The last two times that I’ve gotten a duck/chick from an outside source, the toes have been broken. My first was a Buff Orpington chick that had her middle toe broken and facing a different direction when we got her in the mail. We straightened it the best we could with a Q-Tip and some vet wrap. Within a few days her toe was healed and we haven’t had a problem since.
Unfortunately that was just to give me a little bit of experience for the horrible foot I’d find on a duckling last week when we brought it home. My husband and I bought some Indian Runners and when we were taking them out of the box we noticed that one had severely broken toes. Not only had they been broken, but they were curled underneath it’s foot. We named her/him Curly.
The toes were sore and red (obviously) and the baby peeped uncomfortably as we fixed it up. I used a thin piece of cardboard cut in a circle. I placed a thin strip of vet wrap around it first to give Curly a little grip and then placed the foot flat on the board. The toes were growing wrong and if it had just been the toes I would have tried to fix them so that they would grow straight too but between the foot being curled and the toes, it was nearly impossible to fix them both. I chose to fix the bigger evil and make it so Curly could at least walk for the rest of her life.
I changed this bandage every day for 5 days and when I took it off for good, I kept a close eye to make sure that her foot didn’t start to curl back under again. The foot did heal flat so that she can run around with the rest of them and even though her toes are still gnarly looking, she can keep up with everyone else – there’s not even any limp in her walk.
Curly will always need to be watched to make sure she doesn’t get into anything she can’t get out of, but she has such a large personality that she’s going to be loved on like crazy to make up for her ugly toes!