Ducks and Geese health - what to look out for

Here are a few common diseases that you should be on the lookout for.

Ensuring your ducks and geese are housed and fed correctly is the best way to prevent them from suffering ill health. Below are a few common diseases that you should be on the lookout for:

Duck enteritis

Duck enteritis is thought to be brought in by wild migrating birds and can be fatal to your whole flock if not spotted early. You should seek veterinary attention and treatment should be started promptly.

Common signs of enteritis include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Discharge from the nose and eyes
  • Sudden death


Coccidiosis is a parasite which can be brought in by wild water fowl or if the enclosure is over grazed by too many ducks or geese. Symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • General poor condition
  • Diarrhoea with mucus

If you suspect your pets have coccidiosis you will need to seek veterinary attention promptly as it can be fatal.

It’s worth having two areas you can rotate your ducks and geese between every few months. This will allow the ground to recover and any bacteria or parasites will subside. As these species spend a lot of time grazing and producing a lot of poo, the ground can harbour parasites and bacteria such as coccidiosis.

Angel Wing

Angel wing can be common in geese and ducks if they are being fed an inappropriate diet and receiving too much protein. Feeding bread has also been linked to this wing deformity.

Respiratory disease

Respiratory disease can be particularly common when ducks and geese are housed in large groups. The bacteria can be inhaled or picked up on the feet. Again, this can be fatal and needs prompt action from your waterfowl friendly vet. Signs to look out for include:

  • Lameness
  • Sneezing
  • Discharge from the nose and eyes
  • Twisted heads
  • General dullness and poor condition.


It is advised to worm your ducks and geese twice a year using flubendazole. Although they are not as prone to worms and mites as chickens, they can still be at risk so it’s worth preventing it.

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