I'm looking on some information on wry tail, in ducks. There is almost nothing about it anywhere that I search so I'm hoping people who raise ducks may have had some experience with it and can tell me about it.
A little background: we hatched 11 ducks from a friend's hatching eggs two years ago. They all had the same father, a Pekin drake, but they had two different mothers: a cayuga and a pekin. We have 6 cayuga-crosses hatch, and 5 pekins. One of our pekins was born with wry tail, two others didn't make it, and two more were males that we culled last year because they were beating too much on the females.
The one with wry tail was named Gimpy. He was a male and would get picked on by the two pekin males. The cayuga drake never bothered him and he got along with the females fine. His tail was off to the right side, and there was two twists in his spine: one bulged out to the right near his neck and curved back to the normal area, and then curved again to the right down below. He had trouble walking and would often injure his feet and legs. He could not get in the pool to swim and was very defensive and bit us when we tried to help, so he'd often have foam near his eyes. He died last spring, from apparent heart failure.
My best guess is that wry tail is a genetic problem. Most likely, recessive, or there would be a lot more information about it. If that's the case, it's likely his mother and father were both carriers of the gene, which means all of our ducks might be carriers because of them having the same father.
We are not planning on breeding our ducks, although a friend asked if we would be willing to give her some fertilized eggs from our ducks so she could raise them - I said it would be a bad idea because her ducklings may hatch with wry tail.
Anyone have more information on it? Or seen it first hand and might be able to offer what kind of genetic nature it has? None of our other pekins had it. The two ducklings who died were healthy, just didn't thrive. The female pekin we have left is also healthy. Maybe it is more common in male ducks, making it a sex-linked trait (carried on the X chromosome given by the mother, not the father, which would mean our cayugas aren't carriers).
Also, for those who aren't familiar with wry tail: is it a (usually considered) genetic deformity that causes an abanormal twist, curve, or bulge in the spine that presents itself as a tail curved off to one side. It has varying severities, from ducks being almost unaffected by it, to ducks being completely incapable of walking. In the middle ground on both ends are ducks who walk with a limp or a severe limping gait. In Gimpy's case, it was a severe limp and his spine moved with each step he took with his right like (his spine twisted to the right). Most breeders will cull ducks who display the trait and the parents that duck was born to in order to 'breed it out of the gene pool'.
Not to be confused with scoliosis which also effects ducks - most commonly Pekins.
Edit: I forgot birds have opposite genetics as us, with the males by homozygous (such as XX) and females being heterozygous (such as XY). So switch those words around a bit..
Edited by arrowti - 4/21/16 at 6:33am