In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 31, 2010
Long Island
Okay guys, so if you didn't hear, i hatched ducks a week or two ago, and out of the 7 in the bator, 4 became chicks, but one died after it piped due to shrinkwraping. SO i had two that hatched and after a day i hatched the 3rd myself. No i realize why this little bugger couldn't hatch. It looks like the upper part of its bill got "squished" when it was forming, so the top of the beak is shorter than the bottom. I think thats why he couldn't hatch because of the lack of the egg tooth to crack the egg. But anyways, hes doing fine now, but will it cause any problems later on down the road, because you can see his tongue on the bottom a little, i can always post a picture if it would help too, thanks you guys.
No personal experience here but have heard of people keeping ducks like this that do fine, they just provide them with deep/food/water bowls that way they can get adequate amounts in their mouth.
I have seen that before. I know it was cause my neighbor just let the ducks breed with there siblings, then there babies breed with each other and so and so forth. Any hoo there was this one lil duckling that was hatched that its top bill was shorter then the bottom and he did look some weird but he got around just fine. Just watch out that the food you fed the little guy softer foods for a bit, then he can move on to more solid foods. Hope that helps
I've actually known a couple of wild mallards that had that deformity. It is amazing that they were able to hatch under wild conditions and can feed and groom themselves. Those ducks even lived to a good old age (one died recently after living about 7 or 8 years, the other is still around). They do just fine, except I do notice that they have to eat food that they can scoop up with the lower part of their bills and sometimes have problems when they fight with other males because they can't grab and twist like "normal" ducks.

I agree with giving soft, easy to swallow food, especially as a baby, until he gets bigger and learns how to adapt.

ETA: Does his bill kinda look like this? This is Curly, he's a real sweetheart. I call his name and he comes right up to me. He loves cracked corn, bread, crisp rice, etc. And, I think he eats algae, too. I know the photo doesn't show it well, but it's twisted up and to the side.

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i have a Cayuga with a bill just like that, Mrs. Wiffles. i always put the duck food in rubbermaid dishpans, so she has room to scoop the food up with her lower bill. She's able to eat pretty well that way. But she isn't good at foraging and picking up smaller things off the ground. i see her turn her beak upside down and try to pick things up with her tongue, but she isn't always successful. She does okay. i try to cater to her and make sure she gets as many treats as the other ducks.
In the hotter summer months provision of plenty of water will be needed as its mouth may dry out with out the full upper mandible. but as the others have posted- it is a condition they can live with- but paying a little more attention to its needs will be necessary. Weight gain or loss is easy to monitor- just pick it up every few days and feel around the keel and breast bone to make sure it is getting enough to eat. Good luck with the little one. Im sure it will be spoilt for attention with its minor problem.
I bought a duck that looks like she had her top bill bit off by a snapping turtle and also some of her tongue. She manages to eat feed out the bowls but getting bugs is a bit of a problem for her but she keep going at it and manages in the end. Her tongue also dries out because it is exposed all the time and sometimes looks dry and wrinkly. Other than that she does well and is the same size and weight looking as all the other ducks.
Thanks for everything guys, i feel much better now
ill post a picture of the little bugger tomorrow, i have to say he is adorable

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