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What could have caused 4 duckling deaths in 24 hours?

 
Anna Carter
Posts: 66
Location: Lacey, Wa
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They'd been outside for a week, and I moved them to a pen in my garden yesterday. Feed stayed the same, except I added weeds as I gardened, but I fed those same weeds to my chickens, turkeys and goats, and nobody else got sick, and I didn't see anything poisonous.


Saw 2 of them die; they'd get real sleepy looking, then wobbly and limp, and then their necks would start jerking, and then they would die. From happy duckling to dead ducking in under 10 minutes.

I've moved them back inside the house now. Does any one have any idea what could have caused this? I had ducks when I was a kid and I never saw anything like this happen.

ETA: Yes, they were plenty warm, also these deaths occurred in the afternoon. Yes, they had plenty of fresh water. Yes, I have been supplementing with brewer's yeast to make sure they got enough niacin.
 
Jeff Mathias
Posts: 125
Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
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Hi Anna,

You might try putting some of the symptoms in the the search at the merck vet manual.
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp

Sorry about your ducklings.

Jeff
 
                                    
Posts: 59
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Toxins, heat, or dehydration would be the most likely guesses.

 
brett watson
Posts: 100
Location: Northern California Zone 8b
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That short span of time sounds like a toxin...but what?
 
Anna Carter
Posts: 66
Location: Lacey, Wa
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Yeah, it was around 70 degrees, they had plenty of water, and the only weed that wasn't edible was buttercup, and the symptoms don't match, and it doesn't look like they ate any anyway.
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
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we had a high death rate of goosling  when i was a kid.  theyd live and do well for a week or two then just start dying off.  the extension agent finally told us that you have to feed medicated feed to your young poultry and water fowl.  it has the amprolium  in it in small dosages.  after switching to that we never really had a problem. 

now adays i dont feed medicated too often.  but when pulling chicks outa  a brooder box and introducing them to the outside world and dirt that has had alot of traffic on it,  i put a lil bit of corrid in their water.  sulmet will do the same but is harder on the kidneys of young fowl, etc. 

i know most dont like to use chemicals but its better than just hatching them to die.  course with that said i have alot of yard hatched free ranged bantams and other crossed up junk that i dont really care about,  and they do well and thrive with out the use of chemicals.  so its possible to raise stuff w/o the use of amp, or sulpher based drugs.  still,,,,your problems sounds like it could be solved with the use of something. its worked for me for yrs.
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
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