General information

Why ducks fall on their feet - the main causes and methods of treatment


Cultivation of meat ducklings is a profitable occupation. It should be borne in mind that for the first three weeks the bird is very demanding to the conditions of detention and feed. In the future, ducks become unpretentious. A significant part of the diet concentrates can be replaced with young grass without a significant decrease in productivity. Cultivation must be completed before the onset of juvenile duck molting at ten-week age. However, gross violations of the parameters of the content and feeding can lead to a disease characterized by lesions of the limbs and falling on the legs. Ducklings often die. This article tells the poultry farmers why ducklings fall on their feet, what treatment to apply, how to prevent the occurrence of the disease.

There are the following reasons for falling ducklings on their feet:

  • Dietary imbalance:
  1. Deficiency of essential amino acids.
  2. The imbalance of trace elements.
  3. Hypovitaminosis.
  • Poisoning.
  • Violation of content rules:
  1. Discrepancy of a microclimate to recommended standards.
  2. High density of landing.
  3. Narrow feeding front.
  4. Improper arrangement of the walking area.
  • The attack of ectoparasites.

Deficiency of essential amino acids

Ducklings of the first weeks of life to ensure the rate of growth requires a sufficient amount of essential amino acids in the optimal ratio. Make such food at home is impossible. However, many poultry farmers prefer to apply traditional recipes using chopped boiled eggs, cottage cheese and other human food. Ducklings are lagging behind in development.

From the third week of life, their needs for amino acids fall, they begin to intensively gain mass on the stern that the poultry farmer offers them. However, the underdeveloped backbone cannot grow at the same rate; it cannot withstand excessive mass - that is why ducks fall to their feet.

Macrobalance imbalance

Amateur poultry farmers, for the most part, are frivolous about the mineral nutrition of chicks. Calcium and phosphorus are needed to form the duck's backbone. In sufficient quantity and certain ratios. Grain feeds contain little calcium, grass and vegetables - phosphorus. The statement that the imbalance of mineral substances can be corrected by adding chicken shells or duck eggs is partly true of the ducklings of the first month of life, and in fact a more advanced bird can fall on its feet. Excessive fascination with grass and vegetables, especially legumes, or the lack of diversity of greens, leads to an excess of calcium, in which phosphorus is excreted from the body. Therefore, the most acceptable mineral supplement for ducklings, able to satisfy the requirements for macronutrients and even the phosphorus-calcium ratio, is tricalcium phosphate.


Monotonous food with dertyy or bran in the absence of green food or vitamin-mineral premix, non-walking content leads to hypovitaminosis. Sunlight promotes the synthesis of vitamin D from semi-finished compounds. Cottage grass meets the needs of the duckling in most biological catalysts. An imbalance of vitamin D in combination with calcium and phosphorus deficiency leads to rickets, a disease in which the bones of the paws soften, the limbs become bent and cease to perform a support function. Treatment of rickets is ineffective.


Some vegetable foods contain substances that affect the blood circulation in the capillaries, distort the passage of nerve impulses or destroy vitamins. Poultry breeder brings the desire to save on feed. A grain that has been deposited or stored in improper conditions is affected by fungi that secrete toxic metabolites, mycotoxins. Green matter harvested in a swampy area or near the shore of a reservoir may contain poisonous plants in which alkaloids or antivitamins are present. Grain waste, especially if the summer was wet, littered with weed seeds that can cause bird poisoning.

Discrepancy of a microclimate to recommended norms

The first days of life are regulated by ensuring the optimum temperature, fresh air in the absence of drafts. If the ducklings are cold, they come together in groups, it is hot - they try to stay away from each other, they sit with their beaks open, they are not mobile. Such deviations can cause non-communicable diseases, signs of which can be violations of the supporting or motor function of the paws.

Ectoparasite attack

Sometimes the owners ask the question: “Why do ducklings die?” In conditions of unsatisfactory keeping, with an irregular change of litter, as well as the absence of pest control, arthropod parasites feeding on covering tissues may attack the chicks. Insects exhaust ducklings, in exhaustion they fall and die.

Treatment and Prevention

Before wondering how to treat a bird, you need to figure out why ducklings fall on their feet. Therapeutic procedures are preceded by the correction of feeding disorders and zoohygienic standards. Otherwise, the painful condition will return. After determining the cause of the fall on the paws, diet therapy or ectoparasite control is applied.

Diet therapy

For ducklings of the first three weeks of life, treatment consists in the purchase of factory-made starter feed. Its high cost is compensated by high preservation and good growth of young ducks. From the third day of life, ducklings are taught to eat green food, gradually increasing its quantity. It is necessary to responsibly treat the harvested feed, pay attention to its composition, make sure that the greens are diverse, do not contain poisonous plants. From the age of twenty days, the ducklings are gradually transferred to feed for young stock or a suitable feed mixture.

What to do? You need to purchase BVMK containing all the necessary components, or premix. As a popular source of macronutrient, crushed eggshell can be used, but the best option would be to add Tricalcium Phosphate in the amount of 2% by weight in the feed mixture.

This is a disease of ducklings aged no more than two weeks of life. Mortality of ducklings in the first week of life is 100%. Of the ten chicks infected in the second week of life, 1 to 3 individuals survive. Adult ducks do not get sick with hepatitis, although they often carry a dangerous virus.

Infection of ducklings occurs through droppings of an adult duck and mucosal excretion, as well as through drinking or feed. The virus is resistant to external factors, stored on the inventory in the house and on straw bedding for up to six months.

Chicks have the following symptoms:

  • The bluish tinge of mucous and conjunctivitis,
  • Labored breathing,
  • Cramps and falling on his paws,
  • As the disease progresses, the chicks fall to the side and throw their heads.

It is impossible to cure diseased ducklings. As a preventive measure, specialists suggest vaccinating chicks on the first day of life, separate keeping of eggs, young and adult ducks, administration of anti-hepatitis serum to conditionally healthy individuals, systematic disinfection of the premises.

Why do ducklings fall to their feet and die

The most vulnerable age of ducklings is up to three months. During this period there may be cases of death of young animals with preliminary symptoms of loss of coordination of movement and falling on the legs.

Consider what can cause these symptoms:

  • health problems may be caused by improper conditions in the nestling area (incorrect temperature, tightness, incorrect diet),
  • saving on feed, buying cheaper, but lower quality ones, can result in blockage of a duck's goiter, falling on legs and death,
  • lack of vitamin supplements in feed, will significantly weaken the bird and may cause death,
  • reduce immunity and can cause a massive loss of young parasites internal and dermal,
  • A symptom of falling is characteristic of several infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, paratyphoid fever, aspergillosis, and others.

Vitamin deficiencies and poor nutrition

Fortunately, vitamin deficiency is a non-infectious disease, but it can cause a lot of trouble, at least significantly reducing the ability of the immune system to resist viruses and infections.

Parasitic invasions

Ducklings can infect both internal and external parasites. Due to the dominance of fleas, perojed or ticks, the chicks begin to lag behind in development. They are constantly restless, refuse to eat, coordination of movements suffers because of disorders of the nervous system.

Get rid of insects with the help of gray mercury ointment, putting it on the body of chicks, special attention is paid to the tail zone and under the wings. The room should be treated with antiparasitic agents.

Internal parasites - worms - affect the whole body of ducklings, often leading to the death of the whole herd.

Symptoms of invasion:

  • loss of appetite,
  • weakness,
  • diarrhea,
  • dull plumage
  • crouching on paws.

For the treatment prescribed drug "Fenasal" - 0.3 g per kg of live weight with food. Chicks kept in quarantine for three days.


The disease affects the respiratory system, and with a delay in treatment can take away all the livestock.

Manifested by such symptoms:

  • wheezing,
  • loss of appetite,
  • head tilted
  • mucosal inflammation of the eyes and mouth,
  • convulsions and paralysis of the limbs.
In the treatment of antifungal drugs used, for example, clotrimazole at a dosage of 10 mg per 1 kg of weight, injected into the trachea. To prevent the disease from spreading, a solution of blue vitriol is added to the water for the entire population.

Liver disease in chicks is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • lethargy,
  • blue mucous membranes
  • drooping head
  • conjunctivitis,
  • labored breathing,
  • weakening of the limbs.

Most of the ducklings die during infection, so to prevent the disease, day-old young animals are vaccinated: the dry vaccine is dissolved in physiological saline to a ratio of 1:50 and injected 0.5 ml into the thigh muscle.


Pasteurellosis is a dangerous disease, as it develops very quickly into an acute form.

You can find out the disease by the following signs:

  • high temperature
  • discharge from the nostrils and eyes,
  • constant thirst and refusal to eat,
  • diarrhea with blood or green mucus,
  • paralysis of the limbs.

The sick ducklings are destroyed because, even if they survive, they will be carriers of the causative agent of the disease, and their productivity will be greatly reduced. To prevent healthy ducklings, 0.5 g of "norsulfazole" is added to food for one meal for 5 days.

The ducklings sat on their feet, what to do?

Ducklings will not necessarily have all the above listed signs. Depending on the strain of the microorganism, some symptoms may not appear. But ducklings can die, even those who are cheerful.

Infection can take from 50 to 90% of the population. Those ducklings who survive will gain little weight and will remain pasteurella carriers for a long time.

The cause of the disease is a bacterium, but to bring it into the house can be as with young animals, and adult birds. When purchasing birds, take a close look, and as soon as something arouses suspicion, give up the purchase.

For the course of the disease age matters. Little ducklings very quickly become infected and die before the symptoms even appear. Monthly ducklings are more stable, and it is at this age that one can notice that the ducklings sat on their feet.

Treatment methods

Until recently, pasteurellosis was not treated. Modern same antibiotics, a group of fluoroquinolones 3 generations can quickly provide assistance to birds.

For the treatment of applicable:

  • Enrofloxacin The drug is given in the form of a prepared solution instead of water. To obtain a working dilution, it is necessary to dissolve 1 ml of the initial one in 1 l of water.

The drug is poured into drinking bowls instead of water and they are drunk for 5-6 days.

Tricoline Comprehensive antibiotic, which consists of three components that enhance the actions of each other. Enrofloxacin and collistin (an antibiotic of the group of polymyxins) will act directly on the pasteurella.

For treatment, prepare a solution of 1 ml of the drug and 1 liter of water. The drug is poured into the drinkers instead of water early in the morning, and during the day it is poured. The prepared solution can be stored for 24 hours at a temperature of 5-15 ᵒC. Late in the evening, the uncleaned solution is disposed of. The next day, the drug is prepared again in the same concentration.

The course of treatment is 5-7 days. During the course, the bird does not drink clean water.

If the bird is already approaching the slaughter condition, then it should be noted that the use of tricoline is stopped 7 days before slaughter.

  • "Danoxan-50", "Kolitil" and "Flotsin" are analog drugs
  • Tilmicon. In this preparation, the dose is calculated as follows: 3 ml per 1 l of water and a course of treatment for 3 days. Bird slaughter is allowed no earlier than 12 days after the end of the course of treatment.


Finding out from what the ducklings fall to their feet, one should remember whether there was a similar case last year. If the symptoms are similar, then most likely pasteurellosis has a fixed registration.

If it is impossible to abandon the poultry housing (for 1-2 years in order to make an epizootic chain break), then either vaccination should be applied, or it should be dispensed with antibiotics from the first days of life with repetition of the course at 60 days.

Vaccines are applicable for vaccination: inactivated adsorbed, Avivak-Pastovak. You can pick up the drug, which is used both from the age of 15 days and 30. Revaccination takes place after 6 months.

Vaccines are compatible with most drugs, so they are applicable in the focus of infection at the same time as antibiotics. In this vaccination is carried out only clinically healthy birds.

Salmonellosis (paratyphoid)

Paratyphoid in birds is manifested by such symptoms:

  • diarrhea with mucus
  • labored breathing,
  • apathy,
  • eye mucositis,
  • ruffled plumage
  • convulsions
  • falling on limbs.

When symptoms appear, sick chicks are destroyed and the room is disinfected. For the treatment of ducklings in contact with patients, antibiotics are used, for example, “Biomitsin” (1 mg per 1 liter of water is added to the drink three times a day, a course of treatment is 5-6 days).


The disease affecting the lungs of birds is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • loss of appetite,
  • drastic weight loss
  • diarrhea,
  • yellowing of the skin,
  • lack of coordination of movements.

Patients are not treated, they are slaughtered, and the carcasses are disposed of. Tuberculosis is dangerous for humans, can be transmitted through infected products.