We adopted a 5 week old scovy that has spent all of its life with its siblings on a farm. We have an 8 month old scovy duck named Fergy that we saved and she has imprinted on myself and has lived inside since we rescued her from the roadside. The reason we adopted the young one was we need to get Fergy outside and I wanted her to have some company.
Anyway the young one attached immediately to Fergy and she seemed to love his company and the transition to living outside was smooth. The young duckling is extremely skittish and doesn't like humans one bit. It will stay by Fergy side all day unless she comes over to us. One day the duckling got itself stuck in a fence and when I walked over to free the poor thing it started thrashing about and snapped its femur. I was standing about a meter away and heard the snap. The duckling was still intent on trying to escape and dragged it's leg around, dangling like a rag doll. Upon inspection it appears the break is very high - near the hip area. The femur is definitely 100% snapped all the way through. The duckling has absolutely no control of the leg. You can literally feel the break and you can feel the sharp bone where it has clean snapped near the hip area.
Now let me first mention that vets are not an option here. There are none near by and even if I was to make a trip to a vet after a long drive the money is simply not something I can spare.
Overnight I tried to splint the leg and I separated the duckling to a quite spot with easily reachable food and water. When I checked on it in the morning it had thrashed about and pulled the splint off. When I went to check the silly duckling tried to run away being so skittish and it literally dragged this lifeless leg around while hopelessly trying to move which displaced the leg again, almost twisting it into a very unnatural backwards position. So I have now reset the leg into a position that is as close as possible to a natural resting posture based on the healthy leg and the position of the fracture. I've taped the leg to the ducks side (standard sitting posture) by running cloth duct tape all the way around the body and leg being careful to not tape the wings down and not too tight around the body of the duckling. This is the only way I can keep the leg in a suitable position to heal as the duckling is hell bent on doing more damage to itself by squirming and trying to run away. I should also mention that there is very bad swelling however the entire leg is definitely receiving blood flow. The duckling also reacts to pain further down the leg so there appears to be no noticeable nerve damage
For those of you who are still reading my novel - here are my questions.
Is this suitable treatment for the leg to heal? (even if the leg is later unusable)
Should I consider amputation?
Should I consider a quick and humane ending for this little duckling?
If the leg does heal how long should I keep it taped to the body of the duck?
What should I look for and monitor and in what time frame as healing occurs?
Are there any measures I can take to ensure that the duckling is comfortable while it heals?
I understand that ducks are tough animals and can cope with disabilities rather well so my primary concern is to ensure this duck lives a long and happy life even if it looses all function in the leg. Accommodating a duck with one leg is no problem for us as we love these animals. I just want to educate myself as much as possible so I can do what's best for this duckling here and now.