Is there any way to guess if a problem is genetic?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by enriquec, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. enriquec

    enriquec Chirping

    Aug 20, 2014
    North Florida
    One of my ducks had a hump on it's back since hatching. A few weeks ago I noticed it was causing wing development issues. Looked similar to Angel Wing I believe.

    I took the duck to a wild life rescue to check out. They felt around, said they'd never seen anything like it, but it was just made of skin. Bones were fine.

    They kept humpback for a week. Now the duck is deformed looking. Crooked? Like tail/butt goes to the left. Looks shorter somehow. Before the duck looked normal except for the hump, and hanging wing.

    Personality is great, above average I'd say. Humpback is physically in good shape. No problem doing anything, including flying as of a few days ago!

    What I'm wondering is if it's a bad idea to allow breeding.

    If it is, then I might consider getting a diaper and having a house duck. Or if you guys think it's genetic, and there's another way to avoid breeding without diaper ing let more know please.

    Btw, two things that may be relevant:
    1) I can't tell what sex it is. Unlike the other ducks, it doesn't quack. It makes a sound similar to someone with asthma trying to get oxygen.
    2) A few eggs needed help hatching. I'm 99% sure four of them would not have hatched without help. Three of them didn't make it still. I think humpback might be the fourth..*might*

    It's impossible to get a good pic of the hump. I've been trying for weeks. But you can see it looks all contorted.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    If you bred this duck from your own, it means that if it's a deformity that's heritable, some of your other normal looking ducks would carry it. If so, that's something you'll have to weed out of the whole family line/lines responsible. As odd as it may sound, I've had severe genetic problems crop up in my chooks from breeding completely unrelated birds; neither line appeared to carry leukosis, but together they produced early onset leukosis that only affected birds of a certain phenotype and none of their other offspring.

    The head looks quite large on it, I think it may be male. I've heard males hiss not quack.

    To me, it is hard to see for sure but it looks like the wing and shoulder area are deformed, not necessarily the body. But, perhaps it's the spine right at the wing joint that's deformed...

    Can you walk the duck over mud, to get some easily viewed tracks, and check that the foot positioning and stride lengths are normal? Symmetrical and equal?

    If they are, chances are the body isn't curved.

    For your sake I hope it's only a non heritable deformity.

    In order to test its heritability, you would have to inbreed. Probably including this duck, but if it's a female and the body itself is curved, I would not breed it then due to concerns about the eggs possibly getting stuck. If you know the parents and cross them back to their own offspring, if it's heritable then chances are it will show again. Which does leave you with a lot of genetic mess to clean up, said mess actually being living animals. Not happy, but neither is passing on this problem.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014

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