Issue with feathers


7 Years
Apr 23, 2014
Aylesbury UK
Dear gentle folk,

I have had these two boys, they are around 6 years old. Lola, the one in the bath tub is gradually losing his ability to keep himself clean. I see him preening but I think he is not very good at it as he has balance issues. He has always had balance issues from an early age. I thought maybe he has parasites, sent feathers to a lab but that came back negative. Besides his brother, Zoe, is in excellent health and is spotless.

So I bathe Lola once every few weeks, with warm water, in the hope of getting his oil glands to clear. I cannot see any signs of inflammation on his oil glands. It is more likely that he cannot reach and ends up falling back on his bottom.

So can any one of you give me any advice please? Many thanks in advance

They both eat layers' pellets

they also enjoy meal worms and have the lawn to themselves.

He is free of bumblefoot.

He has always had issues with his balance and movement. He has had an eye infection when he was little which I think somewhat damaged his nerves/balance.

They both had a lot of niacin growing up.

I don't think it is the diet because the other one is very healthy.

Until last year, he had no problem with preening. But now it is getting worse.

I agree it may be best to switch them over to an All Flock-type feed since their males, and don't need the amount of calcium found in Layer feed. Over time, feeding them excessive amounts of calcium may cause liver problems, but it's unlikely feeding them excess calcium would affect feather health. If it was a nutritional problem, odds are the other duck would be showing feather problems

Lola has wet feather which is not uncommon in heavyweight breeds. In the cases I've dealt with, it's mostly been due to lack of bathing which often occurs in heavyweight breeds since they tend to be lazier than others, and sometimes don't regularly bathe themselves. If you have a bird with a preexisting health problem, that may predispose them to wet feather.

It is possible the feathers are in poor shape, and full-bound water repellency won't be able to be achieved until the next molt, but the best thing you can do to for the feathers is encourage bathing, at least once a day. During cold weather, you may just lightly mist the feathers with a spray bottle, but you want to encourage proper preening.

Here is info on wet feather, and possible causes, treatment :

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