Splayed leg prevent swimming?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 11, 2012
I recently assisted hatching a Muscovy duckling (now 5 days old). He came out with wry neck and splayed leg. But he's eating like a champ (meal worms, scrambled eggs, starter crumble, etc.) and very vocal. A fighter! I've been giving him somewhat successfully polyvisol drops to hopefully correct these problems.

My question is will he ever be able to swim if the splayed leg doesn't correct itself? Another hatched yesterday and I introduced both to a sink of very warm water. The newborn took to it immediatley, paddled, etc. The one with splayed leg just couldn't get it and needed rescue almost. I've thought about tying a piece of yarn between the legs but he's very wiggly right now. On carpet he walks okay, but as expected on anything slick, he can't walk very well at all.

So, anyone with experience of splayed leg and/or wry neck Muscovy ducklings, I'd love to hear your advice.
Why don't you correct the splayed leg yourself with a bandaid or some other kind of tape. Just tape its legs closer together. The bones with then fuse into that position instead of the splayed leg position.
I'm not sure how tape would work. The duck still needs to be able to walk. I saw string tying the legs close together, I'm just unable to do that right now. I'll try again tonight.
Yea the whole walking thing while trying to fix splayed leg is kind of hard. But that is the only way to fix it. You need to somehow pull the legs closer together so whatever works for you.
If I were to "tape" the legs together, how long would the duckling have to have them together before the problem started to correct itself? It can walk just fine on carpet and grass, obviously not on smooth surfaces and definitely can't swim yet...
Depends on the severity and age. It could be from a couple days to a couple weeks. This can only be fixed within the first week or two after birth. By then the bones and legs have probably set already.

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