crazy random thought....artificial oiling???

scorpiovette

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
32
0
22
Wisconsin
so I'm new to all these different types of birds. We just recently acquired our first birds. 16 chicken, 2 ducks, 1 turkey and waiting for 3 geese to arrive.

well I've been doing alot of reading trying to learn as much as I can about care, while also keeping up with my old "in nature" way of doing things. I don't overly baby my animals, and believe alot in "survival of the strongest", "natural selection" and such. I'm not careless, and will do what I can within reason to help a sick animal, or help it out somehow, or make sure I keep them save until they are old/big enough to fend for themselves since they don't have parent animals to protect and teach them.

so one of things I keep reading over and over is that baby ducks (mine are about 3 weeks old, and already got kicked outside (to the garage with heat lamp, food, water and closed doors at night) don't have their natural oils yet, and therefore will soak up water and could drown. Well I had this random thought.......with all these things that stores and business sell nowadays for pretty much everything imaginable under the sun, I was surprised that I haven't read anything about applying some kind of "oil" (or whatever the natural equivalent would be called) to the baby ducks by hand so they could swim more.

do they make such a thing??? why not??? I don't have a pond, and right now the biggest thing my 2 ducks have to "swim" in is a medium size cat litter pan that they barely fit in together, so I'm not worried about it. Just a little surprised that I haven't seen anything like that advertised anywhere yet. LOL
 

Speceider

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,169
122
161
It's not the oil that makes a duck or duckling water resistant (not water-proof). It's the feather structure and any artificial oil would damage the feather structure and make it less water resistant.

Clint
 

scorpiovette

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
32
0
22
Wisconsin
oh. so what is that stuff that I saw some people/articles refer to when they say that in the wild the mother duck gets "it" from a gland near her tail and rubs it on the baby ducks. or did I misunderstand what that's for???

just trying to learn how these critters work. Thanks.
 

Speceider

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,169
122
161
The female duck does preen, and the duckling's uropygial gland doesn't become functional until about 2 weeks age....but people continue to want to believe that a duck is water resistant because of the oil....when it's feather structure....the uropygial oil helps maintain pliable feathers so they can be preening into shape for the best water repellency.

Clint
 

scorpiovette

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
32
0
22
Wisconsin
"uropygial gland".......now I have something to google. that might yield more of the information that I was looking for.

thanks for the help. just like learning and sometimes over analyzing things. I think this question is mostly floating around my head because I'm raising ducklings without a mommy duck. otherwise, it wouldn't really be an issue since......"they just do their thing". But since it's not this simple with us raising them, I'd like to actually have proper answers to all the questions my 4 year old comes up with. LOL
 

enriquec

Songster
5 Years
Aug 20, 2014
257
23
121
North Florida
I had the same thought! All oil is water proof right? Why not just have oily hands and handle them? Over a week they should be good I'd think. Coconut, olive, vegetable oil slowly? Any updates?
 

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