Muscovy duckling suddenly can't walk

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FL Zoo Mom, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. FL Zoo Mom

    FL Zoo Mom Just Hatched

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Hi all, I read this page a lot but up until now I've never needed to ask a question because I've always been able to find the answer.

    First off, I'm very much a novice when it comes to ducks and the ducks that I do kind of take care of are feral/neighborhood muscovy ducks. Momma brought her ducklings around several weeks ago and at that time they were probably only a couple days old. I live on a canal with a seawall and if the ducklings fall in they can't get back out so I've rescued the ducklings from the canal twice and given them back to their Momma. I'm emotionally invested in the ducklings at this point.

    Anyway, I've had Momma and her four ducklings around for a little while and today when I went outside to let my cat in for the night and let my dog out for the last time I could hear one of her ducklings crying so I grabbed a flashlight and went to investigate. One of the ducklings can't walk now and I have no idea why. I picked him up and Momma got upset with me and hit me a few times. I set him down in the grass and tried to check to see if he was obviously injured and Momma stayed right there with me I guess to make sure I didn't try to take off with him again. He doesn't appear to be injured and earlier today he was walking around just fine. This probably sounds silly but I talked to Momma and told her that her baby can't walk and I want to see if I can help him. She settled down and watched me look him over. After I talked to her for a minute or two she let me pick him up to take him in the house while she went to rejoin her other ducklings (note: I have no idea if this is a male or female). Her other three ducklings appear just fine.

    I was reading some of the other threads where people have stated that it could be a niacin or other vitamin deficiency. I'm on a fixed income and don't have the money right now to take him to the vet, if we even have a vet in this area that would see me. Muscovy ducks in this area are considered an invasive species (yet protected) so I can't get help from the wildlife rehab places, either. At any rate, I'd like to help him if I can, and I'd have to guess that having him in the house where I can monitor him is better than being outside and being left when morning comes as Momma and her other ducklings start looking for food.

    Right now I have him in my bathtub wrapped in a towel. He quieted right down when I wrapped him up. Tomorrow I'll go out in search of brewer's yeast and whatever else you all recommend to try to help him.

    If anyone has any other information that might be helpful I'm all ears.

    Here's a picture of Momma and her babies that I took just a couple days ago to give an idea of age. I give them a little food once a day, but I don't feed them enough to where they don't have to go out and forage on their own. Besides, the drake (who I call Mister) eats most of it. He chases Momma and babies away whenever food is around.

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