Babys duck has an odd foot...what should I do?


10 Years
Feb 8, 2009
Northern, Illinois
My rescue wild mallard eggs hatched last Friday. Tomorrow they will be a week old.

Last night I noticed that one of my ducks has two toes that aren't spread apart. It looks as if the toes are together, and the webbed part isn't spread apart. I don't really know how to described it so I drew a quick little picture...


Is this a deformity or can it be corrected?
I have no idea about this but have a couple of questions though that may help someone else answer your question.

- Does the webbing appear normal size between the toes or is the webbing smaller therefore holding the toes together?
- Do the toes appear to be normal, in that they move normally and can flex?
- Is the duckling able to walk normally?
- Have you have it in any water and can it swim nomally?

Just trying to think of any questions that might help and give you a bump.
My first question would be -- does it inhibit the little guy's mobility?

It sounds like the webbing formed wrong. I don't think that can be corrected. Unless you are seeing extra webbing that is rumpled up between the "toes."

If the little guy can get around ok, I wouldn't worry about it. If it is a mallard it should be able to fly, right? He might just be a slower walker/swimmer.
I noticed that he liked to sit a lot rather than stand. I didn't really notice it until yesterday when I took the towels out of the bottom and left only newspaper, and shredded newspaper. The duck is fast...and I mean FAST! It was outside today and was the last to be caught. It kept running around and I didn't realize it was the deformed foot duckling until I finally caught it. It took me, and my 9 year old nephew a good 5 minutes to catch him. When he walks he kind of limps but can get around just fine other wise. I never knew ducks could move so fast, especially on one foot and pretty much a stub!

-The webbing between the toes are normal size. It just looks like it cant spread the two toes apart.
-The toes appear to be normal, they move like a normal toe.
-The duckling can swim just fine! Fast swimmer as well as runner!

Thank you for thinking of these things to ask. I wasn't sure what to say or how to describe it. I was wondering if it should be taped apart so that it will eventually just stay? One jumped and fell when it was only a few days old. I'm not sure which one it was but could it of broke a toe if it was this duckling?
You can make a SHOE for it and tape it to the foot. For the shoe, cut a piece of stiff material of some sort and make it the shape the duck's foot should be.

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