Splayed leg or something else?


Jul 27, 2019
This little one is almost 3 months, I bought her 11/6. It was clear from all the little brown scabs on the bottom of her feet and back of her knees (hocks I think) that she spent the first 2 months in a cage. Those have cleared up, but she is growing to fast, and is now having issues on my kitchen floor like a new hatchling would have. She cannot get traction and her feet are sliding out. This is new, she has not been sliding the past few weeks. I am increasing the niacin and vitamins, and cutting back protein, but in the meantime, can or should I hobble her with an athlete tape type brace to keep her legs from spreading like I would a hatchling? She is a Pekin, and I truly believe this is just because she is growing to fast. I am trying to prevent permanent damage, which is why I wasn't sure about hobbling. I'm open to suggestions to help her get grip too. I'm not sure how to make an athlete tape bootie without limiting movement and spread of foot.


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Ducks are not anatomically designed to be able to house on slippery flooring. If they are, they will develop splayed legs, sometimes their TMP joint will twist, as shown in your bird's left leg. This is not good, and if not corrected there will be permanent ligament and bone damage to the bird. She really needs to be moved off the hardwood flooring in general, onto something softer, with more traction. Laying towels, or puppy pee pads might work.

Vitamin supplementation would be good, specifically focus on B vitamins like niacin (B3). Ensure the bottle contains a decent amount of niacin also, at least above 50mg, and make sure the bottle is not labeled as flush free, or time-released. Letting her bathe in deep water at least once a day, will help at relieving pain in the legs, and preventing other problems related to lack of hygienic practices. If you have light for her on at night, turn them off, as that will help slow down growth which you don't want too much as of now.

Regarding implementing an external fixator device. Could you post a few more pictures of the legs, from different angles? Are you able to manipulate the legs back into the proper place without too much resistant?
There are blankets down, I had just been holding her, and I am not sitting on her blankets for obvious reasons. Most of my floor is covered for them. Her legs are not twisted, she likes to sleep with one or both kicked out like that. She has been doing that since I brought her home. But she has had no problem walking on the floor, up until the last day or so. She is a companion for my handicap duck, so she is doing what he is, laying down. And I believe her 2 month start in a cage didn't help. That combined with growing to quickly, I simply believe her leg muscles are weak. I am trying to get ahead of any problems. I just got a deep cooler out of our storage for swim therapy, and I am going to start taking her outside and basically keeping her moving around the yard too. I'm just trying to keep the legs from spreading. Please pardon the dirty belly we haven't had our morning bath.


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Thanks for the picture, the previous one is a little deceiving on how she's sitting, but it's apparent there is no twisting or splayed out a leg when she's standing. If you're seeing some leg weakness in her, that's most likely because she's deficient in niacin, which is very common for a bird her age, and breed. Hopefully, by administering B vitamins, making sure she's getting water therapy, and just the fact that she's in a better environment compared to her previous home you'll see improvement soon.
Thank you. That was why I didn't just want to splint up her legs if it wasn't needed. It was just me being cautious, trying to keep her feet under her. The first pic was meant to show how big she is for her age.

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