Update - Rosa hasn't laid an egg for 5 days now, and her pelvis is narrowing. I held her yesterday and a few stiff tail feather nubs came out! (she only had broken tail feathers) It looks like she is starting to molt without intervention. I will keep an eye on here, our weather is still warm, so I think she will be ok. She has some bald patches, but there are new faethers coming in finally! Yay! And a lot of the new feathers coming in around her head are pure white. Go figure. Maybe my Chocolate Runner will end up looking like @Amiga's
Is it even a possibility?
Two of my ducks are female Runners. They came from a home that was filled with love - but not much duck knowledge. These two have feet issues from being on hard packed earth the first year of their life, and feather issues from never being offered water deeper than 2". I have had them for about 4 months now, and they have gained weight, and their feet are 10x better, but their feather are still scraggly. We are heading into a cold winter, and I don't think they are going to cut it. They have lost feathers here and there, but not a full molt. They don't have any long wing feathers - they were broken off before I got them - and they have no tail feathers either. It looks like they were so brittle, all of them broke off. As the days have gotten shorter, and fall is here, I've been expecting them to molt, but I see no sign of it. They are both laying an egg every day, and have for 4 months straight. Is there a way I could help induce a full molt? Is that even a good idea? All these tiny little ladies going to be ok in the snow with poor quality feathers? One of them is barely over 2 lbs - and she has gained a pound since I've had her. I love these little things so much, and I worry for their health and happiness when the cold snap comes.
Rosa is the brown duck - notice no flight feathers or tail - brittle top feathers.
Julia is the gray duck - not a great picture, I can take closeups in a bit if it will help. No flight feathers or tail on this one either.
I should say - when I adopted my WH pair, the stress of the move induced an early molt, and their feathers came in beautifully. I expected the same with my Runners, but it still hasn't happened.
Edited by jducour - 10/19/15 at 7:42am