Crunching like sound coming from inside of sick duck?


Interstellar Duck Academy
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
Northwestern Washington
I noticed a runner duck hen not walking so brought her inside. I do not see anything wrong with her legs, no wounds, nothing of that sort. While examining her I can heard a sort of crackling/crunching sound coming from inside her... not out of her mouth, but from inside... if that makes sense. She does not seem to be with egg, though I could be wrong... she isn't large down below like I'm use to when they are with eggs. I have a call into the vet, but he hasn't called back yet. Is anyone familiar with this sound and know what causes it?
I don't know about ducks, but in a human, that crackling or crunching sound might make me think of fluid build-up in the lungs. Does your duck have respiratory symptoms?
Digestion in healthy ducks can sound like that. If it's not her breathing, that would be my first guess.
I had a duckling like that once! Scared the living daylight out of me! He was about a month and a half old and i brought him inside and put him in the tub and heard this almost crunching sound from inside. I could even feel it when i held him! He turned out to be fine but it still scared me.
I know from butchering free-range turkeys, that they often had a lot of gravel and grit in their gizzard (sometimes nails, coins, etc too - it was always interesting to open them up). The crops felt and sounded pretty 'crunchy' when we took them out, I believe ducks and geese consume quite a bit of coarse grit as well. That's the first thing I thought of when I read your post. Maybe it ate something weird?
Also, I've heard that geese will often limp if they've eaten something they shouldn't have.
My husband asked me if she had been eating rocks... so it seems likely the crunching sound is unrelated to the reason I brought her inside.

I was doing chores and saw her stand up to get out of my way, she took a few steps, fell onto her belly and used her wings to scoot away from me. She would stand again take a few steps and do the wing/scoot thing. She kept this up till she gave up and laid there, which allowed me to pick her up. I brought her inside and examined her. Her legs moved fine, looked fine and felt fine. I looked at her vent area... looked normal. Felt her abdomen gently squeezing trying to see if I could feel an egg... I've never actually felt an egg in a duck before, but nothing felt hard and roundish.

Fast forward to hubby coming home. I bring her out set her down on a towel and she gets up and runs like mad... falling down the stairs. She picks herself right back up and stands straight in the corner. I pick her up, check her out again, sit her back on the towel and she just stands there, heart racing a gazillion miles a minute shaking with fear... but she's standing. She was so stressed by our attention that I put her back in the dog carrier with a blanket over it.

So now I don't know what's going on.

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