Do young ducks moult - got a bald duckling problem,

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ruth, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    I have a bunch of young ducks - oldest are only 2 1/2 months old -large and beautifully feathered Rouens. The largest one seems to be either moulting or seems to be pulling all it's feathers off it's breast and stomach area. It's bald from lower neck down to between legs. I've seen it constantly preening itself in that area and think it may be pulling its own feathers out. If so, why? None of the other ducks seem to have this problem. It also seems to be having plugs of feathers coming out in various spots on back and head.

    Could it be moulting, the heat, something else? Gnats are really bad right now but haven't seen any lice or mites on anyone. What to do?

    They are outside with separate house, two pools, lots of food and water, grassy yard, plus extra greens fed to them. I feed them a mixture of layer feed, scratch & grains, black oil sunflower seeds, game cock feed (sustainer) that is all mixed together - same thing I feed all chicks and chickens.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Previously DuckLady! Staff Member

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    He could be getting bitten by bugs or while rare, it could be poultry lice.

    It sounds from what you describe that something is irritating the skin beyond the normal itchiness of new feather growth.
     
  3. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    I meant to post an update to this thread in case anyone else has this issue. Turns out the duck is fine - he was just getting his gray drake feathers which was causing his belly to appear bald. He now has a beautiful green head, gray body feathers, and cute little upcurled drake feathers on tail. He's 3 months old. I have two others that aren't too far behind him in the coloring/refeathering process.

    I don't know if it's the freeranging (they live in large grassy fenced yard with open duck house) or if it's normal to get their adult feathers at 2 1/2 months old but it seems that's what this one did and the other two were only a couple of weeks behind him in getting their new feathers.

    So if anyone has young ducklings and it looks like they are losing all the feathers on their belly - they may be males getting their adult colored feathers. None of my females have lost any belly feathers.
     
  4. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Here's a pic of the duck in question. He's got most of his adult feathers now. He really did look like there was something wrong with him for awhile there. Plus he's always had that mohawk. I call him "Spike" after the Gremlins movie.

    [​IMG]
     

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