Help please

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Adam 66, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Adam 66

    Adam 66 New Egg

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    Nov 27, 2016
    Pittsburgh PA
    I'm a novice at razing poultry. We live in western PA, and in the spring they sell chicks at the local agricultural supply places. I'm sure you know how this story starts. We puchased 3 mucovie chicks, the guy at the store said he couldn't tell the gender, they actually didn't even know they were muscovies, turned out to be 2 hens, and a very large drake. We built a really nice cage for them, and they get let out during the day to walk around a large area of our yard, they have a small pool to bathe in. Unfortunately about 3 months into our having them, one of the hens began to show symptoms of a neurological problem, we took her to a local vet that is familiar with birds, sadly he recommended we put her down.
    So now we're left with one hen, and a very large drake. We have them penned together, it's getting down into the 30s here in PA at night. They are in a 16 Sq foot house with a 32 Sq foot pen attached, all wrapped in plastic, and shielded from the wind. They have small heated mats to sleep on, and heated water. My worry is the hen looks raggedy, she's losing feathers, and is constantly dirty. Although she shows no signs that the drake is stressing her ( they're inseparable when out grazing ) should I seperate them? She's got about half of her tail feathers, and her wings are almost bare at the "knuckle" (?)
    My fear is that we're just getting into winter, and I don't want her to freeze, or be in a bad situation. But I also don't want to seperate them if that's not the right move. Advice would be truly appreciated. I didn't want to go into winter with just the 2 of them, but the timing with the one hen falling ill, there wasn't a place locally to get any more ducks.
     
  2. Adam 66

    Adam 66 New Egg

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    Nov 27, 2016
    Pittsburgh PA
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I am going to guess she may just be molting - my Runners and Buffs molt at the "wrong" time of year sometimes. Right now I have a Buff in full molt!

    What are they eating? You could, to be on the safe side, get a stool test done, make sure she's not ailing from internal parasites...other than that, keep trying to keep her warm . . . I don't leave Hazel - my molting Buff - out for very long on cold cloudy days right now. But molt is not forever, she'll get her feathers back and will be much more weather proof in a few weeks... I also give some dry cat kibble to help grow feathers, and in cold weather there are far fewer worms for them.
     
  4. Adam 66

    Adam 66 New Egg

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    Nov 27, 2016
    Pittsburgh PA
    I put her on a feed that is for feather regrowth. That meal worms, scratch grains, and the layer mix. My girlfriend bought anot her house, she thinks seperating them is the best option. I'm on the fence about it. Also, any idea of the best way to keep them clean during the winter? He stays pretty white, but she's all kinds of dirty.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    All Muscovy's molt in fall if in northern climates. My drake just finished and I still have one female that has just started thanks to her wanting to brood too late in the year and the goofy weather we have had. So most likely she is in molt have you seen feathers laying around the pen or yard? My Muscovy's are also through mating and laying for this year and will start back up in early spring. So My advise would be to leave them together. As long as you don't see him doing any feather pulling. My drake doesn't at all. They won't be happy separated.
    Welcome to BYC @Adam 66 and very sorry for your loss.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  6. Adam 66

    Adam 66 New Egg

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    Nov 27, 2016
    Pittsburgh PA
    *update*
    I went with what you all suggested. Kept them together. The temp has dropped here in the last few weeks, and thankfully her feathers have filled out. We've expanded the coop for new hens in the spring, hopefully this will take some of the stress off of her with a couple new birds, and a little more space.
    Just wanted to say thanks to those that gave their advice. It was greatly appreciated, and she's better for it. Keep up the good work, it's nice to have a community of people with firsthand knowledge to turn to when in need of pointers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    Great update. Love to see some pics when you have time.
     

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