Rough navels, mushy chicks and omphalitis


10 Years
Apr 11, 2009
The last 3 hatchlings in my last hatch had a bit of a rough time of it...humidity went too high, then shrink wrapping when I tried to sort it out. Anyway, the long and short of it is 1 had omphalitis - about a pea sized bulge that I tried to get to go back in but it wouldn't fit. I sprayed it with the antiseptic spray and now at 3 days old its still there. I had presumed I'd need to cull him but he is running about peeping away like the rest. Is there any chance it will resolve itself as he grows or should I cull him?

Now the other 2 have I think its called rough navels. There is a scabby, crusty bit on their navels. I was under the impression it would fall off after a day or two but its still there now. Is it just like a human umbilical cord stump and will fall off in a week or so, or is it likely to be a problem for them?
I'm keeping their brooder super clean to prevent infection.


10 Years
Jul 26, 2009
I definitely wouldn't cull the one at this point. If he walks, eats, drinks I would just keep him clean as possible and see what happens.

I have used powdered antibiotics, either tetracycline or streptomyacin, as a topical treatment on this type of issue to prevent infection. You can get them at farm supplies or pet supply stores very cheaply. But, over the counter triple antibiotic cream or ointment from the drugstore would work just fine, too, and you could also dust with medicated first aid powder after the antibiotic cream or ointment. After a few weeks the feathers come in and you no longer have to do this.

Essentially, this bird has an umbilical hernia. Now, when this happens in people, the vast majority of the time they go through life just fine without it ever being a problem. I suspect there is a pretty high probability the same would be true for this duck, and odds are, as it grows, the problem would most likely resolve itself.

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