Tough Decisions- Seeking Opinions

natem1270

Chirping
Nov 11, 2019
68
140
71
Rhode Island
My Coop
My Coop
I've made a few posts on here about the escapade I went through when my three ducklings were shipped four months early. One of them (Moose) has a bad leg that wasn't caught early enough and the doctor was unable to set a cast or help. I'm kind of kicking myself watching old videos of the ducklings because I can see a slight hindrance in movement but it got progressively worse and I acted too late- hindsight is 20/20 I guess. It's gotten to the point where Moose's movement is very laborious and honestly a bit difficult to watch. He uses his wing heavily to stand up or move and spends most of the day sitting by the food and water. I had to separate him from his two brothers when I integrated them with my 5 other male ducks because I just knew that they would bully him endlessly (seen it before with even my healthy ducks).

I do the best I can. I built a second floor on our duck pen where Moose lives. I have quite a few outdoor pens so I have plenty of space to keep Moose and have him separated from others.. but I'm honestly not sure if I'm doing him any good. I pick him up every morning and bring him outside and place him near food and water. He tends to then move himself to the edge of the pen near chicken wire no matter where I put him and the food. He's been getting chafed wings from pushing against the wire and constantly supporting himself on his wing. I've been treating this with vetericyn spray. I also try to let him swim for as much time as possible- it's the only place he can really move naturally.

I got a female duck (Goose) in an attempt to make Moose's life better with the hopes that the female would be more docile and keep him company. Honestly, at this point, I'm starting to feel bad for Goose being alone with a crippled duck all day. I've been thinking of ways I could stop Moose from hurting his wing on the chicken wire but I'm starting to wonder if I'm ultimately doing him more damage then good by not putting him down. I was wondering if anyone has gone through something similar, or has any advice at all? I'm very attached to this duck... but ultimately I want to do what's best for him even if it's not the easiest decision for me. My only other thought is getting duck diapers and making him an indoor duck- but I'm gonna eventually have to stop working remotely so I have no idea what I would do then.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Personally I would put him down. I always think about quality of life and the big commitment that comes along with a special needs animal. Too many healthy animals in need of homes. Just my opinion and definitely do as you please.
 

natem1270

Chirping
Nov 11, 2019
68
140
71
Rhode Island
My Coop
My Coop
I know with injured dogs they rig up a kinda support system using little wheels, do you think it'd be phesable to do that with Moose here?
Yes, I have the specs on one actually. But at this point, I'm wondering if all of my work is really going to ever give him the quality of life worth keeping him alive. I'm more than happy to build or acquire anything he needs if I believe it's the right them for him
 

natem1270

Chirping
Nov 11, 2019
68
140
71
Rhode Island
My Coop
My Coop
Personally I would put him down. I always think about quality of life and the big commitment that comes along with a special needs animal. Too many healthy animals in need of homes. Just my opinion and definitely do as you please.
I appreciate the perspective, and it is a serious commitment to giving him any bit of a normal life (swimming, being outdoors, having others ducks for company). The time commitment is not my concern really, I'd do whatever he needs if it would give him a good life. I'm just not sure there's really anything I could ever do to make him live a healthy and enjoyable life.
 

Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
562
1,644
171
I had a Black Australorp rooster (called him Hoppy) years ago that had a broken leg upon arrival with thirty other chicks. He was quite spunky from the start and I just could not cull him. He persevered for two years finally succumbing to an infection in that bad leg. But in those two years he managed to get along well with his flock mates without any evidence of bullying, even from other roosters.
 

natem1270

Chirping
Nov 11, 2019
68
140
71
Rhode Island
My Coop
My Coop
I had a Black Australorp rooster (called him Hoppy) years ago that had a broken leg upon arrival with thirty other chicks. He was quite spunky from the start and I just could not cull him. He persevered for two years finally succumbing to an infection in that bad leg. But in those two years he managed to get along well with his flock mates without any evidence of bullying, even from other roosters.
That's an awesome story! Sadly, there's a lot of testosterone in my pen and I know for a fact it would not go well.
 

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