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When can I clip my duck's wings and how?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by archil, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three little muscovy duckies and they have just started flapping around and getting a little lift.
    I need to clip their wings as i do not live in a rural area. I know that I can't do it yet because their feathers are still new and may still have blood in them.

    I have an area where they are enclosed, but isn't the biggest, so I want to get them clipped asap.

    At how many weeks should the wings be ready to clip?

    As for the how part, I know the method and everything, buuuuuuttt... They are not the cuddliest things and are getting quite large and strong, are there any recommendations on how I can restrain them to clip their wings? Could I possibly put a towel over them and hold them down?

    Also another quick question.
    I have no idea of the sexes of any of them, but I am sure whatever they are, they are all the same because they are all pretty much exactly the same size and I'm told that by three weeks I should be able to tell size difference, and they are are way past that. Are there any ways I can tell now, without comparison with each other obviously, what sex they are?
    They all still peep quite a lot and they do hiss and huff a lot [mostly a my cats].

    I anyone would like more details about anything I'm happy to help.

    thanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  2. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]


    does anyone know why I shouldn't use chicken wire?
    I wouldnt think there would be any difference from anything else that would cause it to not be "allowed"
     
  3. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken wire is made from very thin wire and in an open sort of 'weave'. It's easy for anything with teeth or claws to get through. If you have some laying around - take a box cutter and see how long it takes you to cut a long gash in it.
    Hardware cloth - sometimes called rat wire - is made of much heavier wire and is in a small enough 'weave' that it's very difficult for teeth or claws to get a good 'hold' on it.

    I don't know much about clipping wings - you might want to consider an enclosed run????
     
  4. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have the square type chicken wire and the hexagon type, both with gaps that are pretty small, I think they might be different in my country from yours because i honestly don't see these ducks getting through this stuff. I thought hardware cloth was he same as chicken wire, does anyone have any comparison photos? If i search them here it will probably give me results from my country so it might not help much.
     
  5. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's not a problem of the ducks getting out - it's other things getting in.

    I can cut a section of chicken wire off of a roll with one swipe of a box cutter - so a dog or a raccoon or a fox would have little trouble using claws to rip it open.
    Hardware cloth, on the other hand, has to be cut one square at a time with wire cutters. I HAVE been able to get through it with a box cutter (razor) but it takes a LOT of tries and a LOT of force.

    I use the hardware cloth on my coop building to cover EVERY opening. My chickens are locked in the building at night. During the day they have access to either the building or the run which is fenced with 'field fence'. The spaces are 2" wide by 3" high and the fence is 6' high. The run is inside my yard so anything that wants to bother the chickens during the day has to get past the dogs first. The field fence is more to protect the chickens from my dogs than anything else.

    chicken wire
    [​IMG]


    hardware cloth
    [​IMG]

    field fence
    [​IMG]
     
  6. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh thanks,
    Our chicken wire definitely isn't that thin, it's about he same as the square mesh.

    The only thing that would get in here would be field mice or small wild birds, we don't actually have any predators here. There are possums here [the cute australian/NZ type not the evil looking american ones] but I don't think there are many around our neighbourhood. But yeah, no risks of break-ins here except from teeney mice or some little birds like sparrows and blackbirds.

    We usually just have them outside the cage most of the time anyway, they never get locked up, their night time box has a door, but we never really needed it.
    We have two cats, but they're just, sissies, the ducks pretty much bully them, so they know to keep away.

    I think just, here at least, the hexagon shaped mesh is called chicken wire and the square is called square mesh, there's no difference in the size of the wire, the chicken wire definitely needs to be cut section by section by cutters.

    Thanks for helping me clear that up though. I was really confused.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I clip as soon as I see lift. once their wing feathers are finished growing out,. usually around 3-4 months old. I use a towel and just stretch out the wing i intend to clip. goes fast.
     
  8. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You also want to wary of roaming dogs. Poultry and waterfowl are very intriguing for them to chase.

    Here is a link on how to clip wings. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/690215/clipping-wings

    Only clip one. It is best if you have a helper until you are confident. Do the complete clip that is pictured. I had a muscovy hen who I did a partial trim on still be able to get up and over a 6' privacy fence.

    You need to wait until their flight feathers are completely grown in. That should be around 4 months maybe a little more. Follow the pictures in the link, they are very good.

    Depending on their age, if there is not a size difference then they are probably the same sex. Females will be small, 5 lbs as adults. Drakes are much larger. If you can post pics, we can try to help. Ducks also look more feminine and dainty especially the head.
     
  9. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our whole section has a dog proof fence because we used to have a dog, that's why we let the ducks free range the place the whole day; Nothing can get in and they can't get out.

    I kind of lost track of how many weeks old they are, but they have just started getting a little lift in the last week. I know how to clip wings, I've done it with some of my chickens and a little on our lovebird, but obviously they were a lot easier to handle... I'm just not sure about having to catch them and hold them, they do put up quite a fight, they're very strong and heavy.

    Why should I only do one wing, is it because of the unbalanced thing making it harder for them to fly? I'd planned on doing the clip where you do all of the feathers you would do, but leave two at the end so it doesn't look as messy when they're folded up.

    I can get some photos tomorrow. I'll try to get some pics with a ruler nearby If I can.

    Sometimes when I look at their faces I think they look quite elegant, but I have nothing to compare them to So I wouldn't know.
     
  10. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are my lovely lad[ie]s.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I couldn't find a ruler, but i know they're definitely larger than a 30cm ruler, they're probably between 35 and 45cm long at the moment, maybe around 30 cm just along the back, not including the neck. I can get a proper measurement if it'll help.

    If I could also get an approximate age that would be helpful.

    I had a look at their wings today and the primary flight feathers looked very small, hardly poking out past the next ones up and definitely a way away from being full developed. so I'm still a bit weary of clipping them yet.
    We extended the chicken run they're staying in a bit today and added a roof/top over that so they had a little more room and so they could get to their 'pond'

    I'm feeding them pullet grower at the moment, and they graze the grass and get a few scraps now and then, is that an okay diet?
     

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