Help! frayed Muscovy tail feathers

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by suburbanduckmom, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. suburbanduckmom

    suburbanduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2009
    Belmont, CA
    I've noticed over the past week that my Muscovy's tail feathers are getting more and more frayed on her right side. Some feathers just have the middle vain left (what is that part called?). Her other feathers look fine.

    What could be causing this?

    Its just her and her Pekin friend in the backyard and they are in a pen at night. Is she doing this to herself or is the Pekin doing it to her?

    She has also started flying this week. Could that be it?

    It is getting worse so I don't think it was another animal attack.
     
  2. MDC

    MDC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2008
    KS
    Has she molted and/or is she molting? If the quill has blood, it's a new feather coming in so initially you might just see the shaft. If it's clear then it's an old feather and might just be old/worn and ready to be molted. Muscovy feathers do get incredibly worn and raggedy looking before the molt so that is normal, but, the tail feathers are also a prime grabbin' spot for anyone trying to bully someone. It's kinda cute at times when a little two-month-old duckling grabs the tail-feathers of a big-ol' drake and gets him running like the devil was after him. [​IMG]
     
  3. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:
     
  4. suburbanduckmom

    suburbanduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2009
    Belmont, CA
    She is only 10 weeks old. Would she be molting already? She was just getting all feathered in.
     
  5. MDC

    MDC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2008
    KS
    They actually do molt to some extent somewhere around there, 12-14 weeks of age or so, but I didn't realize she was 10 weeks old when replying I assumed she was an adult as nothing was said about age.

    Do the two tend to squabble and are there any other critters that could be trying to get to her through the wire of the pen? Raccoons will pull a bird through a wire fence and eat them a piece at a time.

    Does she have water to bathe in?
     
  6. suburbanduckmom

    suburbanduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    281
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    Oct 16, 2009
    Belmont, CA
    They are kept in a pen that has hardware cloth and burlap around the sides to keep the critters and wind out of the pen at night.

    They have a pond to swim in during the day. She doesn't like to swim much but does dip in to get clean.

    The two ducks seem to be working on pecking order but nothing too vicious. She seems to be the boss but the Pekin is easily more than twice her size.

    Thanks. I'm keeping an eye on it. It doesn't seem to bother her. I'm going to start watching my Pekin more closely.
     

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