Thursday, March 4, 2010

This boot is made for walk'n

Isn't she stylish?!

That's my girl! Ms Chatty, sporting the latest in designer, veterinary duds. The turquoise boot. Whoo-hoo, work it, girlfriend!

Chatty has been hiding for a few days. Tucking herself under bushes, making herself scarce. I thought she was just getting broody. It IS spring, after all. And then I saw her walking around yesterday afternoon, limping. Oh, no! What did she get into? I caught her (when my ducks don't run away from me, I know there is a problem) and checked her out. She had a huge lump on one foot. Huge being a relative term, more like the size of a pea. Obviously bothering her.

I call the vet we use. They don't see ducks, but give me the number of another vet. They don't see ducks either, but they give me the number of a vet. You see where this is going? I end up calling MULTIPLE vets before finding one. (There are all these ad's of vets in the phone book with pictures in their ads of birds, and yet they don't see birds. Isn't that false advertising?!) I make an appointment for today.

Poor girl hasn't been handled this much EVER. Hasn't been in a car since the day I brought her home as a duckling. I think she is traumatized. From the sounds of it, it's like a calluses that is infected, since there is so much pressure there, it can't heal and got infected. The vet lanced it, and made her a "boot" to relieve the pressure for a few days to give it a chance to heal. That and antibiotics for seven days, twice a day (yea me! I get to catch a duck and force pills down her throat. Does it get any better?).

This also was an opportunity for me to pick the vet's brain about food (well, since I was THERE I should ask!) and bedding for the pen (replacing it with sand this weekend to spare their little tootsies from further trauma).

All this for eggs?! No....I'll admit it. They have officially moved to the realm of pets. OUTDOOR pets, but pets, nonetheless. Pets that I get eggs from, but pets.

Word from the vet: gravel is too hard on their webbed feet to use in their pen. I didn't want dirt or concrete (in our wet climate, it makes for mud and stink in the summer. Disgusting!). Her recommendation was several inches of sand, and then to use a leaf rake once a week to remove the droppings, and hose it down every few months. Replenish the sand as needed when it gets low. Plus, if the ducks do eat it, it should pass safely through their system. So, that's the word from the vet. Passing it on to other duck lovers out there!


  1. Wow I can't imagine pilling a duck twice a day! Go you!

  2. It's actually not that tough. Call me surprised! We put the sand down last night. The ducks LOVE the sand. This morning, when I let them out, they were all happy and running around in the pen. I had to shoo them to get them out. I guess it IS softer on their tootsies!