Hi Blogging Buddies!
I hope your week has started off well. Mine is improving.You'll see why.
In my post about the egg hatching you all might remember my story about Fiona. Well , I'm happy to report that she is doing well and is very spunky. (My daughter named her Fiona, I would have called her Tina as she's a real rocker at heart and kind of struts about the place. lol ) Anyway, in that post you may also recall that Fiona had a sibling who was hatched crippled.
This is the story of Mephibosheth.
I didn't go into detail about him/her before because I didn't expect him to live. He was hatched with still much of his yolk unabsorbed and so was attached to his cord and shell. Eyes closed and unresponsive. I came close to putting him down but in the end I didn't have the heart to.
I'm glad now because Mephibosheth is a fighter.
Have a look at those splayed and clubbed toes. Poor little blighter.
But this guy is a trooper. Just look where he's come from.(below) Mephibosheth is the duckling on the right still half in his shell.
Amazingly enough, he managed to absorb his yolk after about 12-18 hours and surprised me when I looked in the brooder and saw him on the other side of it. I asked my daughter "Did you move him?" "No!" He managed to crawl across the brooder on his own. I was flabbergasted! I figured that a duck that fights that strong deserves a second chance. I'm ashamed to say that I had given up on him too soon.
So! After much research, (isn't the internet wonderful!) I found that if you give a crippled bird pedialite and niacin (and some other vitamins) in its water it can help correct some leg issues if the leg issues were due to nutritional deficiencies.We don't know what caused his legs to be like this except that he was born late (but so was Fiona and she's fine).
Also, you can make a brace out of micropore or another First Aid tape to help support its legs and put them in a better position while they grow.
You can see the brace below. It just kinda lines the hips up. Before, Mephibosheth would crawl and his legs would be splayed out on either side, but with the brace on he can sit up a bit better and lay normally.
He may never be able to be truly "free". I.e. he may be in a pen for his entire life, but some who've raised a "special needs" duck say that a crippled duck can go on to live quite happy lives if well supervised and looked after.
By the way, peas are high in Niacin and ducks love them. :-) They can eat them at one day old if you mash them well. Yum Yum!
OK, so I know you're wondering why I name him Mephibosheth. LOL
As you know, I like to read my bible and the accounts about David are some of my favorites. Well, David's closest friend was Jonathan and when Jonathan was killed in battle, David asked if there was any one left of Jonathan's family that he could show special kindness to. As it turned out, Jonathan had one son who was lame in his feet from birth and his name was (you guessed it), Mephibosheth. :-) Its a beautiful account found in 2 Samuel chapter 9.
My daughter just calls him "Fibby" as she has trouble with Mephibosheth.
It is a mouthful but as in his upbringing we're just going to take it one bite at a time.
Hope you enjoyed seeing him and I'll post more pics as all the spring babies grow up.