My ducks are ALWAYS molting!

Ellyhutch

Chirping
Dec 15, 2020
80
113
81
I recently moved my apartment ducks outdoors after living the first 13 months of their lives indoors. They seem to be CONSTANTLY molting. My Ancona drake has basically been molting his chest and back feathers since January (he's only shed and regrown adult wing and tail feathers once). My Muscovy hen starting shed every feather on her body - seriously, every one, like all at once - other than her wing feathers within the first 2 weeks of June. She's now very slowly shedding her wing feathers. However, she's starting molting chest and side fluff for the third time this summer. What's going on with them? Is this stress? Adaptation to outside? No other behavioral changes other than my Muscovy hasn't laid an egg probably since the second week of June.
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
2,629
4,370
391
It could be the change from being indoors to outdoors, but you stated that your drake has been molting since January.
Have you checked for pests?
What's the outdoor set up like?
Have any pics of the ducks in their current condition?
 

Ellyhutch

Chirping
Dec 15, 2020
80
113
81
I check out his growth almost daily and I've never seen a pest. He went to the vet for a check up in the spring and had no parasites or issues other than a minor enzyme imbalance that they believed would be resolved by a diet change (which I did). Please see attached and thanks for looking. You can see with my Muscovy the dark feathers are new and light brown are old. The white feathers are new too.
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Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
2,629
4,370
391
They look well. It looks like you've moved them outdoors plus added 2 more ducks or did you already have the other ducks? That might be a few stressors that could cause feather loss.
Muscovy can be quite broody, so I'm wondering if some of the feather loss you see has been more of a broody pulling of feathers to nest? I do see feathers under her where she is sitting, but her feathers look in good shape. They do tend to molt a little here and a little there - so not always all at once like a chicken does. For instance one of my muscovy has only molted parts of her neck area, but not wing feathers yet.
I'm not as familiar with other types of ducks as I've had muscovy the longest and just acquired some runner ducks.
The set up looks good as far as housing and space. Are there any predators in the area? The fencing might keep the ducks in, but it won't keep anything out. Except your muscovy girl, she could literally hop over that if she wanted. 😊
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
6 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,223
9,427
701
Carnation, Wa
My ducks are also molting a little here and a little there. But they don't do it at the same time so it seems like every few weeks someone is molting, even though I only have 2 ducks now!! They usually only molt their flight feathers once in the fall though.
 

Ellyhutch

Chirping
Dec 15, 2020
80
113
81
They look well. It looks like you've moved them outdoors plus added 2 more ducks or did you already have the other ducks? That might be a few stressors that could cause feather loss.
Muscovy can be quite broody, so I'm wondering if some of the feather loss you see has been more of a broody pulling of feathers to nest? I do see feathers under her where she is sitting, but her feathers look in good shape. They do tend to molt a little here and a little there - so not always all at once like a chicken does. For instance one of my muscovy has only molted parts of her neck area, but not wing feathers yet.
I'm not as familiar with other types of ducks as I've had muscovy the longest and just acquired some runner ducks.
The set up looks good as far as housing and space. Are there any predators in the area? The fencing might keep the ducks in, but it won't keep anything out. Except your muscovy girl, she could literally hop over that if she wanted. 😊
We got the new 3 as ducklings in late June and recently introduced them into the run and the coop at night, so Bitsy and Cheech (my older two) are definitely still getting used to them. That could be it. I have also wondered if Cheech has been hormonally triggered to go broody and if that's why it's going on.

They go into the coop at dusk which I lock up and has 1/4 inch thick hardware cloth sides. We do have predators in the area, bears and cougars could do damage but both sightings near homes/outside of the tree line in my area are extremely rare. Other predators like skunks and raccoons have been spotted but have either made no attempt or have not been successful at getting at the coop.

Thanks so much for looking and responding... I think I'll just chalk this up to nature!!
 

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