Help, Limping Duck, don't know why or what to do??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by donnavee, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    We got 3 call ducks about 2 1/2 weeks ago, a drake and 2 females from a person on Craig's list. Although we didn't know the seller personally, we knew people that had gotten hatching eggs from her before and considered her reliable.

    When we picked up the ducks from her she had them in individual boxes, DH took each one out and looked at them but couldn't sit them down for fear they might fly away. We met her in a parking lot, not at her house.

    After getting home, we let the ducks loose in their new home and they started to excitedly chatter away, but we noticed one of the females had a noticeable limp. Other than that, she seemed healthy and happy and could get around pretty good despite the limp. We checked her feet and leg for a noticeable injury but found none. Then we emailed the seller about it and she said she had not noticed the duck limping and perhaps it was just a little something that happened when she was catching them and it should go away.

    So, the little duck has been fine for these past 2 1/2 weeks, eats very well, loves playing in the water and acts normal except for this limp which has not improved since we got her. That is until this morning, she was sitting on the ground and did not get up for snacks, but would eat if we threw the snack in front of her. Finally DH made her move and she could barely drag herself to jump in the water. Once in the water, she was fine. Again, we visually inspected her foot and leg, found nothing and she didn't seem as if she was in pain when we touched her leg and foot.

    We are pretty new to ducks and have no idea what could be wrong or what to do. I have isolated her in the duck house for now with food and water in low containers since standing is difficult for her. We have also emailed the previous owner but haven't heard back yet.

    I would appreciate any suggestions on the possible cause and/or suggestions on how to care for her. She is such a sweet little girl and it breaks my heart to see her like this. The other ducks do not pick on her so I don't think they hurt her. I've only seen the drake mating a couple of times and he doesn't seem overly rough and normaly does it in the water.
  2. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    She may have an injury that is worse at times. Another thing, what are you feeding them? Is is nutrionally sound? Sometimes ducks can have a niacin deficiency and act just as you described. One of my calls does this on occasion so I always make sure she gets plenty of nutritional treats. I give my ducks peas at least once a week and add Nutri-drench in the water. If she is injured, she may need to be seperated for a few days to rest it. Either try seperating or start giving vitamins in their water or in the water of some peas and see if she improves. I wouldn't wait too long, maybe 2 weeks tops, until I take her to a vet and have it checked. Less than 2 weeks if it worsens. Hope this helps. Good Luck!
  3. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    From time to time I see a wild duck limping for what seems to be no reason. One female was limping after a long bout of mating activity. Perhaps that's what happened to your duck. Almost all the ducks that limp recovered, eventually. However, I would worry if it kept coming back. Perhaps like Chickensioux said, she may need more niacin.
  4. MysticalMom

    MysticalMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Ducks can injure themselves doing all kinds of things from getting out of the pool to tripping while chasing another duck.[​IMG] Usually it's just a minor injury. My pekin drake limped for a month after he hurt himself when he tripped trying to beat up My SA drake. I did everything my duck bible (Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks by Dave Holderread which if you're new to ducks I would recommend) told me to and he was right, over time he just stopped limping. But he never stopped walking and keeping up with the other ducks just fine and would run, limp and all, for treat time. If she doesnt seem in pain I would try the vitamins and niacin etc... but if it doesn't get better soon, progresses to where she can't walk at all or seems in pain, I'd take her to a vet.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Don't some ducks get arthritis? I've read it can happen after an infection.

    I have two ducks to dislike very cold (20F) weather. They will limp a little and walk slowly after being out in the weather for half an hour or so.

    Took them to the vet - they are otherwise fine. Apparently they are just more sensitive to the cold than the other eight. So I watch them. When Funf or Sieben start acting cold, we all go inside to warm up.
  6. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    One of mine was limping pretty bad and kept just sitting down for about a week, although was eating fine and still wanted to be with the other ducks and would keep up with them. We put some antiseptic spray on the underside of her foot just in case there was a cut or something external causing it, but otherwise just left her and she seems okay at the moment.

    Like others have said just give it time and see if it improves. People are always spraining their ankle or pulling a muscle, so its probably no different for ducks! Its likely that it'll be a bit sore for a while and will then be okay not long after.
  7. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:I haven't been able to find duck food so I'm feeding them a chicken breeder grower feed to which I supplement with Manna Pro Poultry Conditioner and I also sprinkle some brewers yeast on the feed a couple of times a week (I read that somewhere). I do give peas and other greens as treats as well, very rarely any corn or bread. I have some nutri drench and added some of that to their water this morning. I locked all the calls in their duck house this morning and she seemed to be moving a bit better this morning. I have found a local vet treats ducks so we are going to try a few days of limited mobility along with the extra vitamins. If she doesn't improve, then it's off to the vet.

    Thanks for the advice.
  8. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:I told DH that we should bring her in today, clean up her feed and and put some ointment on them. I'm also adding the vitamins as others have recommended. She does act very alert and wants to be with the other ducks. Up until yesterday when her mobility seemed worse, she could move as fast as the others despite the limp.
  9. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    I recently had the same type of problem with mine (same symptoms, limping, no visible or palpable injuries, not sick in anyway. Then he got worse to where he didn't want to walk, and when he would he was hunch backed and his tail would drag). It was suggested that I try giving them brewers yeast tablets in their water to increase their niacin intake. He seems to slowly be getting better for me, and is walking around a little bit, and is standing up now (I did separate them for the time being just so he was closer to his water source and food without the chickens being pesty, and I kept the trio together, had no choice there [​IMG] ). I have always had my ducks and geese on a big creek where they were foraging as much as they wanted and I never had any problems - they were healthy as could be, and were getting their fill of nutrients from nature. Now I only have my trio and they live in the coop with the chickens since we no longer have a water source. They get to free range but not on a daily basis, and their run is dirt not grass. My guess is they weren't getting enough vitamins from the feed, which caused the deficiency. So, try the brewers yeast tablets. Crush one up and add it to their drinking water. Good luck I hope she does well for you.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  10. Michael M

    Michael M New Egg

    Mar 29, 2016
    Hi A vitamin deficiency at this age is unlikely. The injury probably occurred while the duck was running or trying to jump. The best thing you can do is make him or her comfortable in an isolated area for a day or two. With little disturbance and lots of sitting it will heal fine. Also find a store that carries electrolyte powder mix it with fresh cool water to help the healing. I hope for the best, Michael

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