Ideas for a one legged duck


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
So Friday we snatched a beat up bedraggled duck from the park. It's foot is gone just past the bottom ankle joint. It has a nasty case of bumblefoot on it's remaining foot and the stump along with a lot of damage to it's neck and back from getting picked on. We are working with a vet who prescribed oral antibiotics, a painkiller, and topical cream.
Since she is on 30 day quarantine and pretty much hates people she is in a big dog kennel with soft towels in the living room.
The questions i have are...

The vet said I need duck specific food but all the feed stores say the duck/chicken food is the same?

How can i help her get oils back in her feathers?

Why on earth does she smell so bad?!? The vet said no swimming for a week but I've been putting her in a warm bath with a couple water changes so she can bathe. She smells rotten.

How can we improve the quality of her life?
She has trouble getting around and preening.

I'm thinking she will probably be an inside duck since bumblefoot is inevitable. I'm thinking as she gets used to us I'll get some duck diapers so she can hang out with everyone.

Any recommendations on taming her down? My arms are covered in cranky duck kisses. Is it safe to trim her wings a bit so when the escapes happen she's not flying around?
What kind of duck is this? What did the vet say about her overall health? Does she have enough weight on her?

If this is a wild duck, fat chance that she will ever become tame. I had an injured Gadwall Drake over the winter with a broken leg. (I'm a wildlife rehabber). He smelled horrible but it was because of the poo under him that he could not clean. Also, when birds are on their death bed, they smell really bad.

If a bird can fly, they can survive in the wild and will be a lot happier than being kept captive. If it is a wild duck that is.
Beyond the wounds and chronic foot problems the vet said it was in reasonable shape/health for the circumstance. Good pulse/temp etc.a little on the low side for weight.

It's a domestic duck. Not sure of the breed. Last summer someone dumped 9 of them at the lake. This is one of three that is still there.

It will not be released since that will be illegal. The vet called fish and game to make sure I could keep her legally. We knew it would be work to keep her.

Here is a pic from when we first brought her home.
Well, I guess you got yourself a Duck! Since she is a domestic then you won't have to worry about her flying much. I think your constant presences and knowing you are the one bringing her food, she will eventually calm down. I think the hardest part is going to be getting a diaper on her?

I feed my ducks and geese Dumor Starter Grower, or Grower Finisher depending on the age. The bag has pics of ducks. geese, and chickens on it, non-medicated. Yours would need the grower finisher. Bugs, and worms are good too.
Thanks. The feed I have is a starter/grower and I got a little bag of poultry conditioner that had extra vitamins and a higher fat/protein content to mix in. I'll try some worms for our evening go round.

She's cuddly after her bath because she's wet and cold. Any other time it's HISSSSSS.
I think you want LESS protein. Ducklings need a 20% protein for about 3-4 weeks then the protein needs to be lowered to about 15%. Anyone else out there, if I'm wrong, please correct me. I know that is how it is with the Geese and I was raising them on the same food as the Ducks. Too much (or too little) they will develop metabolic bone disease.
Thank you...I will ask vet Friday also about the protein. The last visit was an emergency this time it's with the actual avian vet
As far as the food goes, I've been feeding my ducks Purina Layena pellets without problem. Apparently it's for breeding birds, but there is not much variety and it was probably on sale when I got started. One of my 6 week old Welsh got beat up by an aggressive adult and couldn't walk and had some raw skin showing. I kept her separated from the flock for a couple days, but gave her the kiddie pool all to herself for a few hours at a time. She seemed to like it and I could see her moving around and moving her legs more in the pool than on the grass. I thought it was cool to watch TV with her on my lap until she dropped a hot, steamy, stinky turd on my lap and couch. She managed and healed up just fine in a large dog crate within view of the rest of the flock.

Ducks seem to heal pretty quick in the right environment and my little Welsh was back to normal within 3 days.

Good luck,
Wow, she really was in rough shape when you got her. I can actually understand people releasing ducks, as mine are natural foragers and I feel like they would be happy in the wild... however they are happy with me and are somewhat dependent so I wouldn't... but its not like abandoning a dog (they don't have as much instinct and are generally underweight if on their own)... That being said POOR DUCK!

I wonder what happened to her, she looks horrid. I have seen/heard of a couple 1 legged ducks and they did just fine! There are also a few people who have their ducks indoors in diapers.
Thanks for the replies. I think a combo of the one leg, bumblefoot, and mating season got her down. All the feathers on her back are gone and there's some pretty bad bruising that is healing.

Her last vet visit the vet said she was doing great. Her feathers are looking better too. This round we are doing a fecal exam and hopefully she'll be cleared to go outside.

Yesterday she decided she was done in the tub and left a trail of water and poo back to her kennel. The is a relief.. now I can just medicate, dry off, and we don't have to argue over being carried back.

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