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Spraddle leg in ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by xuhcoatl, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. xuhcoatl

    xuhcoatl Out Of The Brooder

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    So I have 3 baby magpie/blue swedish ducklings that were hatched today. The day they were supposed to hatch our incubator fell off the table :( everyone hatched okay and is eating and drinking. They were all born with spraddle leg and one figured out how to fix it himself, he's walking and seems fine but the runt and the other one can't correct themselves. And they take all the braces I put on them off.
    I was wondering what are tricks to keep the braces on? And if not corrected would it be possible for them to live? I would be home enough that I can make sure they get food and water and such But would it be worth it for the baby? They can get around fairly easy by walking on the back of the legs but the runt has one leg that seems to not straighten, almost like it's easier for her to get around with the leg out.
    But any help is appreciated please and thank you:)
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    @xuhcoatl

    Supplementing with B complex vitamins can really help leg issues, the sooner the better.

    What are they walking on? Does it give them good grip?

    What is their feed?

    B complex vitamins can be found in brewer's yeast . Not baking yeast, not wine making yeast, brewer's yeast. Members here generally add a tablespoon yeast per cup of food.

    You could also get B Complex capsules and using the B3 as a guide, add 100 to 150 mg of B3 (niacin) per gallon of drinking water.

    Continue the supplementation for 10 to 12 weeks, from what I have read.

    Regarding the hobbles - have you seen the suggestions from Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks and poultrypedia's poultry podiatry page?


    @Orca5094 @casportpony @needlessjunk
     
  3. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are they now? You absolutely must fix this issue right away or they will not be able to walk properly as adults, and maybe end up with very deformed legs. These problems are usually very easily fixed if done as soon as possible and while they are very young. Can you post pics of their legs?

    What have you been using to make the hobbles/braces? I use bandaging tape so that it sticks well enough to their legs (can't be pulled off by them if kept dry), but is also easy enough to remove a few days later without causing damage to their skin. You can also try vet wrap, but in my experience it doesn't stay on as well and they just slip it off sometimes.

    Here is the Poultry Podiatry site that Amiga mentioned. It is great for showing how to fix various leg issues in ducks and other poultry:

    https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia.com/poultrypedia/poultry-podiatry

    Also, like Amiga said, it is very important to have them on a surface that is not slippery. Newspaper or something like that is not appropriate and will cause these kinds of leg issues. I keep ducklings on old towels for the first few days of life (until they are eating well and know what food is), then I switch to wood shavings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  4. xuhcoatl

    xuhcoatl Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll try to get pics of the legs, the one seems completely fine today but the other two are still a little bad. They're only 24 hours old. I tried the bandage trick but the ba y kept rolling over onto her back and kicking her legs around til it came off and I didn't wanna hurt her
     
  5. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, it's great that they are so young. Very easy to fix in most cases. They'll just need their legs taped ("hobbled") for a few days and that should do the trick. After those few days you'll want to take the tape off and see how the legs look. Ducklings grow very fast, so you don't want to leave them taped more than 3 days at a time (so that you can adjust the length of the tape between their legs as they grow). Occasionally they might need to be taped again for another few days, all depends on how they look when you take the tape off the first time.

    They WILL struggle and flop around at first with the legs taped, but they should figure it out after awhile and adjust to it. Just be sure there is no water they could flop into and drown or get too wet and chilled. Chick waterers work well for very young ducklings, or a small plastic container with a lid that has a hole cut into it just big enough for them to get their heads in to drink and clear out their nares. This keeps their brooder dryer and also prevents them from getting themselves wet or falling in.
     
  6. xuhcoatl

    xuhcoatl Out Of The Brooder

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    sorry i took forever to reply.
    they actually have been walking, the runt seems to have issues still but she walks, the runt was the last to hatch but seems the most under developed. we have a runt silkie baby in with them along with a normal sized silkie baby, they were smaller then them the first day and growing quick, theyre already larger then them except the runt. shes the same size as the runt silkie, she can walk but tends to drag her feet instead of lifting them. they figured out how to correct it themselves apparently, but i still feel like i should help the runt, do you have any suggestions? any help is very much appreciated as this is the first bunch of ducks ive hatched

    heres a picture of the little guys too :)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    this last pic is the runt sleeping in my hand, i call her forest (my nick name is forest nymph since im tiny compared to my family and pretty much everyone else) she worries me because she struggled holding her head up, shes getting better tho
     
  7. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those are some adorable little ducklings! So colorful! :)

    Glad to hear they have straightened out their leg issues. Sounds like it was just the normal curled in legs/feet that ducklings typically have their first day of life then. Just from being inside their egg, but it fixes itsself pretty quickly.

    As for the little runt...some ducks are just smaller than others, but it most often means (in my experience) there is something wrong with the duckling (liver, kidneys, etc). Sometimes they make it just fine and are just a little smaller than their siblings, but sometimes they do not make it. I would just make sure that little one is eating well (not being bullied by the others) and keep adding extra vitamins in their water to help give it a boost.
     
  8. xuhcoatl

    xuhcoatl Out Of The Brooder

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    alrighty and thank you! ill keep an eye on her. she eats and drinks fine just has trouble keeping up with the others. were gonna try to itroduce them to the mom but im not sure how that will work, our drakes real aggressive and doesnt even let the chickens near her, hes suppppper protective over her
     
  9. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she did not hatch them out herself, she will not accept them. She will have no idea they are hers. Ducks have to go through the process of incubating and hatching the ducklings out themselves, otherwise they will see them as outsiders and likely attack. If you do decide to do a very careful intro to mom to see what she does, definitely make sure the drake is locked out. Drakes are known to kill ducklings. Females can injure or kill them as well, so be very very careful if you decide to try it. I would advise against it, though.
     
  10. xuhcoatl

    xuhcoatl Out Of The Brooder

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    alright thank you, and we are gonna let her sit on her own eggs but its been really weird temps out, goes from like 10 degrees to 70 in the course of 3 days, she likes to force the smaller chickens to under her and sits on them she thinks theyre her babies even tho they met threw the fence in the coop separating the chickens from the ducks, we introduced her to the two magpies that are 4 weeks and she wanted to swim with them but the drake kept chasing them away so she couldnt get to them
     

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