Help please .... 2 month old duckling with broken leg :-(


10 Years
Nov 23, 2009
Orange Grove, TX
I have an august hatchling with a broken left leg right at the "ankle". The bone has not broke the skin, but is extremely swollen and bruised on the inside. The little one is eating and drinking and I put it in a cage to keep predators away and to not have it running around (it RAN from me ... not so much on the broken leg .... more hopped). It is definately broken, and unable to "set" it as it feels to be in the joint.

Is there anything that I can give for pain or anything else you could suggest to do for the little one? Thank you
How do you know it's broken?

The anti-inflammatory pain reliever our vet gave us for our goose (note, not a duck) was 0.27 mls of Metacam Suspension one time per day for five days. We were a bit reluctant to use it based on this wiki article:, but did anyway. It worked. She's still a hobbler, but it enabled her to use the leg while on the pond which in turn helped her strengthen it. In all likely hood her leg was broken and healed before we realized it wasn't anything more than a sprain, however she would probably be walking as good as new if we had taken her to the vet immediately.
This is one of the worst things that can happen. The chances of healing are almost non existing. Even if you can set it and wont heal. Duck legs are just not build well. Vets either amputate or put a pin into the bone. In the case of an amputation they tend to leave a stump so the duck gets some usage. Inserting a pin is extremely expensive, and is usually done in show or breeder ducks of value. Ducks can live with one leg quite nicely. Pain meds can be given, but that encourage the use of the broken leg. It's a tough one, and I don't want to be in your boots. Perhaps you can have a free phone consultation with a rehaber in a bird sanctuary or an avian vet. That way you can make an informed decision.
Is Metacam and Meloxicam the same thing? i'm thinking they are two different medications. My vet has prescribed Metacam for my cats and chickens when they have had pain issues. It seems to relieve pain without making them groggy.

Can you get your duck into a vet?
I know that some will think this sounds aweful - but we raise our animals for production (meat/eggs). I am already into this duckling 11.00 - and am not willing to pay a 45.00 vet fee for the vet to look at it.

I was a vet nurse for 8 years and I am 100.00 positive, by minipulation that the leg is broke - no question there.

I had heard that you could give ducks aspirin - is that correct?
Cornish stew on the menu for this weekend ... course it is a little thing - so not much there. I just feel bad that if it can live a "productive life" (Not sure if male or female) if now is a good time to butcher or wait till it is 6 months....
I wouldn't let it suffer until it's 6mths old, if you are going to do it, do it now. I wouldn't put it through the suffering for that extra meat, the pain might become so bad that it won't want to eat as much and not gain the weight you hope it to be. So IMHO I'd put an end to it's suffering. If you are a vet tech/assistant then you know about letting animals go while they still have their dignity left, even if it's for a meal.
Sure do - I am a totally advocate for not suffering - that is why I am asking the opinions on healing vs. butchering now vs. waiting on butchering as these are my first birds - and we don't get trained on chickens/ducks/geese in the clinics / schooling. Now I have worked on parrots and what not before - but not anything like this

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