Trying to diagnose my duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kartay, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. Kartay

    Kartay Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 7 month old indian runner female that seems to be in distress. We had a cold snap (-30 to -40), so for a couple days I kept my two ducks in their heated coop. Today it finally warmed up but my female seems reluctant to move. She stayed in the coop for 5 hours laying down. Now she is out in the barn and is standing under the heat lamp. She looks disheveled and doesn't move unless my male bothers her to much or if I startle her. She isn't shivering or fluffed up, seems to be breathing normally and can keep her head up and walk normally. She may be straining towards the back end, but I don't think she has a egg stuck because she laid one this morning.
    I am unsure how much she has had to eat or drink today but I have seen her drink a couple times.
    Anyone have a idea about what could be wrong?
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Possible a bit cold?......Likes the heat from the lamp......Do you have straw down in the run for them to huddle into when they go outside?.......Keep an eye on her.....Hopefully it is nothing serious.....


    Cheers!
     
  3. Kartay

    Kartay Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, there is straw down throughout the barn. Once out in the barn she would not lay down though. Which seems odd to me if she is just cold and trying to conserve heat.
    The temperature here went from -30 to -5 practically overnight. This is the warmest it's been for weeks.
    Also, I had to stop the ducks from dunking themselves in water when it was cold, now she seems to have no interest in cleaning herself.
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    @Amiga
    or
    @Miss Lydia

    They will help you better than I can......Soon they will see the post.......



    Best of luck.....


    Cheers!
     
  5. Kartay

    Kartay Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you very much
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Can you bring them in to where it is above freezing for a few days?

    She may just be run down - at 7 months, she probably has not filled out and may not have the mass to help deal with cold. A number of my Runners cannot thrive below about 40F.

    Other possibilities - her reproductive system is starting to kick in, and there can be stresses associated with that. Is she getting layer feed? Supplemental calcium? I would add 100 mg calcium to her diet daily. You can do that with calcium citrate or calcium gluconate.

    I would add a wide-spectrum vitamin mix to their water once a week.

    What is the temperature in their shelter? I like using a min-max thermometer so I can monitor extremes.

    A little good quality dry cat kibble (served with water available to avoid choking) may help.

    But I would get her into a warmer environment and see if that helps her. My ducks were not themselves when they were too cold.

    Now, she may have picked up an infection, being run down, as well. You can get a fecal sample to a vet, probably - even non-duck vets can run a fecal sample and look for pathogens and parasites.

    Is the straw damp? Mold can develop in damp straw. And it can also prevent the straw from keeping them warm - so there's the hypothermia risk again.
     
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  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    @Kartay
     
  8. Kartay

    Kartay Out Of The Brooder

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    I brought them in to the house just 2 days prior to this. The cold snap lasted a bit over a week. They were unhappy and leary about being in the house so that's when I moved them back in to the coop.
    I don't have a thermometer in there but it's warm enough that their water doesn't freeze at all.
    I've been feeding them layer feed and oyster shell for about 4 months now. She started laying in October.
    Is there specific vitamins I should avoid? Also, can I just buy vitamins and calcium from the drug store?
    I've also been giving them a warm bowl of peas in the morning, I figured something warm in their stomachs might help.
    Their straw probably does get damp or wet. However, in the barn it would freeze immediately. I change the straw in their coop every day or else put a thick layer of straw over top if it hasn't been fouled to bad. So I don't think it would have time to mould.

    Edit: I feel like I should outline my time line a bit better. On the 8th I brought my ducks in as the temperature had dropped to -42. They stayed in the house until the 12th, when it had warmed up to -21. By the 15th the temperature had dropped below -30 again. They couldn't cope with that temperature so for two days I kept them inside their coop rather than letting them out into the barn. I would check on them every 2 hours to make sure the coop was still warm enough. But as long as the door was kept mostly closed it retained it's heat very well.
    Yesterday (the 18th) was the first warm day and when my female started to seem ill.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    She may have an infection - bacterial, viral or fungal. Can you get her to a vet? A good duck vet is best.
     
  10. Kartay

    Kartay Out Of The Brooder

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    The nearest town is 30 min away and just has a vet for cats and dogs.
     

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