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Wet Feather

Wet feather is a condition that occurs when a duck's feathers become water-logged and are no longer able to properly repel water. It is usually caused by living in an excessively muddy environment, causing them to accumulate mud on their feathers but not providing clean bathing water for them to use in order to get the mud off before it dries. Once the mud dries on their feathers, it absorbs all the moisture, including the coating of oil that ducks distribute onto their feathers as they preen.


Unthrifty appearance
Frayed, dirty feathers


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory tests


MethodMethod Summary
BathingGently bathe duck with a mild dish soap (Dawn works well) in lukewarm water.
Rinse duck thoroughly.
Dry duck with an clean towel or blow dryer, ensuring not to burn them by keeping it a good distance from the duck and not staying in one place for too long.
Also keep on a lower heat setting if possible.
Management changesKeep the duck in a dry environment for a couple of days.
Provide shelter for them to go in to dry off and provide a fresh, clean water source for them to bathe in daily.


  • Provide access to clean swimming water
  • Maintain a clean and dry living environment



Risk Factors

  • Keeping ducks in continuously wet or muddy living conditions