|Wing Deformities in Waterfowl: Angel Wing|
|Written by Lisa Duke|
|Tuesday, 16 July 2013 16:42|
This is our resident Canada goose named “Hugs”. When you visit the Sanctuary you can see her now on display in the Lagoon at the bottom of the first set of stairs. She is easily distinguished from other Canada geese that we have at the Sanctuary because she has wings that do not lay flat along her body and instead turn out at the tips. She was brought to the Sanctuary with this condition, which is called ‘Angel wing’.
Angel wing is a wing deformity, also known as slipped wing, commonly found in ducks and geese where the last joint of the wing is twisted outward. The leading cause of Angel wing is high concentrations of protein in the diets of growing waterfowl. The highest incidences of Angel wing in waterfowl occur at parks where the public is allowed to feed ducks and geese items like bread, which are high in protein and are not a proper diet for these animals. These sources of high energy, unlimited feed, make young waterfowl grow unnaturally fast and their wing weight outgrows the strength of the wing to support it, which causes the twisting.
To prevent this condition from occurring in more waterfowl, we ask that if you find a wild gosling, duckling, or cygnet that you take them to a rehabber in your area instead of trying to raise them yourself. “Hugs” is the result of someone finding an abandoned gosling and raising it in their home. Although their hearts were in the right place, she was fed the wrong diet throughout her life and she will never be a ‘normal’ goose. Her condition prevents her from being able to fly and she will therefore remain at the Sanctuary for the rest of her life as an educator for proper diet and care of waterfowl and why it is important to not take in wildlife. This condition does not affect her overall health and she is quite happy in the Lagoon with visitors and her duck friends!
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