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Feathers in disarray, whats going on?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Goat_Walker, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

    Jul 9, 2008
    Ok, so as some know i just got back from being out of state for a week.

    When i went to give my duckies some love i immediately called to me 3 m/o drake PJ. Well I noticed at once that his chest was all messes up.

    When I left he had a nice soft light fawn colored chest with some gray in it. Now the feathers are coming out and its like he is getting his big boy feathers in all over again!

    Only, now they are the same reddish brownish as his dad ( who is a mallard).

    Is this normal?

    I mean Im sad because his feathers were gorgeous, but im also worried becuase ie never heard of this happening.

    Any advice? Ill post pics tomorrow if needed.
  2. wasatusay

    wasatusay Songster

    Nov 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    Some of my Pekings have lost chest feathers when molting. Almost like a chicken bares her chest when she goes broody. Changing colors I am not sure. But I do have two of my white chickens that will get dark dark brown feathers scattered over them for a few months and then go back to being solid white. First time I seen it I thought they had gotten into something and were dirty. But it was a change in the color.
    Here is a tid bit from Dr. Foster and Smith
    Feather color is determined by the presence of various pigments, including melanins, carotenoids, and porphyrins.

    * Melanins are brown to black pigments that are also found in mammals. In addition to adding color to the feather, melanins also make the feather denser and more resistant to wear and breakdown by sunlight.
    Carotenoids are generally yellow, orange, or red in color. They are synthesized in plants, and absorbed by the bird's digestive system, and then taken up by the cells of the follicle as the feather is developing.
    Porphyrins are red and green pigments that are produced by cells in the feather follicle.

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