Duck Losing Balance Falling Over

Ducks, our beloved waterfowls, are known for their graceful movements and quick dives into the water. However, they are also notorious for their tendency to fall over without warning. This waddling and falling over is a common behavior among ducks, and it has caused much concern among bird lovers and duck owners.

But what is the most common cause of ducks falling over? Wobbly duck syndrome explains it. An inner ear infection causes this disorder, also known as avian vestibular sickness. The inner ear loses balance when diseased, causing the duck to topple over.

Domesticated ducks are especially susceptible to wobbly duck syndrome, which spreads swiftly. Falling, head tilting, and waddling are symptoms. Ducks may recover on their own if these symptoms are mild. However, severe instances may require a vet to help fix this duck disease.

Reasons why Duck Losing Balance

You can help unsteady ducks in several ways. First, keep the duck clean and stress-free. This will help the duck heal faster and reduce infection risk. The duck needs a balanced diet and clean water.

In our guide, you can learn more about why your poultry ducks or waterfowl have this infection. By the end, you’ll see all about why your ducklings fall over and what you need to do to maintain a healthy poultry duck’s body. (Read Can Chickens Eat Split Peas)

Why is my duck falling over?

Most likely, you’re concerned and apprehensive about the welfare of your pet. Unintentional pun aside, here are some reasons pet owners fret about their lame duck.

1. Foot Injury

Duck feet may be painful or swollen, and your duck may fall over if it tries to minimize its movement or keep weight off the injury due to discomfort. Flying and landing might injure elderly ducks, and ducklings could have stood on something in the past week, and now it is showing. Such instances of standing on something are more evident in heavier duck breeds.

Note: Be careful when grabbing your duck by the leg when searching for injury, and keep them under your arm so it can’t flap its wings. Get the duck to a vet if you wonder whether the leg is fractured or dislocated.

2. Niacin Deficiency symptoms in ducks?

Your young ducklings can be vulnerable to vitamin deficiencies like any other animal. Niacin deficiency affects ducklings to adult ducks and can cause nerve pain in the legs. Symptoms are your duck is falling over for no apparent reason.

This symptom is sometimes referred to as bow legs, and to prevent this niacin deficiency, give your baby duck supplements or what is better known as Vitamin B3.

3. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is a parasite disease that can spread quickly from animals to people. While there are many other signs of toxoplasmosis, one of them is incoordination, or being a duck that keeps falling over. Other symptoms include weight loss, white diarrhea, decreased egg production, and blindness.

It is a terrible illness that frequently transmits from cats to ducks. Your duck may be in danger, so be sure to take them to the vet immediately if you even have the remotest suspicion that toxoplasmosis is causing them to stumble.

4. Duck Parvovirus

Parvovirus in puppies is harmful; however, another type of parvovirus also affects ducks. Parvovirus may impair your duck’s ability to walk, causing it to trip and keep repeating.

Duck skeletal dysplasia may occasionally be caused by duck parvovirus infection. Take your duck to the vet right away for treatment if you think of parvovirus.

5. Botulism

Another common cause of ducks losing balance and falling over is clostridium botulinum, a highly toxic bacterium that can infect the nervous system of birds. Soil bacteria find botulism toxin. Rotting carcasses, rotten feed, and more when birds and animals eat. These bacteria release very strong botulism disease that can affect all ducklings, adult birds, animals, and humans.

Symptoms of this infection include difficulty walking, standing water, and eventually, of course, paralysis. This disease often spreads through contaminated food or water and can affect ducks and other birds, such as chickens and turkeys. (Read Can Chickens Eat Christmas Trees)

To prevent the spread of this disease, it’s essential to keep your duck yard and watering areas clean and to isolate any infected birds from the rest of the flock. Paralysis can affect muscles, one left, left foot, both feet, wings, or the neck and head. All these can make your duck weak or unbalanced, so it can’t walk, eat its feed, walk, or even swim.

It is best to clean every morning; your birds will be fine for the day.

6. Viral Hepatitis

It’s infectious. Rats and other rodents carry it, which ducks can spread to infect a flock. A duck with viral hepatitis may develop liver lesions and die unexpectedly. Your duck may have viral hepatitis if it is despondent, falling over, and arching its back. Without treatment, your duck’s liver health and body condition will gradually worsen.

This virus may persist in ducks despite treatment. To prevent the sickness from spreading, isolate away from other ducks while they recuperate. A female duck could face exposure if they sit eggs or nursing ducking, and rats are around their nests looking for feed.

7. Bumblefoot

Bumblefoot might be unpleasant and make your duck keep falling over. Abscesses can form under a duck’s footpad if the ground is dry. This abscess becomes callous. Bumblefoot is the most common in heavier ducks. Duck foot abscesses can be pressed to remove the pus before removing the core. Wash and bactericide the duck’s feet.

Clean their food and watering areas to prevent bumblefoot. To avoid compacting their yard, herd them to different places.

Treating Ducks from broken legs

Treating Ducks That are Losing Balance and Falling Over

Several reasons a duck may fall over, including illness and injury. Common duck diseases that can cause balance issues include niacin deficiency, botulism, and leg problems.

It is essential to know the signs we have seen above and below and how you can help avoid these diseases without too much intervention from the local vet.

1. Feed a Balanced Diet

If your duck is losing balance and falling over, the first step in treating them is to provide them with a balanced diet that includes all the necessary nutrients; even then, if they have no appetite, it could be a sign of something else.

This includes a source of niacin and vitamins A, D, and E, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin, feathers, and eyes. You can also add supplements to your duck’s diet, such as olive oil or brewer’s yeast, to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

2. Keep a Clean Environment

Another critical step in treating ducks that are losing balance and falling over is to keep their environment clean. This includes removing standing water, cleaning their living area, and providing fresh food and water daily. Keeping the site well-ventilated is also essential to prevent the spreading diseases and infections.

Take Duck to a Vet

It’s time to take your duck to the vet if they lose their balance and trip over despite a balanced food and a clean habitat. The vet will be able to identify the underlying cause of the problem and administer the proper treatment, which may involve antibiotics or other drugs.

Pet Duck Falling Over Overview

Even if your duck lacks appetite, it can have more impact on its body than if it was your cat or dog. Here’s an overview of the above information, and we can hope it is enough to help get your duck back to total health.

1. Niacin Deficiency:

Ducks require niacin, often known as vitamin B3, for good health. Niacin deficiency can cause a number of symptoms, such as weakness, trouble walking, and weight loss. A paralyzed duck may make it difficult for the affected duck to walk or stand.

2. Botulism:

The bacteria Clostridium botulinum is the source of the extremely toxic disease known as botulism. This disease paralyzes and makes it difficult for birds to walk, including ducks. Ducks who have botulism have difficulty standing, eating, and drinking.

Duck Broken Legs

3. Duck’s Legs:

Ducks are known for having powerful legs and webbed feet, which help them to swim quite well. A duck may experience balance problems and difficulty walking if it has an affected leg. The duck can have problems standing and appears to have a weak leg that is infected and sore.

4. Duck Yard:

Their balance and general health may be impacted by the environment in which your ducks live. As standing water can store bacteria and parasites that can cause illness, ensure their duck yard is tidy and devoid.

5. Food and Feeding:

Your ducks’ food and feeding practices may also have an effect on their health. Make sure they have access to fresh water and a well-balanced diet that includes foods like brewer’s yeast and sunflower seeds that are high in protein and vitamins. (Learn How Long Do Ducks Sleep)


Although a duck falling over can be worrying, with the proper care and attention, you can assist your pet duck in getting back to normal and on its feet.

Maintaining your ducks’ health and happiness requires regular veterinary exams, necessary food, and a clean living space. To ensure your pet receives the best care possible if you have problems with your duck, seek veterinary help as soon as possible.

Duck Losing Balance Falling Over

Scroll to Top