Chester Louise has a very bad leg


Squeaky Wheel
11 Years
Feb 11, 2008
Waterloo, Nebraska
You may remember, last year somebody dumped a malnourished duckling off at the vet. The vet called me (yes, I'm a sucker for a hard luck case). I have had Chester Louise since last June. She had a crooked leg when I got her. She is a Pekin. As she has grown older the leg has bent more, and she occasionally had trouble with it. She would occasionally get sore and have a hard time walking. I would put her in the hospital cage for 1 to 2 weeks, and she would recover. This last time it hasn't gone so well. The cage is a big parrot cage. She can move around, but not enough to over do it, and the chickens can't bother her in there. She seems in good spirits, but the leg isn't any better. She has been in the hospital cage for 3 weeks this time. She has a heat lamp, food and water, and she can see her friends (the chickens). I took her to the vet Saturday fully intending to have the vet put her to sleep. The vet seems to think that she needs another 7 - 10 day in the cage before giving up. He doesn't think that the leg will get better, but he thinks that she can learn to use her wing as a crutch. Is that a good life for her? I love this duck, but I want to do what is right for her, not me. What would you guys do? I worry that she will drag the leg around and it will become raw and infected.
I have a crippled duck. I just keep her in her own area on thick straw and she scoots around. She seems content and as long as she is lively, she will be part of the flock.
I "fly" her every day for exercise and on nice days I make her a pen in the grass and sunshine. The geese pick on her and Hugo the drake finds her an easy mark
. I keep her separated with her blind friend, Gramma Grey.

Ducks are very adaptable. As long as she is lively and enjoys life and is not in pain, I would keep her around.

One sign of pain is weight loss. So if she is eating and has bright clear eyes, then she can adapt and live a good life.
I too have a disabled duck. She has not had the use of one leg since she hatched. She is very small for her age, and while her hacthmates are nearly fully feathered and fully grown- she is still half feathered and smaller than a call duck. She lives in a human babies portacot in my bedroom and is a very happy little girl. She gets a swim every day and loves being taken outside to hop around in the grass. Regie has never lived with other ducks, she swims with other babies sometimes but doesnt seem lonely either. She has a little bed in the lounge room as well as she can be with her people when we are home.

I often ask myself if I have done the right thing- but also know that if I ever see signs of discomfort , pain or suffering that I will do the right thing by her. I incubated her egg and feel responsible for providing her with as comfortable a life for as long as she lives. I have had other disabled ducks who have coped fairly well. Its never an easy descision to make, but you will know in your heart if is truely is the right thing to do- at the right time.

For your sake and Chester Louise..I hope ducky does recover this time given the few extra days.
Thanks. I will give her more time. DH will be thrilled to know that he will be building a special place for her. I have a few quiet hens. Maybe they can take turns being her roommate.

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