'strange' Mallards

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Robin2256, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Robin2256

    Robin2256 New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2010
    I have hand raised a brood of ten Mallard ducklings, and up until yesterday, everything was going fine. They are two and a half weeks old now, and I had noticed that one of the ten seemed to be a little 'strange' in the head i.e it was a bit slow, and every now and again it would have a 'spaz' attack (run around all of a sudden, sit down with it's head going all over the place) since it was a day old. Yesterday morning it seemed to be worse than usual, and it died that afternoon. Another one had hurt it's leg that morning, which got worse all day, and that was dead by the next morning. I have noticed that a few of the others breathe a bit heavy, and one seems to have funny turns where it stands bolt up right, starts to walk backwards, and panics. I have read on the internet that dusty, moldy hay can cause them to breath heavily, but i'm confused to what is making the act strange, and what killed the other two? Can anyone help?
     
  2. kswaterfowl

    kswaterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When is the strange behavior occuring? Is it soon after they are watered? Sometimes ducklings have a reaction when they haven't had water for a while, then gorge themselves on the fresh cold water. I believe it causes an electrolyte inbalance, and they go into shock. Most of the time they can't stay upright, and flip over on their backs repeatedly before dying.

    If this isn't the case with yours, it does sound like there is something that is causing a breathing problem. It could be their bedding, or something else in the housing, or feed. If they are starting to get crowded it could be the ammonia build up. Even if you clean their brooder regularly, the ammonia builds up amazingly fast as the ducklings get bigger and messier.

    Sorry about the ducklings you lost. Hopefully you can figure out the problem quickly.
     
  3. Robin2256

    Robin2256 New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2010
    they have assess to water all the time, but i have given them some new pond weed that they haven't had before, which i put in there water so as they could dabble for it, which they loved. They were on shredded paper when the were babies, then I put them on towels. I have been letting them outside since the were about a week old, and I put hay down in the pen for warmth. I did start them on hay for bedding, when they are inside at night, but I read about the mold spores, and quickly took all the hay off them and put them back onto towels.
    Since I posted my first message, I have lost another. That one, I noticed, scratched the sides of it's mouth a lot, and couldn't keep it's balance very well while scratching.

    These are the symptoms that I noticed the ducklings that died seemed to have.
    Duckling No1: Wasn't right 'in the head' form the start. would have spaz attacks, and was found on it's side paddling with it's legs before it died. It had a 'gummed' up eye that it couldn't open.
    No2: Had hurt It's leg. was alright before hand, but it's leg slowly got worse through out the day.
    No3: was perfectly fine, eating some new pond weed in water a few hours before it died. it scratched the sides of it's beak a lot, and was very off balance.

    One don't look too good at the moment. that one has also hurt it's leg, but when i brought them in from there outside run, it was fine and moving about then.
    a few days ago I noticed another one had a gummed up eye to, but it seems to be ok at the moment.
    the three that have died were the smallest ones.

    i hope the shines a light on what could be wrong with them, or if I've done anything wrong.
     
  4. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A bad batch of food? [​IMG] I am so sorry for your loss [​IMG] , I hope the rest get better! [​IMG]
     
  5. cracking up

    cracking up Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone wrote on here about Mallards being prone to seizures. I'll try to find it. Sorry about your babies.
     
  6. Robin2256

    Robin2256 New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2010
    thank-you [​IMG] the food that they are on is water cress (from the supermarket) two types of pond weed (picked yesterday), freshly rolled wheat (from our own wheat store that my other adult ducks and hens etc are on), weetablix, rolled oats and they where on garden peas, apple and lettuce. Everything is freshly put down for them each day.
     
  7. Robin2256

    Robin2256 New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2010
    I don't know if this helps, but they all seem to scratch the sides of there beaks, and no were else. the one that died yesterday was excessively scratching, but the others will be wandering about eating, foraging, have a quick scratch, and carry on.
     
  8. Robin2256

    Robin2256 New Egg

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    Jul 17, 2010
    *Update on ducklings*
    Since my last postings, I have lost a further two ducklings, adding up to five ducklings lost. I do hope that is it now, and the other five look healthy, happy and active, so fingers crossed. The two that died recently (yesterday) were very small compared to the five survivors, who have grown a lot in the last week, which proved that there was something seriously wrong with the two that died yesterday. Another thing I have noticed is that they don't seem to be scratching as much as they use to, which is since I have started feeding them on floating fish food sticks and the pond weed. Whether it was a mineral and vitamin deficiency, I don't know, but the next time I have to hand raise some ducklings, i'll know what to feed them on, and what works best.





    R.I.P little ducklings
     
  9. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to hear you have lost two more [​IMG] At least like you said this has now enabled you to improve your duck care for the future which is definitely a good thing [​IMG] Hope the others are okay [​IMG]
     

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