    I apologize - did not mean to be mysterious there.

    I would not rule out aspergilliosis no.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014

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