Duck with no oil glands????


10 Years
Sep 6, 2009
We have 4 mallards - 15 weeks old. They certainly look full size and have for quite a few weeks now. We have a pond on our property and they have learned to go up there and hang out for 1-2 days at a time and then waddle back down the hill and hang out with the chickens for 1-2 days at a time.

My question is - one of the ducks looks wet whenever she is in contact with water. Everyone else looks dry. My son has gone up to the pond to observe them there and he says this one swims very little and tends to get out and wait for the others on the bank. Yesterday he found her shivering on the bank.

We had rain all night and she is down with the chickens today and she looks all soppy just like them. What is up with her?? (or him, actually....don't know yet.) Has anyone ever herd of a duck without oil glands? Is there anything we can do to help?
Maybe the gland has a blockage??? None of my ducks have ever had a problem like that- So I dont know what to suggest apart from bathing the area in warm water to try and clear a blockage. Can you catch her and have a look at where the gland is located ??
Yes we can catch her....but these are our first ducks, so I am still very much on the learning curve - lol. What do I look at/for?
I'll be able to tell you at 1 when I can get home to check my Storey's Guide to Ducks by Dave Holderread...that book has all the answers!

I'm pretty sure its called wet feather and it can be caused by a blocked oil gland or over preening. If you want to check the oil gland it is right near the tail on the upperside of the body. Its a little oily spot.

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