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Ducks: does this sound like mites/lice?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jmc, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Ancona ducks
    9 wks old on monday june 28
    symptoms: since perhaps 7 wks of age, noticing more and more white feathers all over the place. one of the birds has no more feathers on underside of neck and down the front and to the belly. just white fluffy down and yellowish-white feathers beneath, trying to emerge i guess.
    some of the other birds manifest lesser symptoms, having feather loss on front of neck and upper breast, again with yellowish white colored feathers beneath.
    never encountered parasites before. i examined the worst case, a drake. i could see some little line-shaped things in his down, but not many. i may have seen one move, but i couldn't see much. may need mag. glass.
    i don't think this is normal. the problem seems to be confined to the front of the birds. i noticed nothing around the vent and there are certainly no bare spots.
    birds have access to pool daily.
    however, i admit that for reasons i can't go into, the pen they were in for about 3 to 3.5 weeks got pretty dirty with poop. it was shady and damp at times.

    any thoughts on this. but the white feathers are all over...........!
  2. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Songster

  3. Dar

    Dar Crowing

    Jul 31, 2008
    pics would help

    and its against forum rules to bump
  4. LittleSquidgenHome

    LittleSquidgenHome Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    With the age it honestly just sounds like molt to me. Around 8 weeks of age ducklings start losing their first set of real feathers and get a new set of adult plumage, they won't molt again till next season. They molt twice the first year and then once every year after that.

    I suppose it could be more of a problem, it could be mites, but they would be pretty easily visible around the neck and vent.

    Are their eyes clear? They now have access to lots of clean bathing water?

    I woudl keep a very close eye on them and check them daily, get your magnifying glass, and give them each a good once over. As far as treatment you will have to ask someone else, I am no good with treatments.

    It really just sounds like molt to me, but I would be extra diligent and check daily till I knew for sure. Hope this helps, even a little.

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