Bad feathers?

JenBBB

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2020
43
93
43
Hi, I always thought Betty was just dirty from where the boys mount her and the mud had stained her pretty white feathers. But someone recently mentioned wet feather, I didnt even know it was a thing and now I'm unsure whether betty is just dirty or if she needs any special care? The bottom picture is a good few weeks ago and the top one is her all muddy today. They have access to a paddling pool and I've not bathed them indoors since they were tiny so I dont want to stress her out for no reason if it's not needed. Thanks :)
20201210_123039.jpg
20201210_123938.jpg
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,072
1,331
Iowa
Welcome to BYC. You have a pool for her, but do you see her using the pool often?

Pekin's, along with other heavyweights/meat duck breeds are predisposed to developing hygiene-related problems, due to their tendency to become inactive, sit around a lot, and not bathe by themselves. There appears to be a lot of mud, in the first picture, so that along with her not getting in water very frequently could cause some pretty poor feather quality. Usually, the wings are the first to become non-water repellent, then the rest of the body.

1607611779895.png


If their pen area is muddy like that all of the time, it would be best to add some sort of absorbent material to the area to help keep it dry. I have personally found, using fine wood chips, leaves, and other decomposing matter increases absorbability in the run while maintaining a good smell.

If you aim at keeping their pen area dry, and clean as possible (hard I know), and try to figure out if there's a reason she's not bathing much, you should see some improvement in her feather quality. Ducks don't do well with ramps, so make sure she can get in, and out of the pool easily. You mention you have drakes, so make sure the drakes aren't bullying her out of the pool. Wet feather can also be set on by malnutrition, clogged oil glands, and conditions that increase the birds inactivity like Bumblefoot.

Here is some additional information on wet feather :

http://www.majesticwaterfowl.org/artwetfeather2.htm
 

JenBBB

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2020
43
93
43
Welcome to BYC. You have a pool for her, but do you see her using the pool often?

Pekin's, along with other heavyweights/meat duck breeds are predisposed to developing hygiene-related problems, due to their tendency to become inactive, sit around a lot, and not bathe by themselves. There appears to be a lot of mud, in the first picture, so that along with her not getting in water very frequently could cause some pretty poor feather quality. Usually, the wings are the first to become non-water repellent, then the rest of the body.

View attachment 2443649

If their pen area is muddy like that all of the time, it would be best to add some sort of absorbent material to the area to help keep it dry. I have personally found, using fine wood chips, leaves, and other decomposing matter increases absorbability in the run while maintaining a good smell.

If you aim at keeping their pen area dry, and clean as possible (hard I know), and try to figure out if there's a reason she's not bathing much, you should see some improvement in her feather quality. Ducks don't do well with ramps, so make sure she can get in, and out of the pool easily. You mention you have drakes, so make sure the drakes aren't bullying her out of the pool. Wet feather can also be set on by malnutrition, clogged oil glands, and conditions that increase the birds inactivity like Bumblefoot.

Here is some additional information on wet feather :

http://www.majesticwaterfowl.org/artwetfeather2.htm
Thank you!
This was in her old pen which we had to move them from because it's always this muddy, however the new pen wasn't fox proof and we lost one last week. Normally they free range around the nice grass during the day but I'm super paranoid about the fox coming back so we put them back in old pen whilst we secure the new one. They have a kiddy pool which she used to use a lot but I'm not sure if she has since the fox attack, I've seem her perched on the side of it.
I've read the thing you attached, it says over mating can do it, we had 2 drakes and just betty but obviously just the 1 drake now :( after bird flu risk has gone we do plan on getting another girl.
Do you think its worth bathing and blow drying her now or see how she gets on being back in a nice dry coop? X
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,072
1,331
Iowa
You could try bathing her, but I don't think I would be putting any sort of soap on her feathers just yet. You can set her in a bath, but don't scrub her with a brush or anything, and if you do blow dry her, angle the blow with the grain of the feathers, not against.
 

JenBBB

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2020
43
93
43
You could try bathing her, but I don't think I would be putting any sort of soap on her feathers just yet. You can set her in a bath, but don't scrub her with a brush or anything, and if you do blow dry her, angle the blow with the grain of the feathers, not against.
Thank you
 

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