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HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak

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1 HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:52 am

niglefritz


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Over the last few days, we have had some runners hatch 6 total. One is now dead in the nest, another is wobbly...cannot follow the others and it seems to have a weak neck...wobbling some too. Yesterday all were healthy. Actually this morning about an hour before, all were running around and following the adults. We have duckling food and clean water. I am thinking that maybe the dead one and the other got stepped on? I am not sure what else it could be...they are clean, but of course the duck space is not ideally clean as they are ducks.

I thought we were doing everything right this time. Do I have to separate the little ones from mom & dad? He is protective of them just like mom, by the way.

I am so frustrated. What can I do for this one and to prevent the others from having issues?

2 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:20 am

Farmer Bob

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What are you feeding them? If you are feeding medicated starter, that is likely the problem.

3 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:30 am

Farmer Bob

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Sorry...I see that you are feeding duckling food, so medicated food or lack of Niacin should not be an issue for you. Personally, I would be cautious about leaving the male in, as things can get rowdy at that point... What about bedding? Duckling can sometimes eat shavings. Where are your ducks...are they confined and did you change the light recently? Those rough service lights are toxic to birds. What about water...do the ducklings have access 24 hours a day? You mention going out to do chores and all was well, and then an hour later there were issues. If they did not have water, and you watered them this morning, they could have drank too much in their thirst. That is a fairly common problem with ducklings.

4 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:42 am

niglefritz


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Yes, I suspected that we might have to remove him. It has been good until today.

We have straw.

They are confined as we have foxes. No lights in the coop...it is VERY warm in there and the female is still sitting on her nest.

Water 24 hours a day...and clean. Using a chick waterer. There was still water in this morning.

I am thinking we have to remove the male. Are those all the things we should be watching for after this is done?

5 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:01 am

Farmer Bob

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When you say VERY warm...how warm is it? We lost a couple of young ducks earlier this year to what I can only assume was heat stroke. It was not terribly hot outside (about 24 degrees) but the young ducks were insistent on sitting inside their shelter where there was not a lot of air flow, and I can only assume that was what did them in. Since then I have locked them outside of their shelter on very warm days, and there have been no further issues. I am working on a new shelter for them right now, and I am making the wire windows are much larger to increase the air flow.

Other than that possibility, and moving the male out...I cannot think of anything else.

Hope the rest do well! We just hatched out 8 Silver Appleyards on Wednesday and they are with their mother. So far so good. I hatched out 6 under a hen last week and we lost one, which I assume the hen stepped on. The remaining 5 are doing well, and now too big to get stomped on.

6 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:09 am

niglefritz


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There is air flow. We have a screen door (1/2 is screen), and a small upper window on the other side for air. It was not super warm in there this morning. These ducks are also not right on the floor. We have it raised about 2'.
We were planning on building a new shelter the end of next week too. Life got SO busy! I just hope it is in time.

Thank you for your help. I will be going out shortly to move the male.

7 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:39 am

Farmer Bob

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Sounds like you actually have a really good set up! Hopefully taking the male out does the trick!

8 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:29 pm

niglefritz


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Can't get that male! He goes to the farthest corner with everyone so that we cannot get him without issues with the little ones. I am wondering if we are best off trying to put a separation board/ screen in the middle of the space...but we still need them separate to do that. Sad I have about 1 hr. before dh comes home. I will have to see what ideas he might have.

9 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:22 pm

Farmer Bob

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Yep, a divider in between should do the trick and be easier than catching. Herding sticks or some such should keep him far enough away from the others to install. I don't know how high Runners can jump/fly...but your divider better be pretty high. I'm betting that they are more athletic than our Appleyards and we discovered the hard way that 2 feet was not high enough.

10 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:27 pm

niglefritz


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Well, the babies have doubled in size. All seems well. Thanks for all the help.

11 Re: HELP! few day old ducklings dead and weak on Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:09 am

Farmer Bob

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They surely grow fast don't they? Very Happy

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