Help with 4 week old duckling

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Vyctoria, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. Vyctoria

    Vyctoria Songster

    May 30, 2016
    Finger Lakes, NY
    I currently have three 4 week old ducklings, all female. A Rouen, a Buff, and a Welsh Harlequin. They've been doing pretty good except that I haven't been socializing them nearly as much as my last little batch of ducks because I never kept them in my room like I did the others. :(

    Just the past couple of days I noticed something funny about my WH though. Her feet almost seem to point in, like she's pigeon toed or something. I've been feeding a non-medicated chick starter by Nutrena and I usually crush up brewers yeast tablets and sprinkle it on their food, but I'll be the first to admit that I stopped doing that as frequently as I should since they've been bigger(life got away from me). I just put a bunch on and am going to be religous about it now, but is that usually caused by naicin deficiency or could it be a deformity? Is it something that can correct itself or will she always have trouble walking?

    Right now, she seems to get around for the most part, but she definitely steps on her own feet a lot and seems to just give up sometimes and lay down. I'm just so worried because my last WH died at 8 weeks for no reason and I got this second batch just to replace her because I've always wanted one. And now thats the one with issues, which I might have caused myself...

  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member 8 Years

    @Vyctoria You could try making duck shoes for her that would position her feet in the right direction, not say it will work but would be easy to make and I'd keep on with the Brewers yeast making sure it's not baking yeast or beer brewing yeast. 1 Tab to 1 cup of feed is sufficient. The Niacin will help strengthen her legs.

    Making ducks shoes take a piece of heavy duty card board or a plastic butter dish make and image of her feet on a piece of paper like you'd out line your hand then lay onto the card board or butter dish after cutting it so it lays straight. Put either tape of some kind or vet wrap to protect her feet then place the foot onto the shoe take vet wrap making sure it's snug but not tight enough to cut off circulation keep feet wrapped at least a week. She'll have to be kept where you can watch her and make sure she is getting around good but not swimming. Maybe just maybe this will help. Good feed will go along way in helping her too. At 4 weeks they need to go up to next feed for age or an all flock.
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  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners 8 Years

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I would also say take it easy - I would not try to correct the whole misalignment at once - I think that would hurt...but these are just my thoughts, I am not experienced with this.

    You might look at poultrypedia's poultry podiatry page - lots of details there.
  4. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Songster

    Jul 26, 2014
    Sounds like it's possibly a genetic issue. For example, alot of Pekins are pigeon-toed. Did you get this WH from the same place as the one that died? Maybe they have some genetic issues in their flock since it sounds like you were doing the right things for her as far as nutrition when she was young.

    At 4 weeks old I don't think it's likely you can fix this issue, to be honest. Foot and leg problems are much easier to fix when they are very young (within the first week of life). You might be able to prevent if from getting worse of course though. Can you post a pic of her feet (while standing) for us? Like Amiga said, Poultry Podiatry is a great site for helping to fix leg/foot issues. You might want to check that out here:

  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member 8 Years

    That's where I got the idea for the shoes I figure it might be worth a try since I don't think the shoes would cause any pain All she is doing is helping the duck walk better. any alignment even smallest amount might help. Alot of folks use them for crooked toes etc.
  6. Vyctoria

    Vyctoria Songster

    May 30, 2016
    Finger Lakes, NY
    I've gotten all of my ducks from Metzer. So far the WHs have been the only ones to have any issues. I'm actually considering trying to email them to let them know about it in case they have some bad genetics in the breeding stock.

    I'll try to get some pictures. She's difficult because she so skittish right now, but I'll do my best.

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