Molting? or just being plucked??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hfchristy, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

    233
    1
    91
    Apr 10, 2012
    Our pekin ate a walnut several weeks ago, and hasn't laid any eggs since. Considering how long she went without eating anything, I'm not surprised that she stopped laying. The last few days there have been feathers everywhere, and I figured that the experience had thrown her into a molt.

    Then, today, I watched as she wandered into the nest area - a cat carrier just big enough for her - and the two boys both followed. They came out a couple of minutes later with white feathers all over their faces. Later I watched as the little guy tore bill-fulls of feathers from her neck.

    My immediate reaction is to lock up the guys, but I only have the one cat carrier, and they fight enough without being in a cramped space together. I tried locking up the girl for her own protection, but she was loudly unhappy about that. Before getting out there and building them individual pens, I wanted to see whether I was even interpreting the events correctly. I think I've meddled when I shouldn't have before, locking up the "aggressive" male so he wouldn't hurt the little bantam guy, when he may have just been trying to protect his ladies. He was such a gentleman today, guarding the door to the nest box while our only currently laying duck took her time shaping a nest and laying her egg.

    So - when molting time rolls around, they don't help each other molt by plucking the loose feathers, or anything, do they?
     
  2. ChickenMad11

    ChickenMad11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    2
    83
    Nov 17, 2012
    Great Britain
    A similar thing happened to our little chicken. The rooster seemed to peck at her and she used to lay, she only laid like 5 eggs and now she's suddenly stopped. When i looked at her i saw that near her tail, her back feathers had nearly all gone, i think it was the rooster pecking at her. but i don't know why she's stopped laying. i don't know the answer but i thought maybe if you knew someone else was sort of going through it too, it would helpful![​IMG]
     
  3. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

    233
    1
    91
    Apr 10, 2012
    Interesting development... After three weeks with no eggs, she laid TWO shell-less ones today. At least, I think they're shell-less. It could also just be a really thin shell. Totally opaque, but floppy.
    ???

    We also had a weird egg from the other duck a few days ago. Wee tiny, with a tube of membrane hanging out one end. Looked almost like the knotted end of a little balloon.

    What the heck is going on here?
     
  4. ChickenMad11

    ChickenMad11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    2
    83
    Nov 17, 2012
    Great Britain
    I really don't know!
     
  5. Olamina

    Olamina Out Of The Brooder

    85
    4
    48
    Mar 29, 2013
    Sutter County
    You have too many boys. They are basically raping her it sounds like and that can get pretty messy. They will pull out her feathers and what not and can cause permanent damage if not handled. Do you just have the three ducks? Two drakes to one hen is not a good ratio. The boys tend to be very overzealous when mating because they compete with each other. This causes them to be pretty aggressive with the female as well. You need to either get some more girls, separate one of the boys out (ducks don't generally like to be separated long though), or permanently rehome one of the fellows (or eat one). Is the girls neck raw or is the skin broken? You may want to put some kind of ointment on it to promote healing and stave off infection. Now mind you I'm a noob so don't take my word as gospel but I've done a ton of research!
     
  6. Olamina

    Olamina Out Of The Brooder

    85
    4
    48
    Mar 29, 2013
    Sutter County

    Not enough calcium? What does she eat?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by