STAR GAZING IN DUCKLINGS, GENETIC OR DEFICIENCY?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by guineaMaster, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. guineaMaster

    guineaMaster New Egg

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    Apr 11, 2015
    Hi there,
    Recently I have started breeding blue, chocolate and silver indian runners. So far I have hatched out 4 batches of about 10 ducklings. For some reason there is always at least one with star gazing symptoms (wry-neck). Because I am consistently getting ducklings hatch with this problem, I have a vitamin liquid that I give to them straight away and they are usually completely normal within in a few days. Is this normal to have that many stargazing ducklings?

    If its a nutritional deficiency it must be coming from the duck. My Indian runner duck has laid about 110 eggs in 110 days so far this season, so could it possibly be that not every egg gets the same amount of vitamins and might be lacking in thiamin?
    Or is it genetic?
    Cheers
     
  2. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    What are you feeding your ducks? Are they penned or do they get free ranged? Are you supplementing extra vitamins leading up to and during breeding season? Sprouting fodder? Varied diet or straight layer rations? Also, any possibility of parasites? External or internal, like worms?

    It could be a deficiency in the parent stock, but if changes to diet don't help, then it could be genetic...
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Based on what I have read, my guess is that there may be a genetic component to the niacin and B vitamin deficiency sensitivity. Because there seem to be some ducklings more prone to deficiency symptoms than others.

    So, some of each - ducklings do need about 3 times more niacin than chicks, and apparently some seem to be able to compensate but some do not. We only know of the ones that display early external symptoms. No telling how many may have other symptoms that do not seem so obvious, that may lead to early mysterious death.
     
  4. guineaMaster

    guineaMaster New Egg

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    Apr 11, 2015
    Thanks heaps for the info. Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but what do you recommend I do to try and fix the problem. Should I just not breed from the ducklings that have symptoms and try to breed it out of them?
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Since it's a B vitamin deficiency, I would add B vitamins to the diet. Generally a tablespoon of brewer's yeast per cup of food is used, but you may want to use perhaps a bit more for a week or so, and keep giving the extra B vitamins for 10 weeks or so.

    Whether it's genetic is my guess - I don't know if you would want to make breeding decisions on that - it may be worth a try, though....

    edit to add - I re-read this, and I hope I did not sound snarky. Mercy, sometimes I do not have command of the English language....

    Also, some folks use Super B Complex or B Complex capsules and add it to drinking water. I would use the amount of B3 in the capsule as a guide, and add 150 mg B3 (plus the rest) per gallon of drinking water - I base that on advice from Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  6. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    X2

    I would supplement the parent stock as well... see if that makes a difference in the ducklings hatched... but they'll need a month of the extra vites at least before collecting eggs to tell if it helps or not...
     
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