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Twisted wing tips in Sebastopol geese...

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Rare Feathers Farm, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. After sending in my deposit to Holderread's and patiently waiting, I got an email last night from them confirming my order.

    When I mailed in my check, I sent a letter letting them know what I was looking for...and explaining that my current gander (the one I'm planning to keep) has some twisting in his wing tips and I was concerned with that....

    This was the response I got:

    Hi Heather,
    We received your deposit for the White Curly-breasted Sebastopol females. Before you decide which quality level you would like, it would be good if you would read the following information regarding Sebastopol wing feathers.

    The unique plumage of Sebastopols places extra stress on their wings. Every time they stretch their wings by flapping them, upon re-folding them, the twisted and elongated flight feathers place uncharacteristic torque on the wing-tips. Over time (this can range from a few months of age to years), most Curly-breasted Sebastopols will develop twisted wing-tips in one or both wings.
    We are very careful to breed only from those individuals that do not have twisted wing-tips when they first feather out, as this helps eliminate perpetuating a genetic based wing disorder.
    Also, any time a Sebastopol is put under stress (such as sudden changes in weather or feed, shipping, etc), there is an increased incidence in the spontaneous stretching of the ligaments of the wing-tipsaise them.

    The breeding of Sebastopols is one of the most complex endeavors in domestic poultry. It is complicated, and difficult to distill into concise answers. However, with that disclaimer, in very broad terms, four of the important concepts to keep in mind can be summarized as the following. Everything below is contingent upon the birds being from carefully bred strains and being raised in an environment that supports strong wing development (carefully study our bulletin on "Wing Disorders in Waterfowl").
    1) The vast majority of smooth-breasted individuals will not have wing deformities.
    2) Having at least one smooth-breasted parent reduces the incidence of twisted wing tips. (Please notice that I'm saying it reduces--it in no way eliminates the incidence of twisted wing tips. There is no way to eliminate twisted wing tips in curly-breasted Sebastopols due to the nature of the feathering.)
    3) No matter how carefully bred, the majority of the offspring out of two curly-breasted parents will at some point in their lives develop twisted wing tips due to the tips of the wings being forced out every time the wing is folded and the connective tissue being stretched beyond its capacity to hold the wing tip in place.
    4) Research done here at The Preservation Center strongly supports the hypothesis that the twisted wing tips in most curly-breasted Sebastopols is not due to a genetic defect, but is the result of the unique feathering of curly-breasted Sebastopols. In other words, breeding from curly-breasted individuals with normal wing tips does not reduce the incidence of twisted wing tips in their offspring. Another way of saying this is that the heritability of normal wings in curly-breasted Sebastopols is 0.
    Many, if not all, of the old-time Sebastopol breeders routinely pinioned their Sebastopols. If a person cannot accept twisted wing tips in Sebastopolss as a common characteristics in this breed, the only real remedy is to not raise them. The majority of really curly, heavily feathered Sebastopols will develop twisted wing tips sometime between the age of 3 months and 5 years of age, and it usually has nothing to do with a genetic defect. As for twisted wings...carefully controlled research has shown that most cases are the result of an interaction between diet, environment and exercise (for detailed information on this topic, I suggest you read "Wing Disorders in Waterfowl" as offered in our catalog). There are a relatively low percentage of documented cases of true genetic wing disorders.
    If you have further questions, let us know. --Wanita at HWFarm

    Does anyone have any other experience with this? I'm not doubting what I've been told but I just want to learn more...

  2. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    I would dare say Holderread has bred Sebastopol Geese on a larger scale far more than anybody else that I know of and his theory may very well be valid. Regardless of why Sebastopols get twisted wing tips is does seem to be the nature of the beast and most likely due to their curly feather mutation. Most Sebastopols develop TWP to one degree or another. Its not always that bad looking. Sometimes just a few stiff feathers stick out as can be seen in this goose on the left.
    It should be noted that twisted wing tip is NOT angel wing which is a completely different wing disorder.
    I have a page on my website with two articles on angel wing for those who would like to learn more about it.

    Same goose, same time...she doesn't look that bad now does she and she has TWT.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  3. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    My sebbie has TWT. It just seems to be about 4-5 feathers on each wing. It does not bother me since I did not want her to show or breed, just to look at and love. She has the most adorable personality and loves attention.
  4. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    I also have a couple that have developed TWT over time. They didn't start out with it but as Wanda stated, it does seem as though they do develop it over time.

    I agree with Cottage Rose when she says that Holderread's has been doing this longer than any of us and pretty much knows what they're talking about.

    I have both smooth and curly breasted Sebbies in my flock.

  5. DaveK

    DaveK Songster

    Jun 19, 2010
    Rare Feathers, what Cottage Rose has said is on track as far as I have been able to determine from my own experience. However, the photos are a bit misleading as that white goose does not APPEAR to have twisted tip. Without handling her it would look to most experienced breeders as though she had some flights that were fairly stiff. Not normal and straight so not a DQ but stiffer than is usually considered ideal. Twisted flights with a fair degree of stiffness are not usually going to lay all that flat and just away from the body to some extant. The word APPEAR is very operable here. Twisted tips can be minor or more extreme and the feather type that the bird has can affect both how the wing feathers look and also if the twist can be seen at all. A very thickly feathered bird with streamers pouring off it's back can hide a twisted tip so that only handling and feeling will detect it. The general impression of that bird is the same as if it had so called perfect wings. A little story. A woman once called Dave Holderread and said she wanted a gander that had no twists and had parents and aged grandparents with no twists. Dave said that he'd like that too and that if she found one to let him know. Translated that means that it really does seem to be characteristic of the curly breasted birds in general. Many birds who started out without twists will have at least one by the time they are 3-4 years old. In my own stock I do not believe I've had anyone who twisted much after that age. As an example I have two brothers one of which has had twisted tips since he was 3-4 and the other has perfect wings. They were hatched in 2003. Getting to be that age without twists is no guarantee of anything but I don't expect that he'll twist at this late stage. [email protected] www.sebastopols.freeforums.org
  6. cottage, your goose looks like an amazingly fancy sheep. awesome.
  7. Here's what I am concerned about...

    I don't have a real good picture of the one in question...

    There are some stiff wing feathers but the ends of the wing are twisted out, away from his body...

    More on one side than the other...

    Oh and don't mind the molting 'scovies! [​IMG]


    My others do have some stiff wing feathers but they're not twisted...


    You can see stiff wing tips in this photo and the one with the twisted wing...


    And my newest female is okay....so far...


    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010

  8. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    Quote:The goose in the photo has TWT, since I've had the opportunity to examine her personally I know for fact she has TWT.
    One does not have to be an experienced anything to look at a wing tip and see that is twists and curls.
    My point in showing this goose as an example is to put to rest a lot of people worries and concerns over TWT
    and that its not always as bad as some people make it out to be.
  9. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    Rare Feathers...just looks like your Sebbies have some stiff primaries a common occurance in this breed.
  10. Quote:Do I need to get rid of them and start over? [​IMG]

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