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Wet Duck Worries/ Squishy Eggs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by brenna, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. brenna

    brenna In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2010
    One of my four black indian runner mutts- the one that happens to be the most people-friendly- seems to be having an issue lately. A few times in the last week when I've picked him/her up to put him/her to bed, I've noticed he/she is pretty wet. All four of the ducks have access to a kiddie pool and are allowed to swim whenever they want throughout the day. None of the other ducks are ever wet when I put them away, and I was under the assumption that if a duck is preening properly, it should not ever feel damp. These ducks are just over 5 months old and 2 of them (though I'm not sure who) just started laying eggs about 3 weeks ago. None of them have drake feathers yet that I can tell.

    Anyway, I'm a bit concerned about his well-being and would love to know if anyone's duck has ever had this problem and whether there is anything I can do about it. He/she is a very sweet duck and I definitely don't want anything bad to happen to him/her. It's starting to get a bit chillier overnight and I know that wet down doesn't provide any warmth. The duck in question is acting normally in every other way. He/she loves the Layena pellets that I feed them in the morning and is one of the most focused and avid bug-hunters and dabblers of the bunch.

    One other thing just in case it's related or of concern. The ducks are pretty new at laying and every once in a while I'll find a very soft-shelled squishy egg around their day areas. They have been laying really nice eggs overnight (about 2 a day). They have access to oyster shell and again, are on Layena pellets, so I doubt it could be a calcium thing. Is this a normal occurrence or should I be worried about someone getting egg-bound?

    Thanks for any insight. I love all the helpful people on this forum. You're lifesavers.

  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    With the wet feather issue, the first thing you should do is check and see if the oil gland at the top base of the tail looks normal. They can actually get impacted ("plugged") so that none of the normal oil comes out. You will see it right at the top base of the tail, and usually there is sort of a tuft of feathers growing out of and around it. Try squeezing it and see if anything comes out. It shouldn't be red or swollen -- if it is, those are classic signs of an impacted oil gland. The treatment is to try to manually squeeze it open (gently), apply warm, wet compress, antibiotic ointment.

    Or, the oil gland may not be impacted, but just may not function. I don't know if you could do anything about that. Maybe you could put a tiny dab of vaseline at the oil gland site every couple of days, perhaps that would function in the same way?

    Too bad you can't spray the poor thing with Scotchguard or something![​IMG]

    Or, the bird may not be preening enough for whatever reason. If so, I'm not sure what to suggest, although you might try dusting it when it's damp with a little cornmeal -- this irritates them enough to get them preening sometimes, as they don't like grit in their feathers (who would?)

    The egg thing is very normal for young birds when they first start to lay, so don't sweat it. It sound like you're doing everything right in terms of diet to support egglaying.

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