Help! New Duck, bought from a neglecting owner!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Fleecy718, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Fleecy718

    Fleecy718 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 24, 2012
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    So I have 4 Indian Runner ducks. All Females, that I raised since they were hatched, which was this spring. I wanted to get a drake before springtime so they would be in a way less aggressive stage when they were introduced.

    I looked on craigslist and found somebody selling their Runner drakes, so I bought one. He didn't let me see the other drakes, and just brought one to me (though he said I could pick one out of five). He gave the drake to me in a small box that was filled with duck poop. This poor drake was filthy. When we got him home, we tried to urge him into the pool that we got ready for him, but he seems completely terrified on humans. Also, I'm not sure if he is just nervous or part blind, but he runs into everything and usually only reacts to sound. Another thing is that I saw a big gash on his right foot. It's scabbed up and looks like its healing (no infection, no pus, etc.).

    My 4 girls love people and love attention. They'd been together for life, so naturally when I put the drake into the pen with them they nipped at him a little, but nothing that could hurt him. I monitored them for a long time until I decided it'd be an okay time to put them back into their pen.

    When I went to check on him this morning, he was limping pretty bad. I may not have noticed yesterday, but it really stood out today. When I went to go pick him up to make sure it wasn't open, he threw up! Now, he had just drank a bunch on water, so that could've just been the gravity or maybe I picked him up too fast or something. Anyway, there's his story, and here are my questions.

    1. Does this sound like an abused/neglected drake to you?
    2. Is the scab on his foot okay to let heal on its own? Also, is there anything I can do to help him?
    3. Has your duck ever thrown up after being picked up too fast?
    4. Will the females stress him out so much to the point that he could get really sick?

    And any other advice, I would DEFINITELY appreciate it!!!!

    Thanks so much!!

    (PS, He's about two years old (supposively) and they never even named him!)
  2. suki'smom

    suki'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2011
    Central Wisconsin
    I definately would NOT have stuck a bird in that condition directly in with my flock. 2-4 week quarantine MINIMUM for all new poultry that comes on my property. Get him in a large dog crate so you can clean up his foot and take a closer look. Stick some triple antibiotic ointment (without painkiller) on the wound. Sound like a neglected bird for sure. Good luck! :)
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I agree that you probably should not have added him into your flock but too late.

    He is scared, he is in a new environment and terrified. If your girls are friendly, you obviously spent alot of time with them when they were babies. I had runners before and I spent time with them daily but I did not hold/catch/pick them up. They were not mean but I would not say they were friendly. They were cautious and a bit flighty but that is a typical runner characteristic. The running into things is most likely just a reaction to being scared. Because you don't know how this drake was raised, you will need to go very slowly with him. He has no idea what is going on except that he was caught, put in a box and taken away from his home and flock. He will need time to adjust but I would not count on him being as friendly as your ducks are.

    1.This drake may not have been abused. The poop in the box would be normal. He could have gotten injured when being caught to be transported.
    2.The scab will depend on how old the injury is, if it's open etc. You can get antibiotics at most feed stores but I would do that only if it looks infected. It needs to remain clean. If he is limping, he needs to be restricted to a small clean area in order to give him time to heal. Allowing him in with your ducks who are not going to be thrilled to have a strange duck with them is not going to let him heal.
    3.I have not had a duck throw up.
    4.Yes, they could stress him enough that he gets sick.

    I have never named any of my ducks. They have a good life, are treated well but are not pets.
  4. Lamar Estate

    Lamar Estate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2011
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    So sorry to hear that this guy is having such a difficult time in his new forever home.

    Some people just don't care for their ducks as well as we'd hope, or spend as much time with them as you probably did with your original Runners.

    One of my Runners had a bad cut on the bottom of one of her feet. I monitored it to make sure it looked cleaned and looked like it was healing. She wore duck shoes from Nettie Kossart ([email protected], [email protected], (708) 515-3672) when she played outside, but I mostly kept her inside (without shoes on) until the cut scabbed over.

    A few of my ducks have "thrown up" right after I've picked them up. It was usually right after they drank a lot of water or ate a lot of food. They seemed fine immediately afterwards.

    I've introduced new ducks to my group several times, all being varying ages. Some fit right in, others were picked on for a short time. I've always closely watched them to make sure nothing horrible happened, but no one is able to watch their ducks ALL the time. (I currently have Bunsen visiting me inside my house as I write this, because the 2 Pekins that live with him, although both younger than him, were being too mean to him.) I wish I could offer advice on how to get your girls to accept him. It may just take some time.

    Some of the ducks I've "adopted" were older and had not been socialized very well. They are not as friendly as the ones I've raised from ducklings, but a few of them are now very sweet and will let me hold them. It just took a lot of time, patience, love, attention, and understanding. This is a huge change for the little guy, and for the girls.

    Good luck with everything. I bet everything will work out over time! Please keep us updated.
  5. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2012
    Burns, Wyoming
    If fear of people is what you use to gauge neglect then I have the most neglected ducks in the world! lol I raised them I just didn't handle them much. They all act terrified of me. I'm not interested in making my poutlry into pets though. I just want eggs and I enjoy watching them play. I can do that from a distance. :p
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    If you can afford and manage it, you might want to at least get a fecal test from a vet to be sure he doesn't carry something you don't want your flock to have.

    I would keep him where he can see the others but not have physical contact with them. I agree overall with what has been written. Hang in there, this will be a new, learning experience for you. Expect the flock dynamic to change. It will likely take weeks for him to get integrated with the rest. You can help by being patient and offering everyone treats and the same time so they can all see each other getting treats, and have an enjoyable experience in each others' company.

    I would use Epsom salts compresses on his foot, give him opportunity to swim in clean lukewarm water at least once a day.

    Dissolve a few tablespoons of water in a half a cup of warm water, then soak a clean rag or paper towels in it and wrap the foot for as long as you both can stand it. This means holding him, which could be a challenge. Better not to traumatize him, but somehow treating the foot sounds needed. Miss Lydia uses a small bucket, I think, so that the duck cannot drink the Es water, which is a strong laxative (so don't let him drink it).
  7. Fleecy718

    Fleecy718 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 24, 2012
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    Thank you so much everybody!!

    I'm going to buy a dog cage and keep him inside as much as I can. I also have a pen with a run behind it, just for my flock, so once his foot gets better he can socialize with the girls without any physical altercations.
    I'm going to look into the fecal test as well.
    Thank you soooo much everyone!
  8. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2009
    He is fortunate to end up with you. Good luck with him and let us know what you name him! I always have fun picking out names for my ducks (they are all named with "V" names, Virgil, Victoria, Vada, Vanessa, Valora, Vivica and Valentina. Before that, I had Veronica, Vera, Vivian. Before that, Lila and Lucy.) Pics too when you can.
  9. Fleecy718

    Fleecy718 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 24, 2012
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    This is Arnold :) His foot already looks better and my females are warming up to him nicely! <3 Great addition to my flock. Can't wait for his babies in the spring!
    (PS! Notice how he doesn't have the drake feathers! Is this normal? He has the raspy drake voice, though.
  10. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Awww! He's cute!

    Sometimes they loose their drake feathers when molting, which is might be part of the reason he looked so bad when you got him. He also might not be blind, just not paying attention where he is going because of his nervousness.

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