Disclaimer: The opinions given in this post on how to fix Angel Wing are my own, based on my own experiences. I am not medically trained and do not claim to know what is best for your birds. Each case will differ for each individual bird and if you are worried about any medical issues with your birds, please seek professional medical advice from your local vet immediately.

How to Fix Angel Wing


In my experience there is no long term solution on how to fix Angel Wing… but you may be able to minimise it. The best way I’ve found of minimising it, is to eliminate it from the flock by culling the bird with the defect. In the 50yrs I’ve been doing this I have tried the bandaged wing and high protein feed options and my result were as follows:

  • 1st breed season – 2 out of ten with angel wing.
  • 2nd breed season (breeding with the offspring) – 8 out of ten with angel wing.
  • 3rd breed season (breeding with the offspring) – 10 out of 10 with angel wing.

The end result was me having to get rid of the entire flock and start again.
A vet once told me “Mick there is a reason you don’t see birds in the wild with angel wing googletest. It’s Darwin’s theory, survival of the fittest” 
“angel wing is a defect… and the best way to be rid of it is to feed well and cull hard”

I have adopted this theory and when angel wing presents itself in my flock it’s normally from introducing new bloodlines.
The biggest challenge with flock mating is identifying the bird/s which is producing the problem & passing it onto the next generation. Angel wing in offspring can be amplified when both birds suffer from the problem.

If this problem presents itself at the beginning of establishing a sound flock but numbers are low and you cant afford to cull… Then the best way I’ve found is to breed the numbers up then cull all birds (including original breed team) where the problem exists.

Please DO NOT sell this problem on to an unsuspecting breeder. Taping the wing will not stop this issue in the next generation.

I’ve had a number of challenging conversations with people who have had little experience in breeding birds but have “read all the books”. It’s like a builder talking to an architect, just because it’s on paper… doesn’t mean that the building is going to stand at the end of the day. All my successful results come from paddock experience with trial and error. In regards to the suggestion that it stems from an overload of protein in the diet, I have found that this is more related to drop wing rather than angel wing. 4-12 week olds graze on green grass during the day and a ration of good quality pellets at night. Depending on the breed, after 12 wks I’ll add lib their pellets day and night as well as grazing.

If you want to discuss your situation, or help in identifying solutions, please feel free to call me 0408 470 566, or email me at mick@peelridgestud.com.

Scientific Studies

Scientific Proof Angel Wing is GENETIC.  Completely removing birds that show symptoms during their life from breeding is the only true way to control Angel Wing.

 Lin  et al. Published a study researching the Factors Affecting the Incidence of Angel Wing in White Roman Geese: Stocking Density and Genetic Selection in the Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science in 2015.

And a study researching the Effect of T-2 toxin and antioxidants on angel wing incidence and severity in White Roman geese in the Journal of Applied Animal Research in 2016

Lin et al  found:

  • The current idea being, Angel Wing is caused by high protein feed is based on observation of wild birds in parks which has no scientific rigour to determine the true cause of Angle Wing and is by its nature just a theory.
  • Most goslings diagnosed with Angel Wing from observation that can be corrected with treatment are often misdiagnosed unfolded Open Wing.
  • Feed rations, protein content and stock density had no influence on the Incidence of Angel Wing or the Severity of Angel Wing.
  • The supplementary feed of T-2 toxins and antioxidants had a small effect on the incidence and severity of Angel Wing.
  • Goslings bred from parent stock selected from stock with no symptoms of Angel Wing had a dramatic decrease in the incidence and severity of Angel Wing.
  • Angel Wing can be corrected however the disease is then hidden from breeding selection based on parent observation and the condition will be passed on to goslings increasing the incidence and severity of Angel Wing.
  • In Taiwan Commercial if flocks are found with more the 30% Angel Wing, then the entire flock is commercially rejected.
  • There was a slight indication that birds with high / fast growth rates had increased incidence and severity of Angel Wing.  This was attributed to the individual genetic performance of the bird.

Lin et al  recommends:

  • Selecting breeders from stock that have been physically assessed and graded from day olds to adults with no symptoms of Angel Wing
  • Selection of breeders should also select birds with even consistent growth rates.
  • Feed rations and feed volume should also be sufficient to encourage steady consistent growth rates.
  • Provide adequate room in house and allow gosling’s access to pasture and regular exercise.

References

https://www.ajas.info/journal/view.php?number=23332

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09712119.2017.1301257

Min-Jung Lin, Shen-Chang Chang, Ko-Hua Tso, Wei-Chih Lin, Che-Lun Chang & Tzu-Tai Lee. Effect of T-2 toxin and antioxidants on angel wing incidence and severity in White Roman geese. Received 18 Aug 2016, Accepted 25 Feb 2017, Published online: 19 Mar 2017http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09712119.2017.1301257.

A great comment from Danny Brown after sharing this post on Facebook.

How to fix Angel Wing