One of my Cayuga’s was developing a minor case of Angel Wing. Angel Wing is a condition that domestic ducks are predisposed to. The wing grows faster than the muscle can keep up with, which results in twisted wing feathers that poke outward. My wild mallards and runner ducks never seem to have this problem as they tend to eat less and exercise their wings more. It’s for this reason I normally cut down the protein and carbs when my ducks are starting to develop their wings, but sometimes it can’t be helped!
Angel Wing : How to identify?
During wing development, the wing tip starts to curve outward or hang loosely , instead of being brought up tightly to the body.
Left to it’s own devices, the wing will set and grow that way…and you’ll have a less than beautiful bird. Luckily, there’s a way to fix it! Duck tape.
The trick is to wrap it just so. For my call duck (left) I had to wrap her entire body because she was so tiny and the tape was slipping. Duct tape is extremely sticky so I use a layer of medicinal bandage tape underneath to hold the wings in place — you want to place the wing tip so that it sits just beneath the wing covert. When the wings are full grown, they should criss-cross, but only at the ends. I’ve read that some people like to take the tape off every day to let the duck stretch but this isn’t really necessary and could mess up the ‘setting’. The inverted wing tips are so weak that my ducklings couldn’t even flap them fully, so stretching isn’t really going to help. They need to grow in place for at least 4 days. Afterwards, you can gently slip the duct tape off with vaseline — no pulling necessary!
et voila, you shouldn’t see any part of the wing tips showing. Over the next 30 minutes you will probably see your duck stretching and flapping it’s wings a lot. Feels good to be free!