New feathers. Are my ducks molting?

Scovyfive

Chirping
Sep 19, 2020
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109
98
So my two broody mamas who have terrible wet feather and because of this terrible feather quality have both recently started growing new feathers. They have been plucking belly feathers to line their nests, but I have not seen signs of massive feather loss which would indicate they are truly molting. There are just these new feathers showing up. I will post a photo below so you can see what I am referring to.
I'm a bit worried because if they are going through molt, they are just not getting enough protein to support this. They are on the nest most of the day and eat very little when they get off. If this is not a true molt, will it stop them from doing an actual molt in the fall? Don't ducks normally molt in the fall?
 

Scovyfive

Chirping
Sep 19, 2020
75
109
98
You can see the pretty gray feathers at the top of her wing area, these are all new. 20210711_175823.jpg
 

Crazy Maizie

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2020
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Usually when molting it will look like there is a feather pillow explosion in the area. I bet if she's broody, she had patches on the shoulders where the drake had rubbed off feathers while mating and they have since grown back.

If old enough she will most likely molt in the fall. Muscovies usually have a hard molt once a yr.

Have you treated the wet feather?
 

Scovyfive

Chirping
Sep 19, 2020
75
109
98
Okay, I'm noticing other new feathers around the body and on both broody females. So I'm not entirely sure it is only from the male.

I worried and fretted over the wet feather for months, researched and did everything I could. I started noticing in videos etc that lots of people's Muscovies have it as bad as mine. I think it must be breed specific and I have stopped worrying about it so much.

I did see a couple of handfuls of feathers (only the downy fluff though) a couple different times. I attributed it to the females plucking their bellies or to fighting. The only actual feathers I see are when they are finished in the bath.
 

Crazy Maizie

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2020
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Usually if they are broody those pulled feathers will be in the nest. How long have the ducks been sitting on their nests?
If they are nesting, I don't know if you want to mess with them, but did you happen to clean their preening gland and remove all bathing water except for drinking water (water deep enough for their head).
As far as molting, if they are just a yr old, they could molt earlier or at different times. Your duck doesn't look like its molting though. Have you checked for any parasites?
I think it's just being a first time duck owner and not anything to worry about though. :)
 

HollowOfWisps

Previously AstroDuck
Aug 28, 2020
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Iowa
So my two broody mamas who have terrible wet feather and because of this terrible feather quality have both recently started growing new feathers. They have been plucking belly feathers to line their nests, but I have not seen signs of massive feather loss which would indicate they are truly molting. There are just these new feathers showing up. I will post a photo below so you can see what I am referring to.
I'm a bit worried because if they are going through molt, they are just not getting enough protein to support this. They are on the nest most of the day and eat very little when they get off. If this is not a true molt, will it stop them from doing an actual molt in the fall? Don't ducks normally molt in the fall?

Muscovies in general tend to get wet feather more quickly because they unlike mallard derived breeds normally do not bath as much and some muscovies will even avoid a swim entirely if they can. As for molting all of my ducks are currently going through a molt however, seem to be nearing the end of it so it is that time of year for many duck owners. I have feathers all over around the barn and in their pens and I've had some stubborn broodys so it looks like we have been having pillow fights here😅 You mentioned that you're concerned about their protein in their diet? What feed are you feeding?
 

Scovyfive

Chirping
Sep 19, 2020
75
109
98
Usually if they are broody those pulled feathers will be in the nest. How long have the ducks been sitting on their nests?
If they are nesting, I don't know if you want to mess with them, but did you happen to clean their preening gland and remove all bathing water except for drinking water (water deep enough for their head).
As far as molting, if they are just a yr old, they could molt earlier or at different times. Your duck doesn't look like its molting though. Have you checked for any parasites?
I think it's just being a first time duck owner and not anything to worry about though. :)
AT this point I'm not too worried about the wet feather. They have had it for months, and so I think at this point I'm just waiting for them to molt. Their feather condition is so bad that even if they do go back to being waterproof, the feathers themselves are in such bad shape they could not keep the down underneath dry.
I haven't checked for parasites. However, I often put oregano oil in their bathing water to ward off anything external and for internal I plan on deworming the whole flock this fall. I don't think they are infested. I had a sick duck that I dewormed and also did my drake at the same time. Neither of them had any sign of worms in their poo so I don't think they have internal parasites.
Thank for the information on molting. They are not quite a year old, so I'm still learning all of this.
 

Scovyfive

Chirping
Sep 19, 2020
75
109
98
Muscovies in general tend to get wet feather more quickly because they unlike mallard derived breeds normally do not bath as much and some muscovies will even avoid a swim entirely if they can. As for molting all of my ducks are currently going through a molt however, seem to be nearing the end of it so it is that time of year for many duck owners. I have feathers all over around the barn and in their pens and I've had some stubborn broodys so it looks like we have been having pillow fights here😅 You mentioned that you're concerned about their protein in their diet? What feed are you feeding?
Yes, that is what I've heard about muscovies, also that they don't have as good of a preening gland as other ducks. I think they are more of a tree duck, so that could be a factor in the genetics. ~~ Mine do love their water though. I give them a round sledding saucer with a couple inches of water to bathe in. I give them other deeper tubs too, but the saucer is always their favorite. They get to control exactly what gets wet and how wet.
Good information on molting. I will start looking for feathers everywhere.
As for their feed. I have them on super layer chicken feed that I get from a local farm operation. It has good protein, my concern was more because my broody mamas only get of the nest to eat once or twice a day. Since they went broody the food consumption for the flock has been cut in half.
 

Crazy Maizie

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2020
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Muscovies in general tend to get wet feather more quickly because they unlike mallard derived breeds normally do not bath as much and some muscovies will even avoid a swim entirely if they can. As for molting all of my ducks are currently going through a molt however, seem to be nearing the end of it so it is that time of year for many duck owners. I have feathers all over around the barn and in their pens and I've had some stubborn broodys so it looks like we have been having pillow fights here😅 You mentioned that you're concerned about their protein in their diet? What feed are you feeding?
I almost posted that whole first sentence as well. 😁👍
My juvenile males never bathe like they should.
 

HollowOfWisps

Previously AstroDuck
Aug 28, 2020
2,331
5,115
426
Iowa
Yes, that is what I've heard about muscovies, also that they don't have as good of a preening gland as other ducks. I think they are more of a tree duck, so that could be a factor in the genetics. ~~ Mine do love their water though. I give them a round sledding saucer with a couple inches of water to bathe in. I give them other deeper tubs too, but the saucer is always their favorite. They get to control exactly what gets wet and how wet.
Good information on molting. I will start looking for feathers everywhere.
As for their feed. I have them on super layer chicken feed that I get from a local farm operation. It has good protein, my concern was more because my broody mamas only get of the nest to eat once or twice a day. Since they went broody the food consumption for the flock has been cut in half.
A broody hen that is actually sitting to hatch will only leave the nest like yours are 1-2 times a day. As long as they are leaving the nest once or twice a day and are being fed an adequate feed to meet a ducks nutritional needs they should be just fine.
 

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