Feather abnormality - should I intervene?


In the Brooder
Jul 7, 2021
Hi All. Thanks in advance for any advice or help. There’s a long and happy backstory to the little guy in the photos but the gist is he was on deaths door, I was able to get him healthy and return him to his exact mother and he’s living a wonderful life as a wild duck. But, I don’t have any experience with ducks prior to April of this year. Bc of him I’ve become obsessed and learned more than I ever would have imagined about ducks but I can’t find anything about this abnormality he recently started displaying. He has a little tuft of feathers growing out in a wonky direction. I suspect it is very similar to angel wing; however I’m positive these feathers are on his breast and not on his wing. I think he’s a couple weeks away from attempting flight still and my question is do you think this will prevent him from effective flight when the time comes? So far it doesn’t seem to impact his ability to fold his wings up properly and tuck them in but I don’t understand enough to anticipate if this might change as his wings continue filling out.
So, my questions are - will this impact future flight? Or just be cosmetic?
If it is likely to significantly hinder flight and/or survival odds - do you think it is something I could correct by wrapping in the proper orientation (like angel wing is treated)? I don’t honestly know if I could catch him again but if he’s not likely to survive and the issue is possibly fixable then I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ve already been through so much with this guy and it would (selfishly) break my heart to see him not make it. (he had a slipped tendon and necrosis secondary to severe frostbite on about 15% of his body the night I found him abandoned and nearly dead. He runs with no limp whatsoever now and we healed up the wounds that penetrated the skin and fascia when I found him and he’s fully feathered even in those areas!)
Thank you for your help! Pictures attached show the feathers. Let me know if you need better or different photos or more background info!!


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Previously AstroDuck
Aug 28, 2020
My guess is that the feathers are growing around and on the scar tissue causing them to grow in a abnormal manner. Not a duck lol but my husband has a scar on the back of his head from fall as a kid and it looks almost like it's a cowlick because the scar tissue is raised and the hair is grows off of the side horizontally on the scar tissue instead of vertically like normal.


Aug 16, 2021
St Augustine, FL
Wow you did so well Newducklover21 reviving that duckling and getting it back with its mother and sibs!!! Impressive. I too revived and a raised a healthy duckling this year but (1) I had raised day old ducklings previously so had a brooder heat lamp and the works as well as experience. (2) I also have some medical experience to give me a little boost on the reviving and getting feeding phase. So glad you were successful. I am sure the duckling is just fine with a few sticky out feathers!!!

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