Please help my weird duck Tiny


5 Years
Aug 9, 2014
Western Washington
We have four three month old mallards and one of them is kind of "special." I call him Tiny because he is smaller than the other ducks. Just a few days ago I noticed that Tiny and one other duck were boy's, and the other two were girls. He used to be a normal chick until up until he was a week old. About a week after Tiny and his friends hatched we thought it might be nice to let them learn to swim in the pool. (All our ducklings live outside with their mama duck who hatched them in the coop). I let their mama duck show them the pool and went to do something for about 5 minutes because I knew she would keep them safe! (She used to attack my face when I checked on them in the coop). When I came back I noticed that Tiny and one of his friends had got stuck in the pool and couldn't get out. Every time I tried to get them out their mama duck would attack me. Soon I got one out but couldn't get Tiny. I went inside and switched duckling duty with somebody. They got all the ducklings back in the coop, (or they thought they did) and I came back outside to count the ducklings and their were only 3. I knew that their was one that was not there. Just then I heard a peeping sound and Tiny was laying on the mud a little ways behind the pool with his head stuck under a stick, he was soaking wet, freezing cold, and muddy. I took him inside and dried his feathers of with a towel, and held him under a heat lamp. After about an hour he looked fine so I put him back with his friends. A few day later we went on a trip for about two days and had a friend feed and water all our animals. When we got back was when we noticed something wrong with Tiny. He looked like something had attacked him, one side of his face had got scraped and one of his knees had a small scratch on it. We took him inside, and I put him in a dog crate with some food and water under a heat lamp and put some antibiotics on his scrapes. I noticed that when he tried to walk he would lay on the floor of the carrier and flap with his tiny wings. We raised inside separate inside until he was strong enough to go outside in his carrier. A while after that he got to live in a enclose pen with his friends and then he got moved to a run with his friends. It took a long time but eventually he learned to stand and barely walk. These were the stages of working up to walking for Tiny, nothing, pulling himself around by his beak, scooting on his knees, standing, and now barely walking. It is clear that we have to keep him and he can't live on his own. Does anyone know what could be a good companion for a duck? We don't want more ducks but are planning on keeping the second boy duck. Also does anyone know what is wrong with Tiny?
Solveig was dropped when she was a duckling and showed signs of bad stability. For about 2 months or so could not stand on one leg/to scratch her face with out falling. Once she got out side to get some exercise and walk around she got better.

I don't think he's 'special'. Sounds like he just needs more time to strengthen his leg muscles and he's making good progress. Make sure you keep an eye on his weigh based on his breed so's not to cause strain on his legs. Swimming is good exercise if he can't feel the bottom. Make sure to keep an eye on the other drake. You might have problems and you might not depends on their personality. They could end up BF's.

A bunny could be a good companion or chickens. Silkies, Sebright and old English game hens are calm, smart and friendly.
That a good idea, we currently moved him in with our Silkie and Cochin chickens named Sweetie and Pumpkin. They are doing good but they look kind of confused.

Chickens can really hurt a small duckling so I'd be very watchful. Some of my hens go after adult ducks but they have learned to stay clear of them. and they are not penned together.
Pumpkin the Cochin is now friends with him. They are about his size and are very calm. We were careful to put only the nicest chickens in a run with him for that reason but I know some of our chickens wouldn't be friendly!
Yes, the chickens are a better choice as friends given the current status. Another male will lead to a problem later on when they become territorial. It sounds like your little friend suffered some nerve damaging the neck area which supplies the nerves to the wings and feet/legs. This is not a "stroke" situation, but it is similar, as the little fella must gain motor control over his wings and feet at a slow, but steady rate. Hopefully as he grows in size, there will be less compression on the nerves in the neck area due to elongation.

You are handling him just fine. Keep up the swim program and just watch for him in the colder months, as navigating on frozen ground might be difficult. I would probably set up a safe room in the house just in case. Don't forget: animals keep warm by moving around, so if his movement is restricted, then his core temp will drop faster and lower then a normal duck.

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