Limping duck now not eating

Dotty Duck

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 20, 2013
SW France
Hello everybody

A couple of weeks ago I noticed my duck had a limp. I checked her leg and made sure there was nothing obviously wrong, she didn't seem to be in pain. It has got really bad now and she just sits in the same place all day. I put water and food right in front of her but now she has stopped eating and is hardly drinking. Her head is tipping to one side now too - she is so weak.

I live in rural France and vets are not really sympathetic to poultry so I am trying to avoid that if at all possible.

Has anybody got any suggestions. I'm getting desperate ............


One possibility is a systemic infection. That would require antibiotics right away, and I am not a vet so I cannot give you expert advice on that.

I can tell you that here in the U.S., feed stores carry a variety of antibiotics. And there are some we can only get with a prescription (Baytril, for example).

Another is overmating. Are there drakes who are constantly at her? She needs to be separated from them.

Sometimes being egg bound can cause limping, and can lead to life-threatening problems such as peritonitis. If there is an egg stuck in her, that needs to come out, and she likely needs antibiotics.

Is the leg warm at all? Do her feces look normal?

I would get her into a lukewarm tub of water and let her float for a bit. Is she tail-pumping?

Let us know if you can get antibiotics.

Or, if by some miracle you can find a sympathetic vet.
Hello and thank you for your quick reply.

I can get liquid sulfa from the vet and poultry vitamins at our feed store.

There is a drake (who is huge) who has been visiting my garden for a few months now and he does pick on her - I have been trying to keep him away. For the last few days I have had her in a pen of her own and bring her into my house at night - there are 4 other girls in the duck house.

When she was younger (2 years ago) she had a broken egg which, with the help of a friend I was able to remove and that's how I know about the sulfa being available. I have had a good gentle feel around and there doesn't seem to be any sign of a broken egg.

2 days ago I had her on a tub of warm water but she just wanted to get out - of all my ducks she swims least. Not sure what tail-pumping is but she doesn't seem to be doing anything different. She was able to stand on her good leg and support herself with the other one. I havn't noticed any difference in temperature.

Dotty, she may have sustained serious injuries from that drake. Keep her away from him, and I would try the antibiotics in case, for example, the mating has caused a tear in her tissues and released bacteria in to her bloodstream, causing peritonitis.

The limping could well be a pinched nerve or damaged muscle from the drake.
Thank you so much - I have her in her own little pen and will keep her that way. Off to buy some treatment. Will let you know how it goes and will try to keep him away from my other girls too.


Thank you ........

I've managed to feed her the sulfa and water. Having kept her in a small pen and away from the others for a couple of days she seems much brighter - hopefully it's not just wishful thinking - she's now tucked up in my dining room so we'll see what tomorrow brings ............
Well the good news is she's not any worse today but when I went to let the other girls out one of them was as dead as a dodo - the very last thing I expected to find. Now panicking that there is something bad going on.
Not really but I am convinced she might have eaten some poison. There have been an increased number of rats around and on further inspection up the lane from our house, the farmer has penned his chickens in (they normally roam all over the place). She used to leave my garden for most of the day and go off with the semi-wild drake - who incidentally is fine.

The other girls who never leave my garden are all absolutely fine - I was just so shaken this morning and hit panic mode.


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