SECOND interview with Dr. Scott Echols: Duck nutrition & healthcare

SECOND interview with Dr. Scott Echols: Duck nutrition & healthcare thumbnail
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This is our second video interview with Dr. M. Scott Echols, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice). In this conversation, we asked Dr. Echols questions you and other duck-loving followers shared with us on social media.

If you raise ducks, you’re sure to find these questions and expert answers extremely helpful!

Expert duck healthcare advice from one of the world’s top avian vets

In our first interview with Dr. Echols, we took a deep dive into duck nutrition, dietary regimens, and supplements that can help optimize the longterm health and wellbeing of pet and backyard ducks.  

For our second interview, we asked our fellow duck lovers on social media (facebook and instagram) what questions THEY wanted to ask Dr. Echols. So in this interview, he answers your questions!

What are the questions? 

Curious what questions are posed to Dr. Echols? In order received and asked, here they are: 

From Kellia Guzman:

OTC meds (i.e. baby aspirin or acetaminophen, etc.): safe? Not safe? Are there any instances in which you could give your duck them, and if so, which ones?

From Oak Pond South Carolina:

Charcoal (ToxiBan liquid) question, I read an article that epsom salt could be used if there’s no charcoal on hand. Is this true? And yes, dosages please.

From Rhonda Wagner:

Chronic issue with soft shells in young Pekin despite doing everything right. What to do other than deslorelin implant? Spaying?

From Star Pedron:

Sometimes, in the evening, even after resting/sleeping, one or the other of my spayed female Pekin ducks will be panting. I know that (in the past, before being spayed) that meant they were working on passing an egg. Since they can’t pass eggs anymore — what could be the issue? The temperature is approximately 66 degrees, so it’s not too hot. She did eat before she started panting, could it be digestion? How do I help her?

From Mike Murray:

We have a Khaki Campbell and a few weeks ago all of the sudden she couldn’t walk. She had no apparent injuries or broken bones. We were able to nurse her back to health but any ideas on what might’ve happened? She also had trouble extending her wings. I will see if I can get some video of her. Her gait is still a bit wonkey. She just seemed unable to support her weight. She is a very small girl but is much happier outside with her sisters.

From Dani Beauvois:

Question 1: charcoal (toxiban liquid), does it work for botulism in early stages? What’s the dosage, best route of administration? For how long?

Question 2: tube feeding, what is the amount to feed (per lbs of duck) and how often? I had two vets give me very different amounts so I’d like to be ready if I ever need the information again. Obviously, as my questions show, we had suspected botulism hit our flock last year. One of our babies survived, but my beautiful Bluebell did not. The doctor was unable to determine if it was indeed botulism or another bacterial infection of some sort, since our third duck never got sick.

From Nikki ORourke:

Deworming? If, when, and how’s.

From Ellen (Planet Better):

Best treatment option for egg peritonitis?

From Looknofeather:

How long should you give probiotics after antibiotics, antifungals, etc? Is it worth giving them prebiotics and vitamins, or is simply giving the correct food sufficient?

From Sonja Armstrong:

Any recommendations on extra things we can provide for duck entertainment, other than the obvious things like a swimming pond, mirrors, other ducks, and greens hung from strings for them to pull at?

Watch the video interview: 

Below is the full interview with Dr. Scott Echols. Note that if the video does not display or play for you, it may be because you’re running ad blocking software. If so, please temporarily disable the software and try again. Ads are how we pay ourselves and keep our website free to the public, so thank you for your support! 


We hope the incredible information provided by Dr. Echols over the course of our two-part video series helps you take even better care of your ducks! If you have additional duck questions we didn’t cover that you’d like us to ask Dr. Echols in future interviews, please drop us a note in the comments section below. 



Psst! In case you missed it, here’s our first interview with Dr. Echols.

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  • Reply
    April 23, 2024 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for the second part of this very informative interview! I will probably watch both parts again because they were packed with information. I was wondering about the tomato thing as well. I was always hesitant to feed them because I had heard about the acidity and how it prevents calcium uptake. But now I know that I can give them more often 🙂 Schnatterinchen is absolutely obsessed with them.

    After the first Interview, we started to change the commercial feed and feeding routines. Our ducks are so picky…they are not really big fans of the Mazuri, and we are still offering the old (Purina) in addition to the new. But they need to work for it now and do not have it available 24/7 like they had before. We were already feeding greens twice daily. And I have noticed a decline in egg laying, which I am happy about 🙂 I am wondering how you make your ducks broody. Do you have a post about it? I would like to try that.

    Anyways, Thanks again for these interviews. Are you planning to continue this series?

    Melanie from Ducks of Providence

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      April 24, 2024 at 11:44 am

      Hi Melanie!

      Once ducks acclimate to a certain feed, it can be hard to switch them to something new. Don’t expect them to do so willingly or quickly. Sounds like you’re doing it right by mixing in the old with the new and doing a slow, deliberate transition.

      We do have an article about making ducks go broody:

      We hope to continue this series as we come up with new questions for discussion (or get additional questions from other duck keepers). Unfortunately, each interview is quite expensive for us so we can’t do them too frequently – ha. We certainly don’t expect Dr. Echols to give us an hour of his very busy life for free though. 🙂

      So glad to hear you’re finding the information helpful!

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