Slipped Wing, Crooked Wing, Drooped Wing, Airplane Wing, Carpal Deformity, Valgus Carpal Deformity, Dropped Wing, Flip Wing, Straw Wing, Spear Wing, Tilt Wing, Rotating Wing
Angel wing is a condition in which one or both of the duck's wings are twisted or projected outward, at varying degrees, from the body. Angel wing happens more often in geese but it also occurs in ducks, especially the Muscovy duck breed. If angel wing is corrected while the duck is still growing, it is often easily treatable; however, if treatment is delayed or the condition is not recognized until the duck is older, then the deformity remains permanent. Ducks are most at risk of developing angel wing when they are between 8 to 12 weeks of age.
What causes Angel Wing
Angel wing is brought on by nutritional imbalances, excessive carbohydrates (such as from getting fed bread) and a high-protein diet (over 16% crude protein). Although many commercial waterfowl starter feeds are formulated with 20% crude protein, recent research conducted suggests that ducks can be raised successfully on a 15% crude protein diet. Keeping protein levels between 16-17% during growth is thought to help prevent ducks from developing angel wing.
An early indicator of angel wing is the visible drooping of one or both of the duck's wings. The drooping is caused by the primary flight feathers growing faster than the supporting wing joint, the carpometacarpus (carpal) joint. The extra weight of the feathers causes the joint to twist at varying degrees outward. In severe cases, the wings can project at an angle greater than 60 degrees, making the wings appear similar to 'angel wings'. Sometimes one or both of the duck's primary feathers are damaged. Affected ducks might also demonstrate a slight reduced range of motion of the associated wing. Angel wing tends to affect the left wing more than the right, and male ducks are more susceptible than females.
Angel Wing Severity
A method of classification for the severity of angel wing in geese was developed by a group of researchers at National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan (M Lin et al., 2016).
|1||Slight||Primary feathers are projecting away from the body at an angle less than 30°.|
|2||Medium||Primary feathers are projecting away from the body at an angle between 30° and 60°.|
|3||Severe||Primary feathers are projecting away from the body at an angle greater than 60°.|
If AW is recognized early, when the duck is still growing, then the condition can usually be corrected with appropriate therapy and nutrition management and diet changes.