Molting and blood feathers

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DewittPondFarm, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. DewittPondFarm

    DewittPondFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    My one female Khaki who is going on two years old appears to be molting and is most noticeably losing the wing feathers. Today I noticed blood on one of the wings. Should I be concerned? Should I keep her separate from the others at night? Should I feed her anything special? She has also stopped laying eggs. It has been 18 months since she started laying almost every day so her eggs are greatly missed but I figured this is normal during molt. How long can I expect the molt to take? There are two males and one other female that are her babies (born last summer and now grown). They sometimes bully her a bit but nothing too serious as far as I can tell during the day. I appreciate any advice.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Take a close look - it could be minor, but if a blood feather (new feather) is broken, and it does not stop bleeding, she risks getting anemic or worse.

    Most likely, it is not worst case. Just take a look. I find having a spray bottle with lukewarm water is helpful, you can spray off the wing and see if fresh blood is coming out.

    If it's the blood feather, take a little time and find the method for removing it or if there is another method for stopping the bleeding. I admit I am at the end of a long day . . . .

    My Runners do not lay while they are molting. It takes a month or so for them to molt. And they may take another month or so off from laying after that, depending on the time of year.

    Watch the drakes - they can be too much during mating season.
     
  3. DewittPondFarm

    DewittPondFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, thanks for the advice. It didn't look any better today so I'll see if there is actual blood or if it's just looks red because of the blood going into it. I don't see the drakes doing anything to her but of course I'm not watching all the time.
     
  4. DewittPondFarm

    DewittPondFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I've separated her out since I have noticed the others bugging her. She has lost so many of her feathers but I don't think she's bleeding. Today when it rained she looked like a sopping wet skinny unhealthy looking duck so I'm keeping her penned up to remain dry and recuperate while she grows back her feathers. Should I feed her anything special? I would think she might need more protein at this point?
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Yes, I would add a couple tablespoons of dry cat kibble to her food, and poultry vitamins twice a week. A little sprouted wheat might be nice if you have wheat seeds - just soak them overnight and sprinkle a few tablespoons into her food.

    Oh, and some shredded kale - just a handful.

    And keep her dry and warm.
     
  6. DewittPondFarm

    DewittPondFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Lol! Dry cat kibble is something I have plenty of considering I run a cat rescue business. I also have some poultry vitamins I'll give her. I'll look into picking up some wheat seeds and kale. Yes, I figured warm and dry would be best at this point. She really wants to be with the other ducks running free in the yard but I can see that being wet and muddy is not a good idea at this point and they are apt to pick on her right now. I think they got the taste of blood from her blood feathers and decided they liked it. Scary...
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Too bad she doesn't have a BFF who could keep her company. Sometimes I have had a buddy system for injured ducks. But if they are picking, that's not good.
     
  8. DewittPondFarm

    DewittPondFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    It is too bad. She never really bonded with her 3 kids and her mate and her sister died accidentally last year so she's basically been a loner. She's my only egg layer at this point so I'm concerned. For some reason her daughter (now 9 months old) is not laying eggs yet. I'm hoping she will start this spring since she came of age late last fall end of Oct. Is that unusual? She is doing the mating behavior with her brothers now but no eggs.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Not unusual for some to wait. I am concerned. More than one drake, only two ducks, one alone with the drakes...the daughter's safety is at risk.
     
  10. DewittPondFarm

    DewittPondFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, I did see both boys on her this morning but it was brief and didn't seem to be a problem, at least not yet. I could put her with her mother but she doesn't really like her either. We are considering making a meal of one of the drakes but it is hard when you hand raise them. I do see your point though. So if we do that, we debate which one. One is a bit of a dummy (follows not leads) and not very aggressive. The other is a big beauty (probably prize winning looks) and leader type but aggressive. On one hand you want the intelligence and aggression to protect the pack since they free range on 20 acres surrounding a 3 acres pond. On the other hand you don't want the aggression taken out on the females. I'm also concerned since the big guy isn't really into his mother and favors his sister, he might pick on mom more or alienate her. The other drake seemed to be "allowed" to have his mother as a mate. What's the best choice? Get rid of both? Thinking of getting new ducklings this spring to try for more laying females.
     

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