PLEASE HELP!! Duck seems really skinny :-(

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GertiesMommy, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. GertiesMommy

    GertiesMommy In the Brooder

    Mar 29, 2015
    I have a 6 month old female Welsh Harlequin who has an issue with one of her legs so she only uses one. I have noticed that her sternum seems to stick out quite a lot and she seems skinny to me. She was definitely the runt of the liter because she is a lot smaller than her brother and sister. If she is too skinny what can I feed her to help her gain some weight. She eats purina flock raiser right now and I give her veggies every other day. But she doesn't seem to really care for veggies or fruit. PLEASE HELP ME
  2. jducour

    jducour Songster

    Mar 14, 2015
    Has she been checked for worms or other parasites? That can be a cause of a duck being under weight. Do you know how well she is eating? Does she have trouble getting to her food because of her leg? Some treat ideas to help fatten her up - mealworms - aka duck crack! Boiled chopped potatoes, boiled chopped eggs with the shell. I know there are more high calorie treats, my mind is tired right now :) How is her overall health? Bright eyes, shiny feathers? Healthy feet?
    1 person likes this.
  3. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    West Chester, PA, USA
    I'm going to tag a couple of people on this who are great with medical issues and concerns. Until you hear back from someone else, remember that small for breed isn't a problem unless the duck is malnourished. Yours does sound from your description like it might be malnourished, and that could be a sign of parasites like @jducour said. She also might not be eating well for some other reason. Do you know what happened to her leg? Can you post some pics?

  4. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Songster

    Jul 26, 2014
    I have a special needs duck with a bad leg as well. She started hatching from her egg at the wrong end and ended up getting herself stuck. I had to assist her the rest of the way and she made it just fine, but she's had problems with one of her legs ever since. I believe it's from the odd position she was in inside of her egg, but at any rate she is a year old now and on pain meds in case she is in any pain. She gets around very well but is very thin, like yours. Much thinner than my other ducks, which gets worse when she molts (which is right now for her). To fatten her up a bit at these times I make sure to give her lots of her favorite treats that also have extra protein/fat (snails and corn are like duck crack to her and they help alot). We have a HUGE snail/slug problem here in Sweden, so it's quite easy to take my ducks out foraging on snails, but if you don't have that luxury then things like mealworms or crickets would be good to get for your duck. Hard-boiled egg is good as well, and always a favorite with my ducks. I've never known any duck that didn't like corn, so that is also a good thing to add to her diet to fatten her up a little.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Orca5094 has some good advice.

    If she were mine, I would send a fecal sample to a vet so they could have it analyzed for parasites. If you can find a good duck vet, that's best - but often not possible.

    If she has parasites, you can treat for that. Worming medicine is sold over the counter at feed stores. And dosing information is available either on the label, from the manufacturer, or even here.

    In any case, I would start giving her poultry vitamins with probiotics in her water once a week (available at feed stores), and add a tablespoon of good quality dry cat food to her diet once every few days, and maybe a teaspoon of coconut oil in her food each day, too. If she likes peas, try giving her a couple of tablespoons of them each day. I give my broodies several tablespoons of peas daily because they just don't eat enough and can lose some weight sitting on the nest to much.

    One person here found that her duck was not eating much - then discovered she had a piece of metal stuck to the roof of her bill. So think about whether she may have a bill injury or something like that - good to rule out.
  6. GertiesMommy

    GertiesMommy In the Brooder

    Mar 29, 2015
    Hi all! Thank you so much for responding. She went to the vet a few months ago and she was worm free, that was maybe 2 months ago. She has a slipped tendon on her right leg so that is why she can't use it. She is a very happy go lucky duck so I never felt the need to give up on her and put her down. I'm going to start giving her more protein like a lot of you said and hopefully that will help. I do have to assist her with most everything she does which I do not mind. I actually just bought her little shoes for her one foot so it will give her more cushion.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015

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