I see quite a few posts on the topic so I apologize for the redundancy. I put my 37 chickens and 3 ducks into the coop around 6 and no one had any problems. I went in around 7 and noticed the 12 week old female Swedish duckling is not using one of her feet and was jumping around on one foot. Even though she hates being picked up, I inspected her foot and didn't see any odd swelling or bumps or anything in the foot. I put her down and watched her and she just continued hobbling although she started using both feet. They are all fed medicated Purina Chick starter and they all free range as a flock from the morning until the evening. The other two ducks (a female Pekin and a female Cayuga) are two weeks older and exhibiting no signs. Is this most probably a sprain or something else? Anything specific I should be doing?
Duckling is hobbling and not using foot
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Probably a sprain, could be a splinter. I would get her into a tub of lukewarm water for half an hour or so, and consider an Epsom salt compress (it is a laxative, don't let her ingest any) and watch her. Sprains take days to resolve. Splinters can be too hard to see, but can cause a bit of swelling. Epsom salt is helpful for both.
Sounds like it's likely just a sprain and will heal on it's own in a few days. Extra swim time like Amiga said, that takes weight off of the leg for awhile and will give her some relief. I would also keep her confined to a smaller area for a few days so she can rest the leg a bit. Free-ranging all day will take a toll on an already injured leg. Do you have a pen you can keep her in temporarily with a friend or two?
She was no better this morning and it was so pitiful to try to watch her hobble after the flock. The Pekin kept running back to her and running into her as if to push her forward. She unfortunately is quite flighty so after I tried to grab her to put her in a bath, she flew out of my hands right into the wall of the coop and looked like she hurt her wing. So for awhile there she had a limp foot and wing (my fault!) but the wing seems to be recovered. So I picked her up again solely to look at her foot which still didn't seem to look any different and still made the swimming motion, and then I put her in the dog cage I use as a chick brooder within the coop. The chicks were not happy to get kicked out but they'll be fine. She is eating and drinking but still standing on one foot. Hopefully she recovers soon - the noises she makes when the flock leaves her are so sad! Poor duckling!
This is day 3 and she is putting weight on the foot but heavily favoring the other one. This is an improvement from the beginning when she would only hold her leg against her body. Should I continue to keep her confined? She gets so terribly upset when the other ducks wander off without her and I cannot seem to get her to eat unless its dry mealworms. She doesn't seem to want to touch her chick starter and so I'm not sure what will do more damage - more time in confinement with the stress and lack of eating, or her trying to get around on a limp foot. Thanks for any advice!
It's more important for her to eat than to be in confinement for sure. Have you tried to give her a friend or two while confined? Ducks get very stressed when they are alone, so maybe before letting her out you can move a couple friends in with her and see if that makes her more happy and start eating. If that doesn't work and she is still stressed, I would let her out so she will eat.
At least the leg has improved a little bit, so that is a good sign. Keep us updated!
After three days in the cage, she was putting weight on it. Although she was still limping I went ahead and let her out with the rest of the flock. For a few days, she wandered with them for short bits and then hung out in the coop with the chicks for extended periods of time. She still has a tiny limp but she is keeping up with everyone and eating again. Every day seems to be getting better so I am hoping the limp stops completely soon. Thank you for the help everyone!