Below is a list of issues/problems that commonly occur with Muscovy Ducks & also tips on how to deal with or treat them.
(I will add as new things come to mind or as i have to deal with them.)
Wet Feather is a condition commonly characterized by "raggedy" or "torn-up"-looking feathers and also an inability to repel water. Wet Feather is one of the most common problems I have seen & experienced with Muscovy Ducks. It is easily fixable by providing the birds with plenty of clean water to bathe in and a clean, dry living area. Black Oil Sunflower Seeds(BOSS) are also a very good supplement to help restore oil production & make the feathers healthier & more waterproof. Wet Feather
There are many things that can cause this condition:
- Birds not being allowed adequate amounts of water & suddenly encountering wet situations.
- Muddy/dirty living area, dirt gets into the feathers and strips important oils & vitamins from them.
- Parasite infestations (can also be worsened by not having access to bath water).
- Preen/Oil Gland Problems.
Anemia (Iron Deficiency) Anemia is characterized by loss of color in the Caruncles(red mask around the face). If a Muscovy Ducks is anemic, it's caruncles will become pale & in extreme cases, orange in color. Muscovies that are not on proper diets or allowed to free range are most susceptible to this condition. This problem is easily corrected by allowing the bird(s) to free range, feeding greens & acceptable scraps as often as possible. Wet dog/cat food can also be given to birds suffering from anemia. I feed my own flock 2cups of dry dog food, as a treat, once a day to help prevent this issue.
Foamy Eye Foamy Eye is just what it sounds like, excessive foaming in the ducks eye. This problem is more common in Drakes, probably due to them having more caruncling than hens, but there's no way to really be sure. It is most commonly caused by lack of bathing & injury to the eye but it can also be brought on by stress & sudden changes in the weather. It is more common in Winter because some ducks bathe less or have less access to bath water during that time. Foamy eye is usually easily fixed by providing clean bath water for the bird(s) & making sure they bathe well.
In some cases, Foamy Eye can be a sign of underlying Illness or Disease. If the bird is not having any other obvious problems such as wheezing, runny nose, coughing or being lethargic then there is probably no cause for concern.
Angel Wing Angel Wing is Very obvious in mature birds and is quite displeasing to see. Angel Wing is when the feathers at the ends of the wings grow up & outward instead of in the same direction as the other feathers, against the body. It can be caused by too much Protein or Genetics. It IS fixable if the affected bird is treated at a young age. It is not fixable after the bird is fully grown.
Because I have never personally dealt with bad Angel Wing, I will suggest you search this website for information on how to correct it with bandaging. There are many very helpful threads on here with good instructions. Much thanks to the awesome BYC'ers!
Less Common Health Problems: Some things I have personally dealt with but are not so common with this breed of duck.
Bumblefoot is a Staph infection in the sole/pads of a ducks feet(this also affects chickens & other poultry). It is commonly characterized by a round-ish dark scab on the sole of the foot and in more sever cases, a large lump or "bumble", as some people call it, underneath the scab. It is best to treat Bumblefoot as soon as possible and as safely as possible, because it is Staph and is quite contagious to humans as well. Bumblefoot is fairly easy to treat if caught early but it does require opening up the scab on the birds foot & removing the "core" or "kernel" inside, this is the root of the infection. People go about doing this procedure in different ways so for now, I will provide some links to helpful websites with info on how to treat it. Bumblefoot
- Staph Ear infection I have dealt with this problem in two of my juvenile Muscovies. It presented as a large, whitish-yellow plug in their ears. They had no other physical symptoms or problems besides the ears being plugged & a bit of squinting on the affected side. It did take me a while to figure out what the cause of this problem was, due to lack of info online, but eventually i figured it out and my birds are both back to good ear health again.
To cure this problem I had to physically remove the visible hardened puss from the ear canals. For this, I used a pair of blunt, round-tipped tweezers so that it was easier for me to open the ear a bit and get a better look. After removing all the visible hard puss, I mixed 1TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar to 1/4Cup of water and used a plastic syringe to squirt the vinegar water into the ears to dissolve any softer or liquid puss I may have missed with the tweezers. The vinegar water also really helps to dry the area up and keeps new puss from forming so quickly.
For antibiotics, I had to visit my Vet to pick up some Baytril(this can also be bought online). My drake weighed about 7lbs at the time so I gave him 1/2cc of Baytril orally 2x's a day for 5 days. My hen that was also affected weighted only about 3lbs and only got 1/4cc on the same schedule. I noticed really good improvement within the first couple days and when i checked their ears on the 5th day they were all clear.