Angel Wing Help.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Sep 7, 2010
My Cayuga (female) has an Angel Wing. At first i thought that her feathers are coming out..due to the fact that the feathers are rolled up in a white layer..but when ever i touch it..she used to quack as if in pain. I googled it and found out that the poor baby is suffering from an angel wing.

How do i treat her?

she is not that old, she was born on august 16th 2010. so she is about a month +..

is there any medication? what am i supposed to do?? Please help.
First of all reduce the protein to 16-17% and perhaps cut a little bit back on the feed overall. Second there is no medication that can be given to fix it. Still it can be fixed, but it does take a little bit of work doing. Go to the feedstore or the vet and buy several rolls off vet wrap. They are about 2 dollars per roll and you should get at least 3. Avoid bright colors, because it may scares other ducks around it. The duck needs to be wrapped all day, but should be unwrapped at night so the wing can get stretched out and the blood circulation gets going. No swimming while wrapping, or the duck can drown. Wrapping is a two person job, and there is no way of doing it without a helper. So here is how you wrap. It is very important to do it right, because if you don't is is just a waste of time.

Put the bird onto a table so it can stand on its feed. The wrapping person needs to stand behind bird, while the helper is in front holding the bird into place. Fold in the wing and wrap the wing once with the wrap. Then you hold the wing to the body and wrap once starting right above the legs and one more time over the chest. This methods does two things. First it holds the wing in the folded position not allowing the bird to stretch it out and end up with a draging wing once healed. The upper chest wrap prevents the bird from pulling its wing up and out of the wrap. You wrap to loose and the bird will pull its wing out, to tight and the bird cannot breath or eat. You will learn fast how to do it. Most likely it will be to loose the first time, so you make it tighter next time until you get it right. Take the wrap off for the night and start new each morning. You wrap the bird for 4 days and then evaluate. If it is still not right do another 4 days. You will be surprised how fast it heals right. Add niacin to the drinking water to help with the bone development. Niacin (vitamin B3) is available at Walmart in the vitamin isle. 100mg per 1 gallon of water. It's ok if all your other birds drink it too. Below is picture of a wrapped bird.


Don't delay with the wrapping. It is to late once the wing is fully formed at 12 weeks, and then you cannot fix it with wrapping. The only option then is to life with it or pay the vet for surgery.
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a few questions..

1. The vet it washable or is it one time use?

2. so first i will start wrapping from the bird's back..and then i will take another wrap and wrap the duck from the bottom?? i dont quite get it..can you please elaborate?

i will get the stuff right away.
thanks for the help.
Vet wrap is a wrap that sticks to itself and nothing else. It only can be used once and gets discarded. One roll is enough for two wrappings. At least it is cheap.

You will get the wrapping process once you stand behind the bird. Once the wing to fold it up high. Then once around the body starting over the lower belly right above the legs, and once higher up over the chest. I think you can see it in the picture, even though my ducks have very long feathers.

Oh look in the horse department at the feed store. They use it for wrapping their legs.
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For me, vet wrap was impossible to put on my ducks with angel wing, and I've rescued quite a few ducks with angel wing. What I do is get a couple pairs of cheap panty hose. Cut about 8 inches from the toe, then cut a small hole in the top for the head. Line the wings against the body properly and then pull the hose over the head, cut a small hole for each foot and it works great. My ducks always seemed to wiggle themselves out of the vet wrap. I've also tried taping the wings with masking tape as a last resort when one duck wouldn't have anything to do with the vet wrap or the panty hose. His angel wing never got fixed because he was too determined to rip anything I put on him off in 20 minutes. There are several ways to treat angel wing. The sooner you start, the better the chance of you fixing it. I usually have to do this myself since i get rescues in all day while Will is at work, so for me the pantyhose method is easier.

Good luck!
got it.
thank a lot for the help..i'll get the stuff rt away..
thanks again
There is no way of putting vet wrap on without a second person, that is for sure. The problem I see with the stocking method is that the wing will be flat against the body, but not pulled up and tucked under. This leads to a wing that is flat against the body once done with the procedure, but it may hang lower then the other wing for the rest of the ducks life. It sometimes also causes that the bird is pulling the one wing along the ground. Sure it is just cosmetic, but it can be fixed with better wrapping. The procedure I use and have described gets the wing into a sling way up and it heals so well that you later cannot tell it was done. The vet wrap needs to be snug right above the legs and way up the chest so there is no pulling out. I think it only takes a few tries to get it right, but again you do need a second person. The stocking method is better then no treatment for sure, because a wing sticking out to the side is only waiting for some other injury to happen.
That's why I said to make sure and position the wing properly before putting the stocking on. And also I don't use a very tight hose. I've rehabbed several ducks with angel wing in the past few years and none had a droopy wing, they all look normal.

I have one Muscovy, Fernando, that we tried everything on. We did the vet wrap, panty hose, sock, tape, even our vet wrapped him up and he had the wrap off in 20 minutes. The vet said we should rename him Houdini
So he was the only case of angel wing that I wasn't able to treat. What I did with him is wait for his wings to grow out completely (he looked like an airplane) and I just clipped his wings. He's an indoor duck so he doesn't really need to fly anyway. Sure, he has two clipped wings that stick out about 2 inches but I'm not worrie about the look, I'm just happy he's healthy.

Now I have another Muscovy, Stanley, he's a year and a half and he just went through a major moult. And his right wing looks like angel wing. I didn't think that they could get it after they're already adults. His just needed to be tucked under several timed a day, no wrapping required, and now he's fine.

But it's almost impossible for one person to do it especially with vet wrap and a squirmy duck.
We have not had hardly any issues with Angel Wing in the past, but we did intentionally try to get birds to develop it this year to study its' etiology. We have tried several methods of wrapping in the past and had quite a refresher course this year! The good news is that every bird healed just fine (although one was rather stubborn at first and required being wrapped a second time for a total of about 2 weeks).

The best method we have found (for us) is vet wrap or vet wrap then wrapped in some medical tape. I think the plain vet wrap without the tape worked the best for the most part. We also tended to like just doing the wing, not wrapping around the whole bird. There is a key to getting it to stay put though. Looking down over the bird with the wing partially extended, you will see that the wing almost forms an "M" with one leg of the "M" basically being the side of the wing attaching to the bird's torso. The key is to start the vet wrap wrapping in the "V" portion of the "M", parallel to the legs of the "M".

After doing 2-3 wraps that way, fold the wing tip under in its' correct position, then wrap around from between the side of the body and the outside edge of the outer "M" leg. LOL, does that sense at all? Do that 4-5 times and voila, you are done! Keep in mind, when I say "leg", I mean the legs of the "M" shape made by the curvature of the wing, not the actual, literal leg of the bird. LOL. Doing it this way anchors the vet wrap, helping it to stay in place MUCH better. Going from the middle of the "M" to the outer edge of the wing (out leg of the "M"), you will have the two layers of vet wrap going at about a 45 degree angle to each other, kept in place by the natural bend of the wing.

Treating the Angel Wing in this manner was a relatively hassle free method and all the birds (even the one that had to be wrapped twice) healed quite nicely. HTH.
I had an issue when I wrapped Angel wing the first time. I basically folded up high the wing and then just wrapped around the body. My houdini managed to straighten out the wing underneath the wrapping. That's when I started to make the "V sling" around the wing first and then wrap that one to the body. I think citychicker developed another good method, but I bet my houdini would have figured that one out too.
Hard to tell. There is no wrong for right way and it is a learning experience you figure out fast. Not trying to is just wrong, and success is a reward the bird will thank you for their rest of their life.

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