Caring for injured Runner Duck- please help


In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
3 days ago i went to our 6 year old hen and duck enclosure to find 4 of my beautiful ducks had been brutally attacked by something small enough to get into the house through a tiny hole which we later found must have been done recently by a food hunting rat or mouse looking at their neck injuries we suspect a ferret, stoat, weasel or pole cat- something from this family of predators.

3 of my loves were dead but one miraculously survived- her name is Freya.

We thought she would last the night, she walked out of the house with her neck hanging and her head near to the floor and we were absolutely shocked with grief as we loved them all so very much. My husband picked her up and i took her and to the garden and sat with her in the sun trying to calm us both and tell her she was safe but convinced she would die in my arms.

After an hour had passed we decided to bring her home, so we made her a large cushioned bed in an old dog kennel cage and there i have been nursing her with little sips of water and warmth and safety.

were on day three now and this morning i went in to the bathroom to find her standing up in her house but she is still unable to move the upper part of her neck - at first she could lift her head and neck up but now she can lift the base of the neck to pull up her head and she still has full mobility of her body and legs. she is comfortable and resting most of the time.

As she has this campbell/regular duck resting neck position i am reluctant to give her anything other than water and liquids, so I've put a bit of spirulina powder in her water and alternate between this and plain water.

Can anyone else who may have had a similar situation happen and nursed ducks tell me if there is anything i should get such as maybe a chick mash or high protein powder mix for her muscles? also should i get her antibiotics and will this be a problem to take if she's not yet eating - i don't see any infection but as a precaution?

I would be grateful of any feedback to help my beautiful Freya come back to health and we will then look at getting her a friend and building a stone house with solid concrete floor so that she can return home- sometime in the future.

Thank you very much D
Sad for your loss.



I agree, she needs some kind of nutritional boost....Perhaps you can make a watered-down smoothy with a cup of her regular feed plus a tablespoon of cat kibble.

I would look into antibiotics, have some on hand - perhaps injectable? There are some threads on BYC with advice on dosage and method. Have you checked under her wings and around her vent?
Thank you @Amiga I wondered if the usual layers pellets would be wrong for her right now as the last thing I want to encourage is her having to lay eggs and I wasn't sure if those feeds stimulate this ? I wondered about getting her some chick crumbs to soak in her water and I've also on advise via research put a raw egg into her water for a bit of extra nourishment. Her vent looks fine and her wings were untouched so all her body is thankfully untouched but maybe you meant just to check for any secretions or infection? I'll give her a full check over. Thank you
Hmmm, I thought I sent a response to this hours ago...

Light has alot to do with stimulating egg production, so keeping her in a dark place is more important than switching from laying feed, it seems to me. But to be on the safe side, you could go with a grower feed.

At the same time - yes I am thinking out loud - if she is deficient in calcium, you'd want to provide that to her...

perhaps cut down on protein, and light, but stick with calcium.
Agreed with @Amiga, a feed change wouldn't prevent her from laying as layer feed is merely extra support for layers, but does not cause them to lay....they'll lay regardless of feed type. Decreasing light could help.

Also, the stress from the attack could slow her down with laying. Ducks have a wise "inner physician" meaning the body currently is likely focusing all of its efforts on healing.

Electrolytes & vitamins in the water give a good metabolism boost and general support. Antibiotics on hand would be great, and the feed and cat kibble slurry could be wonderful....the extra protein would help boost energy which she'll need for her own basic care....feeding, watering, etc.

SO SORRY for your loss. Good luck and keep us posted

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom