Injured Duckling

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SnIPpY, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. SnIPpY

    SnIPpY New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Nov 26, 2013
    Hi everyone

    Last week I rescued a whole bunch of ducklings from a storm drain, but two of them were injured. The vet helped the one and it is now fine, but the other's leg is completely out of position and it seems uncomfortable.

    The vet did want to put him/her down, but I asked him not to since I did not want to raise the other one without a companion.

    Both ducklings are eating and drinking fine now and they do seem quite happy to be with us.

    So is there any advice you can give me on the state of chopper's (yes, that is the name) leg?



    [​IMG]




    And another question, they keep bobbing their heads every now and then for a while and for the life of me i cannot figure out why. They do not seems hungry/thirsty/swimmy or anything. So what is that and why do they do it?


    Please help me take care of Franky and Chopper! (They are very dirty in this photo!)
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,984
    1,959
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Bravo for the rescue!

    I would let Chopper in some water just deep enough to float in - watch closely and don't leave them alone in water yet.

    How does the leg move? If it has normal or near normal range of motion, It may just be a pull and muscle weakness.

    I would get them on poultry vitamins, twice a week, and add 100 mg of niacin per gallon of drinking water for two months. Leg issues may be related to niacin deficiency.

    The ducklings need to be on a no-slip surface. If they are on newspaper or tile, that is a problem, and old towels or shavings (as long as they don't like to eat them) are better.

    Take a look at https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

    Welcome to the Forum!

    The problem appears to me to be spraddle leg, and making little hobbles to hold the legs in the proper position is recommended in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks (well worth the investment). I also like The Ultimate Pet Duck Guidebook.

    You can use yarn or fabric, something soft, with loops around the legs (not too tight), and connected with a piece the correct width, to keep the legs closer together.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,126
    5,910
    701
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,984
    1,959
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Oh, thank you, Miss Lydia!!!! A picture is worth a thousand words!
     
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,479
    62
    233
    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Awww, hopefully the leg problem is just a sprain. I wanted to guess at the head bobbing. It's a form of communication. I know adults do it to initiate mating, but it also can mean "let's go this way" or "hurry up". Or, it could mean "I love (or care) about you" or they could just be excited. I'm mostly guessing and am not sure.

    Shorebirds do it, too, and it usually indicates nervousness. I've been told that head bobbing in shorebirds is a way that they observe something closely, but I don't think that's the same with ducks.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. SnIPpY

    SnIPpY New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Nov 26, 2013
    Thanx for the advice everyone!

    The injury is from the rescue (or rather time stranded), since a thorn went into the foot of Chopper and twisted his/her leg.

    I have a shallow container in which I let them splash around for now. Franky dips and dives and swims under water, but chopper does not go under completely. He does seem to enjoy the water though. I know they are not supposed to swim alone yet (or probably at all) without their mother, but I do help with the drying afterwards and I keep them warm and all that.

    Chopper's leg seems broken or unhinged in the socket (or knee), but he seems to not mind it too much. He lets me touch it and press a little ( very lightly) but as I am no expert, I cannot feel anything wrong, except that it is at an odd angle.

    I the previous photo I posted you can see the resting angle of his leg.

    Good news though, he eats and plays and does the "fun chirping" a lot!


    I am in South Africa btw, so I do not think there are actually duck specialists around to which I can go for help.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,126
    5,910
    701
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Did you try making him a hobble to keep his leg at the right angle? and I don't know if you intend to keep these lil ones but most likely the injured one won't ever be able to be on his own he wouldn't last a day with his leg messed up.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,984
    1,959
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Sounds like he needs a brace as well as a hobble. Something flexible but stiff, with no splinters or sharp edges.
     
  9. SnIPpY

    SnIPpY New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Nov 26, 2013
    I do intend to keep the little guys yes :)

    I have a nice garden and pond where they will be able to live in peace.

    I will look into the idea of a hobble, but he does seem to be able to move around quite a bit on the one leg. He seems to have adapted quite quickly to use the odd leg for balance and such!

    He is a strong little oak, so I believe he will be fine^^
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,126
    5,910
    701
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Good to hear your able to keep him, and sounds like they will have the perfect place to live with a garden and pond.

    What the hobble will do is keep the leg in alignment in case there is still a chance it could heal normally, maybe worth a try.
    Please keep us updated on them and love the avatar.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by