Wet juvenile ducks

Mimibud

Hatching
Dec 24, 2020
2
0
1
I just adopted 2 females mallards Monday. I was told they were born this past spring. They are certainly fully feathered. I gave them access to a pool today and they swam like crazy but stayed soaking wet! It is only 32 degrees in Southern Oregon tonight. They are in a crate to be introduced to my existing flock. The crate has deep straw and a tarp over it. I hung a heat lamp outside but is there anything else I can do to make sure they will be OK tonight? Indoors is not an option 😢
 

JNC

Songster
May 5, 2020
489
431
141
Kendallville Indiana, US
Poor things probably didn’t have acces to water where they lived. Did you seethem preening after they were out of the pool? Did they dry? 32F is not that cold if they are dry.
 

Mimibud

Hatching
Dec 24, 2020
2
0
1
Poor things probably didn’t have acces to water where they lived. Did you seethem preening after they were out of the pool? Did they dry? 32F is not that cold if they are dry.
I didn’t see them preening. They just snuggled together. I think they are still damp. That’s why I’m so concerned. Never had a problem with my older ducks
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,258
99,071
1,331
Iowa
It is very likely the birds are suffering from wet feather; most often directly correlated with a lack of water to bathe in. The only way to reverse this problem is by letting them bathe in water, to encourage the oil distribution of their feathers. If it is cold in your area, I would eliminate any water source that they can actually bathe in; instead, offer a deep waterbucket where they can dunk their heads in. Along with that, you can take a mister out on warm days and gently mist their feathers.

Doing both of those things will encourage preening, and should help resolve the problem over time. During very warm days, you may allow them to bathe in deep water, but there's too much of a risk of them becoming hypothermic in the conditions you mentioned. Since wet feather can sometimes be caused by ectoparasites, and clogged oil glands, you may investigate for those potential causes.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
127,825
403,300
2,027
New Jersey
It is very likely the birds are suffering from wet feather; most often directly correlated with a lack of water to bathe in. The only way to reverse this problem is by letting them bathe in water, to encourage the oil distribution of their feathers. If it is cold in your area, I would eliminate any water source that they can actually bathe in; instead, offer a deep waterbucket where they can dunk their heads in. Along with that, you can take a mister out on warm days and gently mist their feathers.

Doing both of those things will encourage preening, and should help resolve the problem over time. During very warm days, you may allow them to bathe in deep water, but there's too much of a risk of them becoming hypothermic in the conditions you mentioned. Since wet feather can sometimes be caused by ectoparasites, and clogged oil glands, you may investigate for those potential causes.

Great post !
 

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