Yikes! I have a dead duck and a weak one!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by savingdogs, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm totally stumped. I go out today and can't find one of my five ducks (muscovy). They have seemed fine.

    I find it dead in one of the duck enclosures. Like it went to sleep there and just didn't wake up. It looks normal weight, perfectly fine, but ....stiff.

    So I'm inspecting the others, and I see one isn't moving as fast as the others. I have a drake and three hens left, this one does seem smaller than the other hens all of a sudden. It seems to be a little wobbly and doesn't have energy. I made sure it was eating and drinking and it swam in the pond, but it isn't standing up on its legs and it kind of creeping around the duck pen in little bursts of effort, like using its legs is just a huge chore and sometimes rests its beak on the ground. Yet I saw it paddling its legs normally in the pond. This one sits looking dully at the ground unless I disturb it, when it makes an effort to escape me.

    My other three are walking about normally.

    Any ideas of what is wrong with my birds? I'm really bummed about the one that died and this one that is acting weak is my 14-year-old son's favorite, her name is Daisy. He is going to be heartbroken when he gets home from school. I suspect we might bring her into a dog crate overnight and make sure she gets plenty of food and water and ......do any of you have any ideas?

    I did have another duck die a few weeks ago. I thought it had not figured out how to get into the new duck house and didn't get any food. These ducks are virtual twins so we can't tell them apart except the Don the drake unless we inspect closely so we could easily have not realized that a certain one didn't go in.

    I was hoping for some clue as to what happened and what I could do to help Daisy and prevent further loss. [​IMG]
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    you didn't say how old? could be a nician[ difenciency ]sp What do you feed them?
  3. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Layena....BOSS, a little scratch. They have been getting forage but we have had snow and now there isn't much to forage. What has niacin in it?
  4. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2010
    I would add niacin to the water just in case, as I have had a problem with one and at the time it affected it's leg. Couldn't hurt [​IMG]

    And I still have lucky ducky who limps but I am guessing that she sprained something or dislocated her hip. I gave her TLC for a few weeks and then sent her out to the barn- she still isn't 100% but she is doing better. I restricted lucky ducky's movements but in the evening had her move around for 30 min to an hour and then restricted her again.

    As for the deaths - boy I do not know what to tell you. Were there any signs at all that something could have gotten to them? I am new to ducks this year so am still trying to figure it all out so I am still figuring out what sick looks like in a duck and how to cure it... I wish you luck trying to figure it out. And so sorry for your loss [​IMG]
  5. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    How do I add niacin?
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    drug store, walmart carries it in vitamin dept, get capsules and open up into warm water, not sure on the dose you might could google nician defiencey in ducks. Also could pulverize a tablet and put into their water too, how old are they, Ducks are very hardy fowl, since they free range do you think it could have eaten something? It's so hard to say. maybe doing a necropsy might give you an idea. Sorry this is going on.
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    How old are the ducks? If they are ducklings it could be niacin, but there are other potential culprits too. If they're adults it's unlikely to be a niacin deficiency. Niacin deficiency doesn't usually kill quickly, so right now that wouldn't be my first guess even for ducklings. Here are my best guesses, especially if they are adult ducks (but ducklings can have these issues too):

    1. Bad or old feed. If the feed is old, it may not contain essential nutrients. Did you recently open a new bag of feed? Even if it's "fresh" from the feed store, they might have stored it for too long--unfortunately, most feed companies don't put a "use by" date on the feed bags. Even if the food is fresh, feed companies--even the big, reputable ones--sometimes make mistakes and mis-formulate. I have had ducks exhibit very similar symptoms to what you are describing, and it turned out to be a bad batch of feed--I replaced the feed and saved most of the flock (but not all, unfortunately).

    2. Mold or other dangerous fungus in the pen or feed. Ducks can be highly susceptible to dangerous molds or fungus. This time of year it's less likely than during the summer, but do check and see if your pen or feed is excessively moist or any visible mold growing. Clean it out if you see anything suspect.

    3. Contagious disease of some sort. Ducks are quite hardy and this is the least likely scenario to my way of thinking, but worth checking out. If you have a way of separating the healthy-seeming ducks from the others, that is probably a really good idea.

    Good luck. My first step would be to change the feed IMMEDIATELY with something fresh from the feed store from a different lot (i.e., not manufactured the same day in the same facility as your current feed--try a different brand to ensure this, or a different store). Then scour the pen for signs of mold and fungus. If they are not recovering within a day or two, look for other causes.

    I hope it turns out well for you. I know it's scary, but hopefully you'll figure it out and everyone will be okay.

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