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Lame duck off her feed

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

New to duck keeping, got our first 3 back in October from a friend who was thinning his flock. My husband was going to take two but when he saw the gimpy one he felt sorry for her and figured I’d like her so took her as well. She was being picked on by the geese, leaving one of her legs badly deformed. Got them home and the gimpy one seemed to be doing well, getting some weight on, her feathers were starting to look nice she was even getting around more although she does have an awkward gait (the leg doesn’t really bend) and doesn’t have the best balance.

 

Since winter came she’s not been as active as the other two. She tends to hide out in their hut but was always an aggressive feeder. When you went into the pen she was the first to have her head stuck down into the tub while you dished it out for the other two. Recently that’s stopped as well; she’s not eating much anymore. I can’t remember the last time I saw her at the pool, she’s looking dishevelled, her stomach/chest seem to look wet and this morning when I went out she was walking on the stump of her bad leg with her foot flipped backwards. She was having a horrible time getting around, falling over quite a bit until she finally right her foot and then hobbled off to the hut.

 

I hadn’t been able to clean and refill the pool for a few days as the pipes had frozen. It was half full but perhaps it was too low for her to be able to get to as the other two were still using it. Filled it up and left the hose to run as the like to mess around in the mud and since the snow is melted they can do that again. When I went out later on to shut off the hose, all three were in the pool, zipping around, flapping their wings etc and what seemed like mating behaviour between her and the pekin drake. Could this be another reason she’s secluded herself to the hut and has been off her feed? What’s your take on her leg? My husband is going to get in touch with a vet to see what the options are. At first we just thought the cold was bugging her bad leg and that’s why but after this morning we aren’t so sure.

I’m told she’s “this years duck” so I’m assuming that means she’s around a year or less while the other two are older. She’s also a black duck while the other two are a pekin (drake) and pekin cross (hen). They were being fed scratch and whatever else they found as they pretty much had free roam of the property and river that runs next to it. We’ve continued feeding them scratch but recently it’s been mentioned we should be feeding corn? She's the brown duck in the middle.

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GimpyDuck View Post
 

New to duck keeping, got our first 3 back in October from a friend who was thinning his flock. My husband was going to take two but when he saw the gimpy one he felt sorry for her and figured I’d like her so took her as well. She was being picked on by the geese, leaving one of her legs badly deformed. Got them home and the gimpy one seemed to be doing well, getting some weight on, her feathers were starting to look nice she was even getting around more although she does have an awkward gait (the leg doesn’t really bend) and doesn’t have the best balance.

 

Since winter came she’s not been as active as the other two. She tends to hide out in their hut but was always an aggressive feeder. When you went into the pen she was the first to have her head stuck down into the tub while you dished it out for the other two. Recently that’s stopped as well; she’s not eating much anymore. I can’t remember the last time I saw her at the pool, she’s looking dishevelled, her stomach/chest seem to look wet and this morning when I went out she was walking on the stump of her bad leg with her foot flipped backwards. She was having a horrible time getting around, falling over quite a bit until she finally right her foot and then hobbled off to the hut.

 

I hadn’t been able to clean and refill the pool for a few days as the pipes had frozen. It was half full but perhaps it was too low for her to be able to get to as the other two were still using it. Filled it up and left the hose to run as the like to mess around in the mud and since the snow is melted they can do that again. When I went out later on to shut off the hose, all three were in the pool, zipping around, flapping their wings etc and what seemed like mating behaviour between her and the pekin drake. Could this be another reason she’s secluded herself to the hut and has been off her feed? What’s your take on her leg? My husband is going to get in touch with a vet to see what the options are. At first we just thought the cold was bugging her bad leg and that’s why but after this morning we aren’t so sure.

I’m told she’s “this years duck” so I’m assuming that means she’s around a year or less while the other two are older. She’s also a black duck while the other two are a pekin (drake) and pekin cross (hen). They were being fed scratch and whatever else they found as they pretty much had free roam of the property and river that runs next to it. We’ve continued feeding them scratch but recently it’s been mentioned we should be feeding corn? She's the brown duck in the middle.

@GimpyDuck  Welcome to BYC

 

You maybe right that the Pekin is over mating her and size difference he could have caused her to injure her leg. Good idea to have a vet evaluate her.  I'd keep her and your other female separate from the drake for a while just to give both a break and Gimpy time to heal. She would probably like the company and this will keep Mr Drake from over using the other female. Get some good poultry vitamins and add to her/their water for about a week and see if that helps with energy and appetite.  As for her leg if she has been fed solely cracked corn from baby she probably didn't get enough B3[Niacin] in her diet when she needed it most. Ducklings raised from hatch need quite a bit more niacin in their diets than chicks and neither can grow up healthy eating only cracked corn. They need a feed that has all the vitamins in it and most of us have to rely on chick feed to start our ducklings on so it is rec that we supplement their diet with either Brewers yeast or plain niacin for the first 10 weeks of their lives. Niacin helps them to have strong legs and  keeps them from having neurological issue as well. You could even try picking up some Brewers yeast of nutritional yeast at a natural foods store or look for plain niacin it has to be plain though not time released or flush free. 125 megs of niacin mixed well into 1 gal of water daily or 1 Tab of BY/NY per 1 cup of feed.  It may take up to a week or 2 to noticed any difference and with her leg being this way for so long it may not ever get 100% but these nutrients may help, also ask the vet and if he/she knows about water fowl maybe even have a better approach.  And some ducklings/ducks just need more support than others. It won't hurt your other ducks to have this either.  A good feed of layer pellets or crumble for egg laying or an all flock feed.  and cracked corn for a nice snack on a cold winter afternoon to keep them warm over night. 

 

I'd dif give her and your other female a break though especially gimpy so she can get her rest and take it easy on that leg.  They can be side by side so they all can just see each other but the Mr. is taking time out for now.

 

Beautiful ducks by the way. 

 

Forgot to mention I'd give her warm water therapy daily inside in the tub.Deep enough to float.   This will help her build muscle in her weak leg  and give her a chance to clean herself up with out having to worry about being attacked by a hormonal drake. 


Edited by Miss Lydia - 1/12/16 at 2:35pm

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

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 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

Reply
post #3 of 9

Great advice I hope she gets better soon.  

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the advice. 
They are all a bit skittish, Ferdinand is probably the friendliest but Gimpy comes in second as long as food is involved anyways. Can't get near Biddy. Do you think it would stress her much to do the indoor soak?

I don't expect her leg to ever be normal but even 25% would be better than what it is right now, I'm sure the cold doesn't help either.
How long would I keep them separated? So the scratch is fine to continue feeding? 

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GimpyDuck View Post
 

Thank you so much for the advice. 
They are all a bit skittish, Ferdinand is probably the friendliest but Gimpy comes in second as long as food is involved anyways. Can't get near Biddy. Do you think it would stress her much to do the indoor soak?

I don't expect her leg to ever be normal but even 25% would be better than what it is right now, I'm sure the cold doesn't help either.
How long would I keep them separated? So the scratch is fine to continue feeding? 

Continue scratch as afternoon treat the carbs in it will keep them warmer over night. 

 

As for warm water soaks that can be tricky in winter because she will be coming into a warm house into warm water and will have to be dry before going back out so she doesn't chill. Unless you can keep the 2 girls in a warmer area say for a month you may have to just leave off the warm water soaks until weather permits. But I'd at least keep the drake and 2 girls separate for at least a month it may take Gimpy that long to recover. Then if in a month with the vitamins and extra niacin and rest if Gimpy is doing so well [your there you will know] try some supervised visits with Ferdinand and see how it goes. I don't know why the Good Lord gave drakes so much testosterone in such a small body most of them sure don't know how to control it. Another thing  is because Gimpy has this problem she stands out as weaker in his eyes and is prime target for his affections. So another reason to get her in good shape before putting everyone back together, you may have to give the girls time out from Ferdinand from time to time  here on out. Bless you for taking Gimpy and giving her this care .

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

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 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

My husband doesn't feel we can keep them separated and basically wants to cull Ferdi or Gimpy or give Ferdi away. I've always wanted a white duck and if Gimpy wasn't the way she was we wouldn't have this problem but I do enjoy her and she was doing better until recently I don't believe it's fair to cull either of them but I also don't like flipping my animals, the ducks are pets. We didn't get them for meat or eggs, we got them because we both always wanted ducks and the opportunity arouse. 

A local has offered to trade one of his smaller drakes for Ferdi if I wanted. He says he even has a small white drake and a grey crested head drake. I'm not on the up and up of duck breeds, if that is one so not sure what that looks like.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GimpyDuck View Post
 

My husband doesn't feel we can keep them separated and basically wants to cull Ferdi or Gimpy or give Ferdi away. I've always wanted a white duck and if Gimpy wasn't the way she was we wouldn't have this problem but I do enjoy her and she was doing better until recently I don't believe it's fair to cull either of them but I also don't like flipping my animals, the ducks are pets. We didn't get them for meat or eggs, we got them because we both always wanted ducks and the opportunity arouse. 

A local has offered to trade one of his smaller drakes for Ferdi if I wanted. He says he even has a small white drake and a grey crested head drake. I'm not on the up and up of duck breeds, if that is one so not sure what that looks like.

It's up to you what you decide a smaller drake will have just as much desire to breed as a big one so I'm not sure changing drakes out is going to matter much other than his weight won't be such a problem  for Gimpy. But any drake is going to want to mate every chance he gets. I really don't know what to tell you to do that will have to be your decision. Not sure if Gimpy will get any better though unless she is given time to recoup. Crested is where there are feathers on top of the head that stick up it means under those feather is only a layer of fat/skin the skull is open sometime ducklings that are hatched that way can have serious to minor problems and others none  so it probably isn't a problem for this duck if he is adult or close to it. 2 crested should never be allowed to hatch ducklings though it is a lethal gene.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c281/Birdy427/Poultry/000_3495.jpgDucks with various size crests


Edited by Miss Lydia - 1/13/16 at 11:45am

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

Reply

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Wow, those are different looking.
I'm just at such a dilemma, we had some stormy winter weather last night and she was out and about in it, flicking in the pool, walking around in the thick of it. This morning she seemed quite pleasant and active. She's looking so disheveled, these are from this morning. I took a video as well, 

 


Edited by GimpyDuck - 1/14/16 at 7:28am
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GimpyDuck View Post
 

Wow, those are different looking.
I'm just at such a dilemma, we had some stormy winter weather last night and she was out and about in it, flicking in the pool, walking around in the thick of it. This morning she seemed quite pleasant and active. She's looking so disheveled, these are from this morning. I took a video as well, 

 

She doesn't look like she is taking proper care of herself. And looking at both of her legs looks like she dif has a defect there with the right leg compare the two together. Bless her heart how is her appetite?  it maybe hard for her to preen if she has trouble standing for any length of time. Do you see her preening much?  Other than bath time? Only thing I can rec is that you keep an eye on your drake and if he seems to be abusing Gimpy then your either going to have to intervene or just put up with her having times when her legs just gives put.I would decide whats best for the flock as a whole and the safety of my females If you cull Gimpy then your leaving your other females vulnerable to abuse from over mating. 

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

Reply

 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..

 

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God ~C.S.Lewis~

Reply
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