Runner duckling can't walk properly


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 20, 2011
Hi, I had 3 runner duck eggs to hatch in an incubator, the first 1 hatched on the due day Friday, the other 2 I helped out on Sunday morning, I know your not supposed to, but it seemed they had been there too long as they internally pipped the same time as the other 1, and I didn't want them to die in the egg (this is the first time I have hatched eggs, so this is all new to me) The one late duckling is eating and drinking fine with the others but he walks like a penguin, he shuffles around on his elbows and seems reluctant to stand on his feet, he can use his legs as I have seen him scratching his face, (is this something I have done? should I have left them alone to hatch themselves?) is there something I can do to help him or will he get stronger by himself? PLEASE HELP:/
Congratulations on the new babies- but sorry to hear you have some trouble with one of them.

Can you check to see if the legs will move into a straight position from the hock joints??
Hi, im trying to upload some pic but not sure how to do it??? I can straighten his legs, he doesnt seem in any pain, just seems like he is unsure how his legs work! if that makes sense?



he also doesnt seem to know how to splay out his toes, but he can do it as i have seem him.
please excuse my use of words, not sure of the right terms to use.

I have read somewhere that a little bit of swimming may help in warm water, do you think this will help?
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What a little cutie!!!!Thats good that they can straighten- I was worried it may be a slipped tendon or hock dislocation. I have also seen some ducklings with hip issues - but he doesnt look like any of them. Usually by the time they are all fluffed up like that they are also getting around ok- maybe a bit wobbly. He may just need some more time to gain some strength in his legs. Have you compared how they look to the other ducklings legs?? I am still just thinking about ruling out a slipped tendon- you can see it going down the back of the hock joint. If the legs look the same as the other ducklings- it may just be a matter of waiting another day to see how he goes.
Swimming may help- but with him being just so young- you can only put him in water for a few minutes at a time. Warm water as you said - and make sure you dry him off well after before putting him back into a warm brooder so he doesnt chill.
His legs look the same as the others, I think I will wait another day and see what he is like tomorrow, then maybe give him a little swim. Thanks for the advice, I will update tomorrow with his progress.

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