trimming flight feathers in muscovies

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by petjem, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. petjem

    petjem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read in the forums about flying muscovies and I'd like to ask you guys when is the appropriate time to do that. Should I let them take their first flights before I do it? Mine are about 3,5 months old and the female duckling has started hopping on the ground and flapping her wings strongly as if she is practising it. I'm a bit afraid that they might be killed by predators or even stupid hunters, if they leave our fenced property, as we've got plenty of both in the area.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  2. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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  3. Fernleaf

    Fernleaf Out Of The Brooder

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    The one thing you want to watch out for is if the feathers are still 'in blood' which means they are actively growing. Trimming the feathers in this stage will not only be less effective (the feathers will still get longer, thus you might not end up with a grounded duck) but also can be dangerous if you clip a feather and it starts bleeding. For some reason blood feathers don't clot like a regular wound and so a bird with clipped (or broken) blood feather(s) can bleed to death. To tell if they still have blood feathers look at the base of the shaft, if it is still soft and bluish then it's still growing. If you have any older birds (even of a different kind) and can look at their feather shafts for comparison that might help.
     
  4. petjem

    petjem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks a lot! [​IMG] I have had parrots almost all my life and sounds similar to what I do with my amazon parrots. I have to make sure first that there is no blood in the feathers before I trim them. Does this mean that they could already be flying? I guess they could, right? I'm more considered about the female duckling which is much more active and flapping her wings strongly already. The boy is a boy! More laid back and kind of lazy. He has even stopped taking showers and his white belly is no more white. He sits in the grass while the girl bathes in their tub and while he watches the female bathing in the water he pretends to bathe in the grass..... [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. Fernleaf

    Fernleaf Out Of The Brooder

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    As to whether they could already be flying I'm guessing that you would be able to judge better than I. The only scovie I have was adopted as an adult so I'm not familiar with how they progress as young birds. I knew in theory that scovies could fly but man did she fly! I made the mistake of letting her out in the yard after only a having her for a few days...she was making short flights away from my drake (who was being a colossal jerk) but when I tried to get her back in the pen to keep her away from him she really showed me what she was capable of. She was up on the roof laughing at me in no time, and at one point I thought I lost her because she flew off into the woods surrounding our place. Thankfully we found out where she landed and were able to 'walk' her home, but as soon as we caught her again we promptly trimmed one wing. I just didn't trust her to know where home was at that point. She's molting now and I need to decide if I'm going to ground her again this year.

    And that's too funny about your boy, sounds just like my Meg, if there's not a sparkling clean pool ready for her use she'll just 'bathe' in the grass, or even the drive on occasion! Silly ducks [​IMG].
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    By 3.5-4mths old either gender are capable that said, the girls will usually 'show up' the boys basing on just their lack of bulk. I have had a few boys 'fly out' for a couple weeks now, the whole last clutch turned 4mths last week.
     
  7. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    CelticOaksFarm has the perfect solution - you need to know where to trim the flight feathers - PLEASE do study the diagram you were sent and act as soon as possible to stop your Muscovy duck(s) from flying off.

    Suzie
     

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