Splay Legged Duckling... To splint or not to splint

bootsandbeaks

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2017
32
9
29
Nevada
After three failed nests, I expected the same results from the fourth and final nest. I was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday when I found one of my Muscovy ducks with 11 ducklings! There was a 12th egg that she had kicked out of the nest. This egg was unzipping so I brought it up to the hatcher. Howie, the duckling hatched strong, but he has a moderate case of splayed legs.

With chicks, I have used a straw and hairband the encourage their legs to stay under them. However, chicks don't seem to be as talented at pulling their feet out as ducklings. I tried a bandaid, but he quickly pulled out of that as well. Howie seems to be pretty strong. Despite the legs, Howie is getting around the brooder very well. Today, I put him in water thinking that hydrotherapy may help. He did well for two 5 min supervised sessions (followed by a toweling and return to the warm brooder).

Will time and swimming sessions be enough to correct his legs or should they be splinted?
 

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Tenrec

Chirping
Apr 9, 2017
210
97
81
B vitamins (he may have been born deficient) and a good surface for traction with the brooder...I use towel for the first few days, long as it has no pulls or holes in it they can get their little legs/toes stuck in.

Splints are hard for ducks and geese, you're right. They're extra wiggly boogers. Vetwrap may work better for you, but it's not easy at any rate. Hydrotherapy will definitely help, but if you can get a splint to stay, it won't take long for it to fix that up.

Congrats on your hatch.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,635
12,052
957
The Big Island/Hawaii
Try PolyVisol w/out iron, 3 drops 3x day.....Works for chicks, it's a riboflavin deficiency. Instead of a splint what about a sling w/feet barely touching the ground, that way it can exercise yet not having it's full weight on feet/legs. Hydrotherapy should like a very good idea. Good luck
 

bootsandbeaks

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2017
32
9
29
Nevada
The little one is as straight as any of the other ducklings now!!!!! I ended up not being able to splint, but the swimming really seemed to help. I couldn't find any Poly-vi-sol without iron, so I have been dropping a Super B Complex in warm water until it dissolves and then mixing food in with that. The little one loves the soup. It's great to see her (maybe) running with her brooder mate. She's the grey one in the pict... I'm guessing that she'll be blue like her dad.
 

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Tenrec

Chirping
Apr 9, 2017
210
97
81
Excellent! I love happy endings. I've always found waterfowl much easier than chooks just because they can usually swim and figure out their muscles even if they can't walk on land.

She is SO cute.
 

bootsandbeaks

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2017
32
9
29
Nevada
They really seem to be. I did not want to brood any ducklings because I've always heard how messy and high maintenance they are, but these two have been easy. That could be because I have 40 chicks in brooders and I'm comparing them to two ducklings, but I am really enjoying the experience they are just so playful!!! Water therapy for splayed legs definitely seemed to make a huge difference quickly. I've had chicks that required splinting for a week or more even with heavy supplementing.
 
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