Poor Mallard...Look at her feet, yikes!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by azhenhouse, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    I recently acquired this Mallard duck who was housed with two Pekin drakes. She is a year old, and is pretty beat up. She is very, very, very small. My five week old Welsh Harlequins are bigger than her. She is missing a lot of feathers which is probably a combination of going through a molt, and the drakes. I am sure that with a proper diet, etc. they will grow back. My concern are her feet. They are in bad shape, and I am not sure what to do for them. She seems to lose her balance quite easily. When she is preening herself, in or out of the water, she falls over. She didn't have access to any type of bathing water, just drinking water. Her temporary home is my bathtub. On one end I have a box with pine shavings for her to nest in, and on the other end is a medium size rubbermaid container that I filled with water. She spent all day in the container of water, and I am glad. She smelled really bad, yuk! Anyway, back to her feet. I have on hand some VetRX, baby oil, and antibiotic ointment. Can I use any of these or is there something else I need to get? If I use any of these can she swim in the water or do I need to take the water away? Do I just leave her feet alone? What caused the damage to her feet? Was it the ground coverage she was raised on? Lack of nutrients? Scaly mites? Do ducks get scaly mites? I need help with this one. Thx


    Oh, we named her Mallerie.

    Edited to say: I brought her home yesterday, and this morning I found an egg. It is the same color that my Easter Egger hens lay, but smaller.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  2. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    Good for you for rescuing Mallerie. I bet that being able to swim and being away from the drakes is a huge relief for her. Poor little sausage!!

    I really am a total duck newbie but I would expect that simply being in a dry environment (no bathing water) and on a rough surface is enough to do that to her feet. I would guess that the best initial treatment for her feet is to be on a non-abrasive surface (that she can still grip onto) and to have access to bathing water. So - exactly what you are doing now, except I am wondering if the bath surface is a little slippery and that's perhaps contributing to her falling over? Maybe see if you can put down a towel or even that 'non slip' stuff you put under rugs. I can see in the pic that you have something down there already - you are the best judge of whether the surface provides enough grip. The bathing water should help her feather condition as well. The fact that she looks so saturated in the pic shows that she has not bathed in a long time....she has no protective oil spread over her feathers. Bathing is essential for good feather condition as we know! Until she develops better feather protection and 'oils up' a bit she might need drying off with a towel.

    I'm sure that under your care she will soon be looking magnificent.

    I'm also sure that other more experienced people will have advice on whether or not to use any medications. [​IMG]

    edited to spell her name right!
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    I am wondering if maybe there may be some kind of fungal problem with her feet. You may need to get a vet to look at them to work out exactly what it is- so the correct treatment can be given She really does look like she can do with plenty of TLC. She could benefit from adding some vitamins to her drinking water for a while until she has recovered a bit. She is lucky to have you looking out for her now.
  4. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Poor thing, you can see how rough she looks.
  5. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    Obviously, she has had no human contact. She hisses at me every time I come around. [​IMG] Good thing she can't fly or she would be all over my bathroom. She doesn't seem to mind too much being alone. Probably a nice break for her being away from the Pekins. As soon as she is all healed, and not a moment before, she will go out with my other ducks. I wonder though, will my Crested drake be too big for her? He is the size of a Cayuga, but is light in weight.

    She has already been for a swim this morning, and didn't even wake me up that is how quiet she is. I do add vitamins to her water, duckyfromoz, luckily when I ordered my Harlequins from Metzers Farms I order a poultry vitamin pack with them. Glad I did [​IMG]

    Thanks for the responses.
  6. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Aww, poor thing. I'm glad you're taking care of her. Mallards sometimes will lay kinda a green egg sometimes.
  7. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    By all means, keep her away from all males for a good time until she recovers.

    The feet almost look like they were "toasted". Never seen that before. Give her all your attention and feed her well including peas as a treat. She is definitely a poster child for abuse. [​IMG]
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Well done on rescuing her. This is a perfect example of what too many drakes and neglect can do to a hen. I would suggest letting her have a good swim every day and then moving her to a dry clean environment. I'd also go to TSC or a similar company and get a fungicide for use on dogs/horses. I would treat her feet twice daily with this product. Good luck with her rehabilitation. If possible, I would hold off until the end of the "heavy" breeding season to introduce her to your flock. She's suffered enough abuse for a while.
  9. The Duck ABC's

    The Duck ABC's Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    It's hard to make out her feet in the picture, or the detail of it. My guess is also fungal, but it can be just because of the conditions she had been in. Bathing is a good thing and it may even take care of her feet. You can try some foot cream for fungal infections, the human kind, and see that happens in the next couple of days. Try to bribe her with treats so she gains trust.
  10. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    With use of a fungal cream, can she swim in the water? I don't want it to be toxic to her by coming off of her feet and transferring into the water.

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