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Is it a good idea to induce a molt? UPDATE!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jducour, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update - Rosa hasn't laid an egg for 5 days now, and her pelvis is narrowing. I held her yesterday and a few stiff tail feather nubs came out! (she only had broken tail feathers) It looks like she is starting to molt without intervention. I will keep an eye on here, our weather is still warm, so I think she will be ok. She has some bald patches, but there are new faethers coming in finally! Yay! And a lot of the new feathers coming in around her head are pure white. Go figure. Maybe my Chocolate Runner will end up looking like @Amiga 's


    Is it even a possibility?

    Two of my ducks are female Runners. They came from a home that was filled with love - but not much duck knowledge. These two have feet issues from being on hard packed earth the first year of their life, and feather issues from never being offered water deeper than 2". I have had them for about 4 months now, and they have gained weight, and their feet are 10x better, but their feather are still scraggly. We are heading into a cold winter, and I don't think they are going to cut it. They have lost feathers here and there, but not a full molt. They don't have any long wing feathers - they were broken off before I got them - and they have no tail feathers either. It looks like they were so brittle, all of them broke off. As the days have gotten shorter, and fall is here, I've been expecting them to molt, but I see no sign of it. They are both laying an egg every day, and have for 4 months straight. Is there a way I could help induce a full molt? Is that even a good idea? All these tiny little ladies going to be ok in the snow with poor quality feathers? One of them is barely over 2 lbs - and she has gained a pound since I've had her. I love these little things so much, and I worry for their health and happiness when the cold snap comes.

    [​IMG]
    Rosa is the brown duck - notice no flight feathers or tail - brittle top feathers.

    [​IMG]

    Julia is the gray duck - not a great picture, I can take closeups in a bit if it will help. No flight feathers or tail on this one either.

    I should say - when I adopted my WH pair, the stress of the move induced an early molt, and their feathers came in beautifully. I expected the same with my Runners, but it still hasn't happened.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wing and tail feathers do not do much as far as keeping the bird warm goes; it's the down feathers that keep them warm. In the pictures the duck's bodies look well feathered.
     
  3. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know they don't help keep them warm, I think it points to how poor quality the rest of the feathers are. They are a little stiff and almost sticky feeling.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    My ducks are just starting into molt so maybe there is still time for yours too, I really don't know of a way to make them go into molt though. I have 1 old drake {Muscovy] who hasn't molted in about 3 yrs.He's 11.5 yrs old His feathers look awful but other than being old and his feathers looking bad he is still in pretty good health and made it through a very cold winter last year. Maybe @Amiga can help out since she has Runners.
     
  5. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's good to hear he has wintered well, even with bad feathers.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Yes amazing how he just keeps going, I have 2 dog house full of shavings for my 2 oldest and Ernie spends alot of time in them in winter. They are for day time use only but at least it gives them a place out of the weather.

    Hopefully your 2 will molt before long . Have they stopped laying usually for my Muscovy's once the days get shorter they start to lay less then once laying stops the feathers start coming out some are ahead of the others and I just set my one broody duck outside to try and break her so she'll get started before cold weather sets in.
     
  7. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is a better picture of Rosa. She is the one I'm most worried about because of her size. She is tiny.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    She looks pretty ragged, Do you know how old they are? Seems like they should start into molt pretty soon, are any of your other ducks molting? Maybe other domestic ducks don't molt the same times as Muscovy's ? Have you tried giving them poultry vitamins a couple times a week to see if it helps with feathers? since mine are going into molt I put Poultry Nutri drench in there buckets a couple times a week.
     
  9. HannahDuckLover

    HannahDuckLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I remember reading in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks to not suddenly decrease the amount of artificial light you give them lest you throw them into an early molt.
    Do you use artificial light? Maybe she would molt if you suddenly stopped using the light. That's the only thing I can think of for now...
     
  10. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She was born September last year, so I don't think she has ever molted. She was this ragged when I adopted her - all of their ducks were. Julia, the duck from the same home, has replaced a lot of her feathers, and looks much better. I thought ducks were supposed to molt in the fall? And also sometimes in the spring? Or sometimes not at all. Vitamins are a good idea - I can dose their night bucket and give it to the whole flock, right?
     

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