Pekin Duckling born with head split open

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TennesseeTruly, May 21, 2010.

  1. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    The title pretty much says it all. Early this morning I had this Pekin duckling hatch and at first I thought that it had burned itself on the heating element of the incubator and that's why there was blood and the head was split. But I've been paying attention to it all day long and it seems as though it was actually born this way.

    There seemed to be some swelling with fluid earlier but the fluid is now gone. It hasn't started to eat or drink yet but that's normal for a few hour old duckling. Its getting around okay and actually right now I have it down my shirt.

    I'm not sure what to do. I don't think I can put it in with the other ducklings because with its head open like this, they'll surely pick on it. And with me being a sucker for a sob story, I don't want to put the baby down if I don't have to.

    Has anyone else seen this before?? Outcome?

  2. LilDucky85

    LilDucky85 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2009
    Northern, Illinois
    Ive heard that ducklings with two crested parents can have heads like this, or even where the brain forms on the outside. It looks like there is one long feather which makes me wonder if it is crested. Do you know who the parents were?
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Is that the skull I see? OMG poor little duckling. Yes you need to separate it from the others, and you should stitch it up. Best is to see a vet. You can use nylon thread and soak it in hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria. Make sure it is dry before you use it on the duck. I would put in a couple of knots, which you can later cut and pull out. Cover with antibiotic cream over the area and hope for the best. To get him started, dip the beak and some water and offer a food mash.
    Good luck,
  4. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    Sure do and none of them are crested. I have the parents here. Who knows if the parents carry the crested genes but they're dormant, you know? I just feel so badly for this little one.

  5. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    Quote:Yes, that's the skull. And unfortunately, the skull isn't complete. The more that I look at this little one the more I'm sure that it was probably was crested. It almost looks like hydroencephally. There was fluid and upon hatching, it burst.

    I just want to put it in a padded brooder and keep it protected.

  6. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    The skull can still grow and fix itself. It is more important to get the skin closed up. No guarantee that it will make it, and some may just suggest to cull it. I, personally, would try to fix it and then leave it up to mother nature. I wish you good luck,
  7. nissa_loves_cats

    nissa_loves_cats Chillin' With My Peeps

    Poor duckling! I hope it will recover, but if it doesn't at least it will know you cared.
  8. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    So sad to have something so otherwise perfect still make it to hatch but with such a bad deformity. Sounds like he has some fight in him to get this far- Hope with some extra attention he will pull through for you.... I have had more than my fair share of deformed ducklings hatch- and Its always so hard to know what is the best thing to do. I always give them a chance and do everything I can for them. Sewing up the head at this stage may be too traumatic for one so small and fragile still But if you wait too long to try to cover the skull the skin may not be able to be stretched. [​IMG] and a wish for a good recovery go to you both.
  9. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    There's not enough skin to stitch him up. I've looked him over and over and being retired from the medical field both my husband and I agreed that there's not enough skin to pull together.

    Right now he's in a brooder with a stuffed duckling and he seems to be doing okay. He's eating and drinking normally.

    I have some neosporin on his head. I tried to cover his head but that didn't work. Somewhere I think I have some "fake skin" that I had to use when I had my accident. I'm sure I didn't throw it away because it was so expensive. Anyway, I'm going to dig through some boxes in my barn tomorrow and see if I can find it to cover the opening in his head.

    My entire right side of my face was ripped off and I had huge holes in my forehead and face where I had to use this fake skin.

    Anyway, we're going to keep his brooder as clean as possible and just do what we can for him.

  10. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    Oh my...did that fake skin heal it all up...or do you still have wounds on your face...that sounds like a terrible accident [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by