Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Gertrude

After yesterday's visit to the wolf sanctuary with Bess, we came home to deal with another problem.

Gertrude has also begun to show signs of a prolapsed oviduct. Since I've only begun to notice this and it is not in such an advanced stage as Bess, we will attempt to treat this. After doing a lot of research, here's what I did:

First, I set Gertrude into a tub of lukewarm water with epsom salts and held her there for about 10 minutes in our shed, which was shielded from wind and the other ducks. Then, with Tim's help, he held her down on a table covered with a towel, while I attempted to push the outward area back in. With a gloved hand, I first massaged the area with a mixture of coconut oil and honey. (If I'd had some Preparation H, I would have used it.) Then, I pushed the protruding area inside her body, with more of the coconut oil mixture. I massaged around a bit to see if there was an egg that needed to be expelled. If there was an egg in process, I don't believe it was formed yet--there was nothing like a hard shell. Gertrude stayed amazingly calm and allowed us to do this. I've gotta say, the part that had been exposed was a bit crusty. Hopefully, now inside her body it will stay put and soften up.

After this we put her into a small section of the duck house, and blocked all light except one small vent opening for ventilation. She will stay here for a day or two, at least. The darkness should keep her from laying eggs, and the separation should keep her still, and away from the drake. While in the duckhouse, she's being given water with some calcium dissolved into it, some chopped spinach and a mixture of hen scratch, whole oats and a little of the layer feed. I'm too far away from any stores to go buy non-layer feed, and I'm using what I have on hand.  I'll take a look at her later today to see if her body parts are still inside.  If not, I may have to repeat the procedure above.

This treatment is based on the articles HERE and HERE, in addition to a few forum comments, David Holderread's "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks", Rick & Gail Luttmann's "Ducks & Geese in Your Backyard", and Lisa Steele's "Duck Eggs Daily."

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