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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:06 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Hi,

I did look for a discussion thread but could not find one so hopefully the fabulous 'backyard family' can help.

Charlie is a rescue Pekin duck - a beautiful girl with a few problems - the worst being that she does not seem to have any oil in her coat. In summer it wasn't too much of a problem as the heat soon dried her out - with winter however she needs to be towel dried but this can only dry so much. She has a great appetite and seems happy enough - but does not mix so well with the others and seems to be a bit of a 'loner'. She does not swim with the others but 'bathes' herself instead - but she does not dry out. We have today separated her from the others as she was absolutely soaking wet and it was getting cold. Now she is in the garage with clean bedding and warmer surroundings.

Is there anything we can do to improve her coat & her quality of life? We hope so, as she has had a lousy start to life and we want her to live a happy and long life on our little farm.

thanks
Sandra


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:17 pm 
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Nifty Duck
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Poor duckie :( it sounds like wet feather. Here is a link with some info. Might be an idea to contact Chookster and see what happened in her case Cheers, Wendy
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5885&start=0

Edited to say: I also found this link which may be useful
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/v ... ?id=294673

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:35 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Thanks Wendy,

I will check out the thread and hopefully there is something we can do. She is a dear little thing and has been plagued with problems since we got her - I cried when I first saw her as she was in such terrible condition. We just want her to be happy and as healthy as we can get her.

I will check out the thread and keep you posted on how Charlie progresses. She is one of 18 Pekin ducks and the smallest - but she has attitude, so hopefully that will help with her latest hurdle in life.

thanks again

Sandra


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:40 pm 
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Nifty Duck
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Hi Sandra, her being a rescue duck and being in such bad shape when you got her is most definately behind the problem I think. She has got run down and depressed. Im so glad you have given her a good home. She is lucky to have you.
It would probably be a good idea to keep her separate from the others until she is back in tip top shape. Especially if you have drakes.
But saying that, I dont have alot of experience like some other people on this site and they may have different ideas.
Good luck and I hope she gets better soon.
Please keep us informed.
:grouphug:
Wendy

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Last edited by Duck Diva_73 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Phoenix
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Wet Feather
Written by Tim Daniels
Friday, 21 August 2009 18:01
Keeping ducks or geese is usually problem free although there is one problem commonly called 'wet feather' that can strike one or more of your birds. Waterfowl feathers are usually waterproof, this is to protect the bird against getting waterlogged whilst swimming. Ducks and Geese preen their feathers after bathing and cleaning themselves. There is a gland on the rump of the bird called the preen gland that produces the oil that waterproofs the feathers and during preening, this oil is combed over the feathers, waterproofing them.

Feathers have very small ‘hooks' on them called barbicelli that are interlocked by preening, giving the bird a protective layer to help repel water, we've all heard of the saying 'like water off a ducks back' and normally water is repelled and does just 'roll off'.

Ducklings or goslings can swim in water as day olds but are waterproofed by the mother from contact with her feathers. Remember waterfowl hatched in an incubator or by a broody hen that do not have a ‘mother' duck or goose to give them this waterproofing should be kept warm after a swim to dry off or they can catch a chill and die during their early days. Many people assume ducklings can swim from day-old and will be waterproof but without the mother giving them their waterproofing they soon get soaking wet.

It appears that there are a number of possible theories about the causes of wet feather and a number of different solutions to curing it, depending on who you talk to and which books you read. Some waterfowl breeders I have spoken to said there is no cure and birds with this condition should be culled.

The symptoms and possible solutions to wet featherWet feather is when the feathers of the bird are damp or wet, rather than having the usual glossy sheen. Feathers are basically water logged and absorb rather than repel water. Usually, it is the outer feathers and sometimes the flight feathers and the down that are affected. Birds become cold and will usually avoid the water, making the problems worse.

When feathers get muddy, wet feather can strike. It is thought that the mud strips the feathers of their oily protection and it becomes difficult for birds to re-oil them again. To prevent this occurring, try to keep birds away from muddy conditions. Sometimes new feather growth the next year will cure the problem but not always.

Ecto-parasites (those living in the feathers and on the skin) can cause over preening which in turn is thought to cause wet feather by the bird breaking down the interlocking barbicelli. Birds should be treated for the parasites
When birds are kept without sufficient water and then moved to a place with plenty of water, they can get wet feather. It appears that most birds will regain condition after a couple of weeks providing they are healthy.

Another cause of wet feather is when the preen gland is not producing sufficient oil. This can be caused by a poor diet. Wheat is recommended for most waterfowl as it provides essential vitamins B and E as well as the more standard maintenance pellets for waterfowl.
Remember provide clean water for bathing at all times and as much free range as possible so that birds can supplement their diet and hopefully you won't have any problems with wet feather.

http://poultrykeeper.com/waterfowl-duck ... ather.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:51 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Thanks Wendy and macl27,

Charlie is currently in the garage in a nice warm pen (she of course is not too happy about it). She is dry (and cranky) but she is not shivering anymore. We have inspected her and she does not seem to have any infestations thank goodness - but she has been playing a lot in the mud - she is obsessed by it - so maybe the mud may have stripped her coat or at least not helped.

Culling at this stage is not an option as I would rather try everything I can to give her the quality of life she deserves. I know I am a wimp, but she is a pet and I will do all I can to make her happier and healthier. I think we will keep her inside for a while and let her out onto the grass for recreation - just keep her away form the mud haven she loves so much.

I will try massaging the oil glands and give her lots of TLC and fatten her up a bit as she is not as heavy as all of the others. Hopefully all of this will make her a happier and healthier Charlie - ready to go into her new pen when it is ready.

thank you both for your help - it has all been a bit worrying and I didn't want to leave her like that as I thought that she would just get weaker.

I will keep you posted on how cheeky Charlie is going.

Sandra


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:56 am 
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Nifty Duck
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Hi Sandra, I would do exactly what you are doing. Culling wouldnt be an option for me either. I wish you all the best with Charlie. Please let us know how she goes.
Cheers, Wendy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:22 pm 
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Phoenix
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Okay maybe I should have elaborated more on this article which is quiet good I thought.
If you do get ducklings out that have this predisposition to water logging then you need to look at the parents and probably not breed with them as it can become a problem.
However in your case your pekin is most likely suffering from a poor diet in the past and this had lead to this problem I believe with a consant diet of all the good things Charlie will get over this problem. :)
Let us know how things go remember we love photos.


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