i picked up 2 pikin ducklings from a hoarder yesterday, aprox 7 weeks old, 1 has a fairly gray beak and is week, neither one can walk well.they drag themselves. they will swim and try to eat. they seem worse today . i think they are deficient in something?
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: <1
Type of Animal: duckling
Hello,It was kind of you to help these ducks. Some additional information will be useful.Before you got them, were they kept indoors or outside? Do you know what they were fed?What are you feeding them now?Thank you.Anna
they were laying together outside in putrid conditions.i thought it odd they were so quiet, and seemed too lazy for babies, i have had them just 24 hours,
they were eating some king of cheap "flock" food from tractor supply. i use a mixture
of hen scratch and crumbles with a Flock pellet all by Purina. they were in the pond most of the day eating algea and grass and a mash of the above blend.
Thank you for getting back to me. I’m working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. Please don’t respond to this post as that can lock me out of the question. I’ll be back shortly. Anna
Thank you for waiting. I'm sure the ducks are thoroughly enjoying your pond and being in clean quarters. Being able to swim will help strengthen their legs. There are a number of conditions that can cause leg weakness in ducks, including genetic defects, lack of fiber in the diet, neurological problems, being raised on slippery surfaces, and rickets. Rickets is caused by an imbalance or deficiency of calcium, phosphorus, or vitamin D. There is probably calcium in the feed, but these ducks may have been getting too little before. You can provide calcium supplements in a separate container, not mixed with the feed. Each duck will then eat as much as it needs. In the USA, crushed oyster shells are commonly available in feed stores and farm stores. Crushed egg shells are a good choice if you can get enough of them. The supplement should be left out at all times for the ducks. Sometimes a lack of vitamin D is the problem, for without vitamin D, calcium can't be utilized. Ducks that are allowed outside in the sunshine produce plenty of vitamin D in their bodies, so that's usually a problem only in poultry kept indoors.While the diet you're giving them is certainly better than what they had before, they would be even better off on a duck and goose food, a waterfowl food, or a gamebird food. All of these aren’t available in every area, so you’ll have to check the local feed stores. ducks and chickens don't have the same needs, so chicken feed isn't the best choice for them. It’s great for the ducks to be outdoors. Grasses actually are the best food for them. Pekin ducks have been bred for fast weight gain because they are primarily raised for the meat market. this makes them especially prone to leg problems because it's difficult for the legs to keep up with their body weight. That combined with the conditions they were in can mean big trouble. If you take the above steps and the ducks don't improve within a week or so, it's likely that rickets isn't the problem. Int hat case, you'll probably need to have your vet do some additional testing to figure out what is wrong. Some breeds of ducks have gray beaks. If this one isn't a purebred Pekin, that is one possibility. However, the gray beak can indicate a number of conditions from an infection to anemia. Because the duck is also particularly weak, it might be a good idea to have a vet examine him/her. Otherwise, continue to let them swim and eat water plants, change to better food, and provide a calcium supplement. If they seem to have trouble eating, you can try making the feed into a wet warm mash for them. It may be easier to eat. Don't leave it out too long because bacteria will grow in it.If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope you'll be able to nurse the ducklings back to health. Anna(The above answer is intended for informational purposes only. If your pet is ill, you should consult a veterinarian. )
Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
thank you, XXXXX XXXXX go with anemia. i have been feeding them pinched grass that i tossed in the water. spinach? an iron supplement greatly diluted? i gave them crushed egg shells for calcium. I have sweet potatoes i am mashing with egg yolk and giving to them in a syringe. i just read where lentils and molassas are high in iron, which i have.
You're welcome. If anemia is caused by diet, the cooked lentils and a little molasses would be fine (too much molasses can cause diarrhea). Iron supplements are risky unless a vet has actually done blood work to show anemia and prescribed the supplement. Too much iron in supplement form can be toxic. Commercial feeds are usually supplemented with adequate iron, so once they start eating that, they'll have plenty. However, not all anemia is caused by iron deficiency. It can be the result of a toxin, infection, autoimmune disorders, or metabolic disorders. In those cases, lentils and molasses won't help.Anna