Help, ducks keep dying!

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Help, ducks keep dying!

Postby hayles » 22 Apr 2015, 11:15

Hi, I am not an experienced duck owner as we have only kept them for about 18 months. We initially had 2 Aylesbury boys, we got these from a local farm and they were a bit thin initially. After a couple of months they filled out and looked really healthy but then about 6 months later, one stated to stumble and became unsteady on his feet. After some research I wormed them with Flubenvet but he got worse went off his food, couldn't stand and was opening his beak, appearing to be gasping. I took him to the vets, they suspected a bacterial infection and gave him antibiotics but the next day he died.

I got 5 more ducks (a mixture of campbells and runners from the same farm) and gradually over the last 7 months the same thing has happened to each duck, leaving me now with 2 and 1 of these is again showing the same symptoms. I feed them on layers pellets and mixed corn, they have a large grass run in which they forage, I give them fresh food and water everyday, I clean their bed out every other day and replace with clean straw. I worm them every 3 months (although I have wormed them a little earlier this time due to the symptoms) and I give them brewers yeast every so often.

Can anybody offer any advice as to what's going on, am I doing something wrong? I am at the point of giving up keeping poultry as it seems really cruel that they keep suffering, plus it's not very nice to watch! Please any help / advice welcomed!

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Re: Help, ducks keep dying!

Postby kated » 22 Apr 2015, 11:39

The only way to tell for sure is to get an autopsy (I believe it's called a necropsy) It does cost but it would be worth it to find out for sure.
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Re: Help, ducks keep dying!

Postby drfish » 22 Apr 2015, 16:22

It does sound very much worm related to me. The problem is, they get such a high gut load of worms, that when you kill them with flubenvet, they have a tendency to leach toxins into the ducks blood stream. It's a bit of a catch 22 I'm afraid. From what I gather, Aylesbury's can be more prone to it than others (I had an Aylesbury go the exact same way, big strapping boy, who suddenly started with the exact symptoms of yours above).

I now worm them every 3 months, and touch wood, aside from one completely unexplained death of a youngster I bred last year, the remaining ones (Aylesbury x Campbell) have been alright.

As Kate has stated, if you want to be sure, get an autopsy done. It doesn't cost much and you'll get an accurate diagnosis of what's occurring.

I expect you'll find it's worms and secondary effects thereof. The problem is, ducks love slugs and snails, and slugs and snails are what spread the parasites as they are the host for the larvae.
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