Content of the article:
Wet plumage is the most common disease among ducks caused by restricted access to water. Other causes of illness can be: poor nutrition, lack of vitamins, external parasites. If your ducks have the opportunity to periodically swim in the pool, and you provide them with a balanced diet, then, most likely, wet feathering does not threaten your birds. But just in case it is better to be savvy in the treatment and prevention of this disease.
What is wet plumage?
Near the base of the tail, the ducks are the oil gland, which produces a lubricant. Each time, taking water procedures, birds clean the plumage both during swimming and after it. At the same time, they stimulate the sebaceous gland and distribute the lubricant throughout the entire tail, making it waterproof. If the iron ceases to produce lubricant, or the birds do not have constant access to water, ducks will not be able to apply an oily coating on the plumage and wash the dirt from the feathers. For this reason, usually waterproof feathers get wet and stay wet after ducks come out of the water.
The external and sometimes the lower feathers remain wet, which can lead to hypothermia. Duck owners often do not allow diseased ducks to the water, thereby only complicating the course of the disease. If the birds become dirty feathers and they will not be able to clean the water, the lubricant will no longer work effectively. This can lead to parasites living in the plumage, even though the ducks have tried to clean the feathers.
Particularly sensitive to the wet feathering of a Peking duck. Therefore, when breeding them, it is very important to ensure that the feathers do not get wet and are clean, and that the ducks often swim.
As mentioned earlier, in addition to inadequate bathing, the reasons for wet plumage can be general malaise, poor nutrition and lack of necessary vitamins, as well as impaired function or blockage of the oil gland. Lice and other parasites, which provoke excessive cleaning of the plumage, can also cause disease - because of them the birds weaken, their health deteriorates. From that moment on, everything turns into a vicious circle.
Treatment is as follows. Put the sick duck in the room and bathe it in water using a mild liquid dishwashing detergent, and then rinse the plumage well with clean water. Before releasing the duck back into the yard, let the feathers, outer and lower, dry completely. This procedure will remove the old grease and any dirt on the feathers, and give the bird a chance to break out of the vicious circle and start all over again.
During the recovery period, a duck should not be allowed to bathe for a while, the only thing that can be allowed is to wet the head in a small tub of water to stimulate the process of cleaning the plumage with a lubricant. After a few days, the bird can be allowed to swim briefly. And only after you make sure that the duck's feathers are waterproof again, can you let her swim as usual.
If you already have a duck that suffers from wet feathering, you will need to limit its time in the water, especially during the cold season, and each time you will have to dry its feathers well when they are wet.
The severity of the disease may vary. If the treatment method described above does not work, then you will most likely have to wait until the duck sheds and new feathers grow.
Additives of some vitamin complexes or raw molasses to feed sick birds will enrich its diet with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, which will help it to recover faster.