Molting in Older Ducks

SerenityRachel

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
37
15
84
Ohio
Hi All,

I have a 5 year old Pekin duck. She's been molting for what seems like forever. It's such a rough molt, she actually lost big patches of her down. It was so bad that the flies actually laid eggs on her and she got maggots. We were able to clean her up and the couple superficial wounds she had (that probably attracted the flies) have healed up really nicely. We think she was just over grooming due to the weird molting and opened up a couple little cuts on herself. She and the other ducks free range normally during the day in our fenced pasture, and they always have regularly changed bathing water. While we've had her inside to heal up, we've been making sure she gets regular baths. She is getting feathers back in slowly, but she just still looks so scruffy. It's weird. Is this normal as ducks get older, or could there be something else going on? She's doing all her normally duckie things, eating, drinking, pooping, grooming, and generally being super pissed off at us for putting medicine on her.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
117,595
139,257
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
Some can be more drastic than others and it can be different every year. Some of mine will look really ratty and others I can barely tell they are in molt. So since you have had her inside and have been doctoring her wounds you’d have noticed any external parasites? That’s always a first to do. And no drakes have been taking off feathers while molting? What have you been feeding? During molt adding a bit more protein to their diet can help get the feathers in faster. I use dried meal worms and dry dog food. Since I don’t have cats I don’t use cat food it but many do. Just a handful over reg meal. I use Salmon an Pea dog food.
 

SerenityRachel

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
37
15
84
Ohio
Some can be more drastic than others and it can be different every year. Some of mine will look really ratty and others I can barely tell they are in molt. So since you have had her inside and have been doctoring her wounds you’d have noticed any external parasites? That’s always a first to do. And no drakes have been taking off feathers while molting? What have you been feeding? During molt adding a bit more protein to their diet can help get the feathers in faster. I use dried meal worms and dry dog food. Since I don’t have cats I don’t use cat food it but many do. Just a handful over reg meal. I use Salmon an Pea dog food.

Thank you! She's definitely clean of parasites, and we only have female ducks. They get layer chicken feed and also free range (though she hasn't been since she's been inside). We use mealworms as treats but I will definitely add them in more for her, that's an excellent idea!
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
117,595
139,257
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
Hopefully she is having a bad one. Some years some of my chickens will be naked and other years no. Please let us know how she is doing. Since she is doing everything else normal I think she just is having a bad molt . Things sure change when we all get older. I have one a Muscovy who is 12.
 

SerenityRachel

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
37
15
84
Ohio
Things sure change when we all get older.

Haha @Miss Lydia and @sourland isn't that the truth LOL

Thank you both, I agree I think it's just a bad molt but of course I worry any time something is amiss. Our animals are all pets! And we just want them to be happy and comfortable! I'll keep you updated. It's cool and rainy here today so she's out with the other girls to get some social. She seems to be having a lovely day!
 

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