Water belly in ducks? please help

FolkSonginC

Songster
May 2, 2019
285
393
161
Peaks Island, ME
Starting yesterday I noticed that one of my ducks abdomen was hanging down, and I initially though she might be egg bound because I noticed her sitting down more than the others. It looked sort of like an egg shaped lump too. I gave her a warm soak and tried to feel the area a little bit, but I didn't feel anything hard. If it were an egg would I be able to feel it? Now I'm worried it's something a lot more serious, like water belly. I've noticed the same thing now in another duck and one of my drakes and I'm extremely worried. Because I have a mix of drakes and hens I have them all on grower and I give oyster shell on the side, but when I looked up the causes of water belly it said one was high protein feed. Their feed is 19 percent protein, when I was doing research everything I saw said that should be okay but now I'm worried I've really hurt them. They've only been eating it for a few months, would that be enough time for protein to build up and damage their organs/cause water belly? I was only feeding it to them because I read that excess calcium can really hurt the drakes, but it seems like I might've caused something a lot worse. Coincidentally, my hens aren't laying pretty much at all right now, so I don't even think they're eating the oyster shell like they're supposed to. So it seems like everything is going wrong. I'm planning to switch them back onto layer as soon as possible because now I'm worried about the water belly and possible egg binding. Here are some pictures, it was hard to get a good one because they don't stop moving.
 

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I don't think 19% protein can hurt them. Mine are on 19%, and have been since they were a day old. Never had any problems. I may be wrong, but I don't think the protein can really harm them unless its game feed that can have 30% or more. As for the layer feed, the calcium is not good for the drakes and I would recommend not switching to it. The ducks will eat the calcium when they need it. Mine does, at least. @Isaac 0 should be able to help with the water belly/egg binding going on. Good luck.
 
Your birds are Saxony, correct? They are meat birds, that are meant to put weight on. From what I can tell from the pictures, the area you're seeing is just their pouch. If you could get closer pictures, that may be helpful, but a pouch is going to feel more like a flap of fat, that's shaped like a U. A bird suffering from ascites, the abdominal area is going to feel watery, and more bloated like a balloon.
 
Your birds are Saxony, correct? They are meat birds, that are meant to put weight on. From what I can tell from the pictures, the area you're seeing is just their pouch. If you could get closer pictures, that may be helpful, but a pouch is going to feel more like a flap of fat, that's shaped like a U. A bird suffering from ascites, the abdominal area is going to feel watery, and more bloated like a balloon.
Yes they are saxonies, and the drakes that have it are rouens. I just went and felt them again and I'm not sure exactly how to describe it but it's just kind of squishy, not really watery. If it were water belly would it feel really watery? Maybe it could be that I just haven't noticed this until now and it's always been there. I'll attach a picture I got of the drake. What is your opinion on the protein/calcium? My worry is that my girls aren't eating enough oystershell, because I have seven hens of laying age right now and I'm getting about one or two eggs every few days.
 

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Your birds have pouches, not ascites.

A simple way to feed a mixed flock is to feed an all-type all flock feed, like Purina Flock Raiser, or All flock feed by Nuterena. Just add a calcium source like Oyster shells for the females.
 

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