Preen oil replacement

Amanda10321

In the Brooder
Aug 24, 2019
19
31
46
Hi everybody! After some thorough research, I have decided to try out a mixture of almond oil and beeswax to help my special needs duck with her feather care.
She has one leg, and while she does get daily tub time and help balancing while she preens, she has not been able to maintain her feathers enough for water resistance. I’d like her to be able to keep up her daily outdoor time with the other ducks through the winter, so we’re trying something out!
As I was researching, I saw that there was a lot of interest in how to supplement preen oil for wet feather, ducklings in a brooder, etc, so I will share our results here!
 

MGG

Merry Christmas! 🙄🤚
Premium Feather Member
Feb 7, 2020
11,846
44,260
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Hi everybody! After some thorough research, I have decided to try out a mixture of almond oil and beeswax to help my special needs duck with her feather care.
She has one leg, and while she does get daily tub time and help balancing while she preens, she has not been able to maintain her feathers enough for water resistance. I’d like her to be able to keep up her daily outdoor time with the other ducks through the winter, so we’re trying something out!
As I was researching, I saw that there was a lot of interest in how to supplement preen oil for wet feather, ducklings in a brooder, etc, so I will share our results here!
I'm interested in your experiment! I'd love to see if you find a good replacement. I have wondered this same thing many times.
 

416bigbore

I am A Big Boy Now!
Premium Feather Member
Jun 11, 2020
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Update: It has helped her feathers be less brittle! I’m gonna fool around with the ratios a little, but 1:1 beeswax and sweet almond oil applied sparingly after tub time seems to be a positive step!
Where are you sourcing your mixture from? :confused:
 

Amanda10321

In the Brooder
Aug 24, 2019
19
31
46
Interested as well, might you have links to post from your research? :)
Oh my gosh. I don’t have links, but one of the most helpful topics to look at for me was the actual chemical composition of preen oils. There are published findings, but I didn’t save links. Once I knew what is actually produced by the oil gland, I was better prepared to approximate it.
I’ve seen the debate about “oil” vs “wax,” and ducks have more of a “wax.” However, the common conception of oil as liquid and wax as solid is not the whole story. For example, jojoba oil is actually a wax. I happened to know about this topic already, because I make all of my household’s personal care products (shampoo, face cleanser, lip balm, lotion, etc). Jojoba oil would have been my first choice, but I didn’t have any on hand. Sweet almond has very similar attributes, so I felt comfortable substituting.
Because her feathers were already in less than ideal condition, they are not interlocking the way they should. The interlocking combined with the preen oil is what makes them water resistant. So, I added the beeswax to up the water repellent factor.
Both of these ingredients are organic , food quality, and safe to ingest.
I’ve also been applying organic cold pressed coconut oil to her keel, where her skin was irritated from the pressure of laying down more often. It has helped immensely!
 

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