Missing feathers with yellow scabs on skin. Wet vent on drake. Swollen foot.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Ghibli, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. Ghibli

    Ghibli Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2016
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Hi all!
    My ducks seem to be having lots of issues at the moment, I didn't want to make separate threads for all of them so hopefully this is alright.

    I'll just go in the order I listed them in the title.

    First is one of my Cayuga girls, Mei. I noticed her feather condition has been getting worse for a while, she soaks up water a lot more than she used to, the back of her neck is very scruffy. I wasn't too concerned, thought maybe she's going through a molt. But the other day I noticed between her wings she's missing a lot of feathers, her skin looks dry and unpleasant with yellow scabs on it, she has some feathers growing in there too.
    [​IMG]

    I can try to get a better picture if necessary, this was after I brought her in for a bath so she's a bit wet. I don't know what it could be, do mites cause anything like this? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! She's still acting perfectly normal, she doesn't swim a lot but she had a great time in the bath, ate up some peas very excitedly.

    Next is my drake, Kiki. His feather condition in general isn't great, his wings droop down, his feathers often feel stiff, he soaks up water too, but he won't go in the pond unless you put him in. Today I noticed his vent area is wet and dirty though, and the feathers around it seem like they're broken or something, downy and brown instead of black. He mounts the girls pretty often, although he's not great at it, I don't think he fertilizes their eggs. Is there anything I can do for him? Why would he be dirty and wet there?

    And lastly, one of my Muscovy girls, Shiro. She was limping a few days ago, so I looked at her foot and she has a dark spot on the bottom, like a callus, but it's very swollen, including on the top
    [​IMG]

    Not the best picture but you can see her right foot has that swollen area
    [​IMG]
    And that's the underside of it.
    It feels a little warmer than her other leg but it isn't significant. I don't know if I should be concerned about it, is there something I should be doing or just wait and see if it gets better?

    If there's any other details I haven't included, please ask, and I can get better pictures if needed too.
    They're fed a mixture of budgie seed (recommended by a vet) and a coarse layer mix for chickens. Their main treats are peas and tomatoes. They eat plenty of greenery, love comfrey, they spend a lot of time foraging. They have constant access to a pond (with a hydroponics system to keep the water clean), and they get fresh water in multiple buckets daily.
    I have access to a vet with good knowledge of ducks if needed, he saved one of our girls before when she was egg bound, and he's also said we can call or email with any concerns.

    I appreciate any help or ideas! Thank you :)
     
  2. Kroelies

    Kroelies Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. MJFJ Dumpling

    MJFJ Dumpling New Egg

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    Sep 11, 2016
    Dayboro
    We have had the same foot issue. We soak them in warm water with epsim salts. After a few soaks the lump softens and you can pull it away. Salts work well on swlen limbs too.
     
  4. Ghibli

    Ghibli Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2016
    Gold Coast, Australia

    Thank you both very much! I'll have to see if I can get clear iodine, only have the other kind at the moment. Do have Epsom salts so I can try that too.
    5 of the 6 ducks have some dark spots on their feet, theirs aren't swollen so they haven't worried me as much. I'll try to treat them too though.

    Currently all the girls are laying eggs, the layer feed is mainly for them although the drake does eat some too, he doesn't seem to eat as much in general. I can try to make sure he doesn't eat much of it at least. Thank you! I hope they get better soon too, I hate not knowing what's wrong or how to fix it.
     
  5. MJFJ Dumpling

    MJFJ Dumpling New Egg

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    Forgot to ask too what is the ground like around your coop the harder the ground the more likely they will get lumps on their feet... Do you have a pond or access for them to swim, it is great for their feet problems...
     
  6. Ghibli

    Ghibli Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2016
    Gold Coast, Australia
    It's a mix of grass and dirt, not super hard but not as soft as it could be either. They have a little tiled area but they mostly only spend time there if they're going to sleep. They do have a small pond, working on getting a bigger one dug out for them, as is not everyone spends much time in there, often they'll choose to splash water out of the buckets onto themselves instead of getting in the pond.
     
  7. Kroelies

    Kroelies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How are your ducks doing? I will summon @Amiga and @Miss Lydia, they know a lot about ducks!
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @Ghibli first off we'll address the wet feather. I usually notice it more about 2 months before molt with my Muscovy's they aren't as water proof as other domestics to begin with but here is some info that might explain better than Me. keep reading and you'll come to reasons.

    Also could the drake be loving on her too much? alot of times they will grab hold of feathers on neck and back to hold on during mating. If so you might want to give him a bit of time out to give the girls a chance to grow them back. It will also make them not want to get into the pool or pond because they know they are going to get jumped.

    Then you might want to look them over real good for mites or lice. Mites are very tiny and blk smaller than a grain of pepper but they move fast. Lice attach themselves to the feather shafts of the birds especially around the vent area. You can google poultry external parasites and find out exactly what they look like. Usually water fowl will not have external unless they haven't a way to bath or are kept in horrid conditions. Which it doesn't sound like they are. If your drake is wet around the vent it just maybe he isn't bathing and poo is sticking since they have such wet poo anyway. But you might want to let him clean himself up and look at his vent area real well make sure he hasn't a prolapse of inside tissues or penis. and also look for lice /mites. If you do find parasites you will need to not only treat them but also where they sleep[house and bedding]


    I am not a vet but I wouldn't use budgie seeds for my ducks they really need a feed formulated for poultry or water fowl. You can give them layer and cut the calcium some by adding oats so the drake isn't getting too much if you can only get layer or you can buy and All Flock feed and offer oyster shell on the side either way I'd offer Oyster shell.

    As for the bumble foot that needs to be addressed asap. anytime they get staff and that is what bumble is it can go systemic is left un treated. And for the swelling to be top and bottom it looks pretty serious. So use the Epsom salt warm water 1/2 cup to half gal of warm water I like to use a short bucket and put both feet into it much easier than one. Hold onto them so they can't try and get out and dump the ES water out. Try to keep them in at least 5 min longer if they will let you, after treatment dry the area and then put on the Clear iodine[ reason for clear is the ammonia in the clear helps to bring the bumble to the surface. You'll need to soak daily or 2X if you can and apply the c. iodine every 2-3 days. Top and bottom of the foot. I use a cotton ball or q tip to apply after about 3 days of treatment try to use your finger nail and gently start to remove the scab. if it won't come up easy then just keep doing treatments till it does. Once you get the scab off you'll be able to get the bumble out it will be like a thick cottage chess [yellow] use a sterile tweezers or pick out with your nail. Sometimes there won't be anything in the hole maybe the body has absorbed the pus? But what ever you find once scab is off you'll need to keep soaking and either applying the c. iodine or using some kind of antibiotic ointment [with out pain meds in it] till healed and keep her from walking in mud so her foot stays half way clean. You can also wrap her foot to keep it clean just be sure not to wrap too tight.

    here is the info on wet feather. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/294673/wet-feather-how-can-i-fix-it post #9
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    What Miss Lydia said.[​IMG]
     
  10. Ghibli

    Ghibli Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2016
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Thank you Miss Lydia!

    I don't see him mount Mei very often, he usually seems to prefer the muscovies (who don't like him). He does spend a lot of time with her though, they're usually together. I'll see if I can figure out a way to separate him to give her a break, see if it makes a difference. He actually doesn't mate in water, I've never seen him do it, always on land. The girls will mount each other in the pond but he just never does.

    I can't see any parasites on them, we have a spray for lice and mites and things like that so I can just do that anyway. They are around wild birds a lot, there's a ton of brush turkeys where I live, and there's no real way I can find to keep them away, they come to steal the duck's food and eat their eggs if they can find any nests. There's also wild ducks which occasionally come into the garden.
    His vent looks normal, nothing sticking out of it, just dirty and wet. I'll try to make sure he spends more time in the water, his feathers do feel stiff.

    I'll check what feed options the store has next time I go, the only one I've seen before that's specifically for waterfowl is duck and goose finisher, which I assume isn't ideal for egg layers and pets. They do get oyster shell, not constant access but I give them a small bowl of it a couple times a day, and we also dry their egg shells in the oven and crush them up to feed back to them, which they seem to really like.

    I can definitely do the epsom salt soak at least daily, they're not hard to catch, although they don't tolerate being held for too long. I don't know if I can easily get clear iodine, options are more limited in general in Australia, there may be somewhere online I could order it and I'll check in stores. Will normal iodine along with the epsom salt soaks work at least for now? Or is it important for it to be the clear iodine?

    I really appreciate the help! :)
     

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