Why are my ducklings dying?!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by margie2016, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. margie2016

    margie2016 New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2016
    I' ve been raising 4 ducklings, two pekins, a khaki campbell, and a ???. They've been on unmedicated chick food with vitamin supplements in their water with a fresh water option also available. Their cage is cleaned daily and they have a heat lamp that keeps things toasty. Their pen has two sections an indoor warm spot with the heat lamp and pine shavings and a little run outside (fully enclosed though) so they can move freely between the two. We've been changing their water three or four times a day so they've never run out. They've been additionally supplemented with home grown greens. But they keep dying.

    It will look like they lose control of their legs, they aren't deformed it's like they stop being able to us their muscles. One od our pekins died first. He started moving sluggishly, then was unable to walk or hold his head up. Shortly thereafter we were down to three.

    We were so afraid of a virus we immediately moved the survivors to a clean pen and watched them closely. For about 2 weeks they were completely symptom free and seemed to be happy healthy little ducklings. Then the other pekin started moving slowly and losing control of her legs, so we isolated her and watched her. She would have bouts of it and then be perfectly fine minutes later. Though she too eventually expired. For her the whole sad process took about a week. We would think she'd recovered and then we'd see a relapse.

    The third duckling was a fast death like the first. One morning he was zooming around the brooder making a merry little mess and the next he wasn't.

    So now we're down to one and desperate to keep her healthy. Any ideas? I'm so at a loss.
     
  2. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they getting supplemental niacin?
     
  3. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking the same thing as Cherib603. Go to the health food store and find some brewer's yeast, not the yeast you use to make dough. Sprinkle that on their food. The main symptom of lack of niacin is weakness in the legs. The food you are buying is for chickens. Chickens do not need as much niacin as ducklings. There is also niacin that can be put in water. I forget which kind to use as not all will be suitable. If you do some research here you'll probably find out which ones can help your ducklings.
     
  4. margie2016

    margie2016 New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2016
    They are definitely getting niacin. It sounds like lack of niacin creates a developmental issue where the duck can't stand at all which isn't the case with my ducklings as they can go from limp to running in a few minutes. Or am I understanding that wrong? Thanks for your input.
     
  5. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you adding niacin? You say they are definitely getting niacin, but chick starter does not contain ENOUGH.
     
  6. margie2016

    margie2016 New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2016
    They are getting additional niacin in the water that is supplemented with vitamins. Just to be safe I was also sprinkling a niacin supplement from a nutrition store on their food directly. I've researched what niacin deficiency looks like in waterfowl and my ducklings are not presenting any of those symptoms. Their legs did not bow, their joints were not swollen, and they were growing at an appropriate rate. Outside of their 'episodes' they were normal healthy ducklings. So any guesses what could be causing the problem outside of a niacin deficiency?
     
  7. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the additional info! Great to rule out things. :)
    Hope someone has an idea of what might be happening.
     
  8. margie2016

    margie2016 New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2016
    Thanks for your input. Really hope we can find the cause quickly!
     
  9. gal5150

    gal5150 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any chance of chemical drift from neighbor's onto your pen and/or greens?......anyone close by use monthly pest control service, growing fruit or veg they may be spraying?
     

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