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Tiny duckling, possible injured leg

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by localife, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. localife

    localife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 10 nine day old Welsh Harlequin ducklings, nine of which are growing like kudzu, and one who is about half the size of everyone else. She seems perfectly healthy and active, just really small. This afternoon, after a swim (she is the bravest of all of them, and LOVES the water -- she'd apparently stay in indefinitely if I let her) she hopped out of the water basin and turned up just a moment later unsteady on her feet, tipping to one side like her leg was hurt. She got herself to the heat lamp with everyone else and I let her rest there and checked on her frequently. Later when everyone got up to eat, she was able to move around a bit better and get up onto the feeding platform, but she still favors one leg. I'm guessing she either got stepped on by one of her bigger siblings in the rush for the heat lamp after the swim, or she hurt it a bit as she got out of the basin, but wanted to get thoughts/advice to avoid my newbie observations from missing something important. So....do you think it's best to just watch and see if it continues to improve? I know with my chickens they can recover from practically any injury with a bit of rest, but this is my first time with ducks. I know ducks are more prone to leg injuries and issues -- they do get Brewer's yeast in their feed, and they are housed on shavings -- so if there's anything I should look out for, please let me know! Thanks!
     
  2. Sambi89

    Sambi89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know pretty little about ducks but I betcha she over extended her leg getting out. It's probably going to be better in a day or two. I would watch it and if it gets worse separate her out. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  3. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Forgive me, my eyes aren't so good and so I can't read big ol' text walls. How is she holding the leg? Can she put any weight on it at all? Is it bent at an angle, tucked underneath her, or does it stick out to the side?

    If you think it may be a serious injury, take her to the vet to get x-rayed. Yes, they can do it on babies that tiny! :p I'm generally not a fan of "wait and see" because if it's broken or the tendon is damaged, it needs to be set immediately, and it is VERY painful for the bird!

    I mean, if the issue is worrisome enough for you to make a thread about it here, chances are you probably would be better off asking a professional.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    If you can upload a video, that would help. I see Amykins point - at this age, leg injuries could be serious. At the same time, it may be something minor - we cannot know for sure.

    You could try making a little Epsom salt compress (1 tablespoon Epsom salt in half a cup of warm water, soak a clean rag, wring it out halfway) and wrap the leg for a few minutes - but if she's a real wiggle worm that could cause its own problems.

    Or you could carefully hold her so that her legs are dangling into the E.s. solution for a few minutes.

    Don't let her drink it - it is a laxative.

    You may want to watch closely and if it seems she might become more injured by her siblings, divide the brooder so that they can see each other but have her separated from contact.

    See how she's doing in the a.m.
     
  5. localife

    localife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all your input. She's doing much better with just a bit of rest. It's curious, though how tiny she is compared to her siblings. She's every bit as active, is eating, drinking, swims like a champ -- she's just half the size of everyone else...
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Elf was like that - took her about nine months to catch up to everybody.
     
  7. localife

    localife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, Swimmy is having trouble again, and it is looking like it may be the result of being stepped on so much by her siblings who are getting quite large and rambunctious (she is still small and calm). I separated her from the others -- she's in a box in the brooder, but has a clear door so that she can see everyone else and they can see her. She seems pretty stressed being kept away from the others, and some of the others seem stressed by it too.

    My question is, would you, from your own experience with ducks (I realize that there is no absolute and definitive answer) put one of her siblings in with her, at the risk of her being stepped on by that one, or keep her apart (she's been separated since last night). When she is able to rest without being squashed, she seems to recover well. Basically I am trying to find a balance between everyone's stress level and her recovery and strengthening....
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    There are a few ducks who are good buddies for keeping an injured one company. See if you can identify one or two of those in your flock and monitor for a bit
     
  9. Sambi89

    Sambi89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say the same as the comment above. Try to find the calmest of your flock and put that one maybe two in there with her.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  10. localife

    localife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks -- there's one who seem especially concerned, always resting by the door near her, who is also the next smallest of the bunch. I'll see how she does in with Swimmy. Thanks for your input!
     

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