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Baby duck with deformed legs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kendallstarr, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. kendallstarr

    kendallstarr New Egg

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    I'm brand new to raising a duck. My mom brought me a baby duck (not sure what kind) who's legs are grossly deformed. He can't stand or swim, or even sit straight. Not sure what to do. I taped guitar picks to the bottoms of his feet to help spread his little toes out. And it sounds weird but I very loosely put a hair band around his ankles so he could hold his legs right. They spread out when he's relaxed. I'll post a picture. What else can I do?
     
  2. kendallstarr

    kendallstarr New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2016
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Are they kind of splayed out to the sides or are they more bowing out? @Amiga (I keep summoning you everywhere lately, don't I :p )
     
  4. kendallstarr

    kendallstarr New Egg

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    I posted this question twice, I didn't realize it just took a while to load. Pics are on the other thread [​IMG]. They go out to the sides. He can't even pull them back. [​IMG]
     
  5. chickenslave2

    chickenslave2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Take him to a vet, see what they think. You may have to put him down, or you might be able to have surgery on his legs that will put them right.
     
  6. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    To me that looks like splayed leg. I would start treating him for that. Take a bandaid or a strip of vet wrap and wrap his legs together so that they stay the normal distance apart that they should. If caught early enough it can be fixed because their bones are very pliable as babies. It sounds also like he might benefit from some booties to straighten out his toes. You seem to have tried to do that but I would take something like cardboard to make the base, then position his feet in a natural position on them and use a bandaid to tape them into that position. Do one bootie for each foot.

    Amiga may also have more advice when she shows up :)
     
  7. chickenslave2

    chickenslave2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote: Maybe he doesn't have enough muscles in his legs to pull them back or his bone is twisted a way that he can't pull them back.
     
  8. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Or it could just be splayed leg that can be fixed easily. It happens all the time in chicks and ducklings if they're kept on slick surfaces after they hatch, and it can be fixed by just holding the legs together in the proper position for a while.
     
  9. Melina

    Melina Out Of The Brooder

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    It could be a niacin deficiency. I'm not an expert with ducks but I've had ducklings a few times and they always seem to have weak legs. The problem has been solved after giving them niacin for a couple of weeks if treated early enough. There are threads here on that topic and suggestions on the dose amounts. Or you can just google it, seems to be a common problem with ducks.

    I'm copying this form another thread:

    Everyone's experience is different, but if you're having leg problems niacin is an excellent first step in treatment--even if it doesn't solve the problem, it won't hurt, and higher niacin in general supports good leg health in ducklings (but not too high--you can overdose--details below). I do not mean to criticize those who do fine without niacin, but I will say that I have also raised hundreds of ducklings and on the one occasion when I decided not to bother with the extra niacin, the birds developed leg problems which were quickly corrected by adding back the correct amount of niacin. And it is not just me. The most-respected waterfowl expert in the nation, Dave Holderread, also recommends higher niacin for ducklings.

    You have several options for accomplishing this:

    1. Mix the chick feed 50/50 with game bird starter. The game bird starter contains high levels of niacin, but also levels of protein that are too high. By mixing the two, you balance it just about right for waterfowl. This is what I do because it is simple and effective.

    2. Add brewer's yeast to the feed. This is also simple, IF you can find brewer's yeast (try health food stores or beer making supply if your town has one). Just sprinkle it on top of their food. You can't overdose on brewer's yeast.

    3. Add niacin directly to their water. Buy niacin at the pharmacy, try to get the NON-flush-free, and also NON-time-release (this gets harder and harder to find). You need it in gel caps because you're going to break the gel cap into the water and dissolve the contents in the water. Don't worry if it doesn't all dissolve--I've found it's quite effective even if there are still bits of it settling on the bottom. The dosage is about 100 mg per gallon of water. It doesn't have to be precise, but don't overdo it.

    4. Feed them Purina Flock Raiser. I have had mixed results with this among people I've talked to, but it is recommended by Dave Holderread and he is rarely wrong, so it's definitely a potentially viable option. If you end up with niacin deficiency anyway, you can always add in extra by one of the other means.

    Niacin deficiency, when caught early, is easily corrected by adding the correct amount of niacin. Of course, if you're raising lots of birds, it's way easier just to prevent it to begin with, plus birds thrive best when provided the proper nutrients, even if a deficiency isn't clearly visible. If niacin deficiency symptoms are allowed to persist without correction, they can develop into permanent debilities.

    Good luck with your babies. It's quite possible her ankle problem is NOT caused by niacin deficiency (in fact, niacin deficiency usually causes a generalized weakness and shakiness in the legs rather than location-specific distress), but the proper quantities of niacin will help develop leg strength which may aid in her healing.

    I hope she does great for you. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  10. Melina

    Melina Out Of The Brooder

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    Reposting from another thread:

    Okay, you need to know that when we suggest yeast, it's not baking yeast, not winemaking yeast.

    It's brewer's yeast - a nutritional supplement. And generally, people use 1 tablespoon of brewer's yeast per cup of food.

    I think the duckling may have a B vitamin deficiency (and brewer's yeast can help with that). Here is a writeup about all my thoughts on treating this:

    People often get confused about what to use, so please stick with me here .

    You have some options.

    I would go with brewer's yeast. Forgive me for using capital letters, but for anyone else who may casually look over this thread, NOT baking yeast, NOT winemaking yeast. Brewer's yeast is a nutritional supplement and it provides niacin and a few other vitamins.

    Generally, folks who supplement with brewer’s yeast use a tablespoon per cup of food.

    Ducklings need about three times the niacin chicks do. And some ducklings get leg problems or seizures if they don't have enough niacin.

    If you cannot find the brewer's yeast, or if you happen to have (here come the capital letters again, please forgive me) PLAIN niacin - NOT no-flush, NOT timed release, then dissolve 150 mg niacin per gallon of water for the duckling’s drinking water.

    Another approach is to use B Complex capsules, and use the B3 - niacin - levels as a guide. Again, 150 mg B3 per gallon of drinking water.


    Keep the little one on the supplements for about 8 weeks.

    Sometimes it only takes a few days to see improvement.

    You can also see how it went for Qwackers and Bentley from these threads.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/857143/treating-wry-neck-in-crested-duckling-edited-title

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/761308/peking-duckling-with-crooked-neck-help

    Edited by Amiga - 4/28/16 at 9:42pm









    Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.


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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  11. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Looks like splayed leg - fixable if treated soon enough. Go to poultrypedia podiatry page - explains it and how to treat. Bedding needs to be grippy not at all slippery.


    I am on the toad will check back late tonight if possible.
     

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