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Thiamine Deficiency

Vitamin B1 Deficiency, Beriberi

Thiamine deficiency occurs when ducks aren't getting enough thiamine (vitamin B1) in their diet. This can occur due to a lack of adaquate amounts of vitamin B1 in the diet or from being fed foods that contain thiaminase, which decreases the absorption of vitamin B1 (thiamine). Types of foods containing thuaminases include milled rice, fresh fish, clams, mussels, and shrimp. The toxic plant known as bracken fern also contains thiaminase.

Thiamine pyrophosphate, the biologically active form of thiamine, acts as a coenzyme in carbohydrate metabolism through the decarboxylation of alpha ketoacids. In suspected cases of thiamine deficiency, prompt administration of parenteral thiamine is indicated.


Star-gazing (wry neck)
Weight loss
Loss of appetite


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory tests


MethodMethod Summary
Thiamine500mg parenteral, or 100-200mg/day. It can also be added to their drinking water at 100µg/l.
Diet modificationEnsure ducks are getting enough thiamine in their diet. Ducks of all ages are recommended to have 2.0 mg/kg feed or 5 mg of thiamine in their daily diet.



    Risk Factors

    • Feeding ducks seafood or milled rice.