Duck with Rumpled Feathers?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by newbyduckmom, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    Our Magpie duck's feathers have started looking just rather rumpled. And they stay that way pretty much all the time. She just came out of the pond and doesn't appear to be as waterproof as previously. She's been looking "kind of wet" to me even when it rains. She seems okay otherwise, but am wondering whether I am just paranoid or ? They have supplemented light for 14 hours a day and no feathers on the ground in the pen/in the house, so I don't think she is molting??

    [​IMG]

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    These were taken just after she got out of the pond. She had started to preen a bit, but only for a few seconds. Then she stopped.

    Doesn't look like anything major to me, but wondering if it is something and might get worse. Been watching her for about a week now. This "rumpled' look started about two weeks ago.
     
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    Definitely sounds like a preening issue or possibly a blocked oil gland. When they can't get the oil from the gland through the feathers, they tend to look wet all of the time.
    Check her oil gland and make sure it isn't irritated, etc.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    My runners look rumpled when they're molting. And that takes a few weeks. Any chance she may be molting?
     
  4. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    I will check the gland. But what am I looking for ---base of tail at the top or below??

    I don't think she is molting. I thought that was triggered by light changes (when daylight hours shortened in fall), and they have had 14 hours or more of light as we are supplementing the light to keep her laying (since she just started a month or so ago). Or am I misinformed?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    My runners don't always follow the book [​IMG] so they molt . . . . whenever. Doesn't seem to have much to do with light.

    I agree you should check the oil gland on the top of the tail near the base, and I still would not discount molting for no apparent reason. Molting can also be brought on by a change in diet, or trauma.

    Check for mites or other external parasites, too. It's easier if the duck is used to being handled.

    And please let us know what you find!
     
  6. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    Amiga is right, ducks molt...well, when they molt. Mine molt at different times.
    Hopefully it is just molt and not an oil gland problem.
    If it's molting, up the protein in the diet with a bit of cat food mixed with their feed every day.
     
  7. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    Didn't have much luck with checking the preen gland, although amazingly, Peeps (who is generally standoffish), sat on my lap and let me examine her without too much fuss. She seems fine otherwise. Down was so thick, I couldn't find the gland. We have to give it another try tomorrow. Honestly, it was kind of nice just to have her sit on the lap and let me pet her, so I didn't want to upset her too much! Still not losing any feathers though.

    I guess I just assumed they would all molt together and that the change in light had something to do with it. Late in the year - and getting quite cold - to be without feathers!
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Acht started molting within the last week, Funf is almost done, Elf finished a couple of weeks ago, Vier molted first about a month and a half ago. Oh, and I just this morning noticed Eins has started molting. Zehn hasn't begun a molt yet. But her feathers look impeccable.

    And it's in the 40s F outside.

    Last year, Funf started molting in November.

    My runners just, well, don't follow the program.

    Glad you had some sweetness with your peeps.
     
  9. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ducks have 2 body molts and one wing molt after their first year. In their first year the have an additional molt from juvenile to basic 1 plumage. Generally drakes molt in late spring and early summer to bnasic plumage, and again in fall into alternate plumage. Hens tend to molt into basic plumage inlate winter and into alternate plumage in early fall. This is for birds on normal photoperiod. Molts may start later as a result of breeding activity, and when the timing is changed, it takes a long time to get back in synch.

    Clint
     
  10. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    Thanks for the info! Amazing how much there is to learn about these 'silly' ducks!

    Never thought I would get this attached to 'barnyard animals'...my husbands term.

    They are my ladies and boys....

    "Good morning, ladies! Thank you for the gift"

    "Have a nice sleep, boys"

    I have become the funny duck lady. I can think of a whole lot worse things to be!

    I checked on her today and she actually seems to be more waterproof....rain is beading off.
     

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