Sick Domestic Duck, approx. 7 years old


Jan 14, 2016

I am just wondering if anyone knows anything about why one of my ducks is sick. Any help is greatly appreciated!

2 days ago we let our chickens and ducks out of the pen in the morning, gave the fresh water and filled up their food bowl. They were all fine!

We left for a couple of hours and when we came back, one of the 3 male ducks was unable to walk.

We have kept him away from the others since then, with water and food. We also gave him duck baths 3 times a day.

He has shown signs of improvement, but his health hasn't decreased either.

He can pull himself around on the ground, but still cannot walk. He is also missing feathers on his back and he has diarrhea.

He is drinking, but he is not eating what he usually does.

Please let me know if anything similar occurred to any of your ducks and any helpful tips for getting him healthy again!



Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
Just saw this - how is he now?

Missing feathers, unable to walk - sounds like perhaps a hawk took a swipe at him. Are you in the northern or southern hemisphere? I am asking because if it is winter, you won't need to be as worried about flies laying eggs in any wounds, but if summer, that's a concern.

I would get him into a tub of lukewarm water he can float in and look him over carefully. Under the wings, around the vent - look for any signs of injury.

There also could be more than one thing going on. I would have his stool checked for parasites or other pathogens - I can take a sample in to my vet and they run the tests - costs less than a checkup.

But if you can, get a good duck vet to look at him, that would be best.

Add some poultry vitamins with electrolytes and probiotics to his water twice a week for a while. That could give him a boost.

Those are my thoughts, please keep us posted.


Jan 14, 2016
Thank You Amiga, your response is very helpful!

Will keep you posted!

So far last night we took him to a regular vet, because our dog had to get an arthritis injection anyway. The vet didn't know what was going on, but couldn't find any bites or ticks. She gave us a protein food usually for dogs and cats to give to him four times a day. We have been following her instructions, but if no sign of improvement soon, we will go to a proper bird vet. Maybe they can give us those vitamins you talk about.

Thanks again for the help.

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