Why are my ducks losing feathers?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by JenniferK, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. JenniferK

    JenniferK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My three ducks, Welsh Harlequin, Khaki Campbell, and Blue Swedish, all seem to be losing piles of feathers every day for about the past week, which seems odd since they are only about 8 weeks old and just finished getting their feathers, and they are out all day in 40 and 50 degree weather and you'd think it would be a bad time for moulting. Is this normal?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I would think that 8 weeks is a little young to be outside all day in 40 to 50 degree weather. I could be wrong though, but no losing feathers like that after just getting them is not normal. Have you checked them over for mites or lice? Maybe they need something in their diet. What are you feeding them. I bet they are cold if their losing feathers like you say. I just have to come back to I think their still to young to be exposed to cold weather right now maybe 12 weeks but 8 weeks is still very young.
     
  3. JenniferK

    JenniferK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're eating Mazuri waterfowl starter and doing a little foraging. And 40 degrees is really about the lowest -- that's in the morning when I put them out, but through the course of the day it has been warming up, even into the 60s. I watch them for signs of being cold (like huddling together) and they seem to look totally comfortable. Also, they do appear to have all their feathers, and I thought that was the main criteria for having them out. They still are in the house at night. They have a small tub to splash in, and as of last week they have a big galvanized tank to swim in. Some of the water we used to fill it came from rain barrels. Could that be affecting them?
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I really don't know if the rain water would cause their feathers to fall out. This is a new one on me and I've had ducks going on 7 years... hopefully someone else will come in who can help you figure it out.
     
  5. Tubbys Lil Farm

    Tubbys Lil Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jennifer, I too have noticed that my Pekin (male) started losing feathers about two weeks ago, I can definitely see new pins coming in on him. He was followed by my Indian Runner (hen), Cayuga (hen), and I noticed on my Khaki Campbell that she is also looking a little shabby in the chest. Mine live outside in a shelter with heat and just recently with a dim night light, but they also go out in the yard to forage. Our weather has been very sporadic with low 50's to high 70's, they seem to be more comfortable in the rain and playing in the mud puddles. They have been swimming outside for about a month and they are all about 12 weeks old. I have not checked for lice or mites. Is it possible that they are going through a moult even though they are so young? Getting ready for mating season?
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Ducklings change their coats in rapid succession. I suspect your ducklings are fine. They have baby feathers, which they lose and replace with juvenile feathers, which they then lose to get their adult feathers.

    My ducks are usually fully feathered at 8 weeks and don't start growing new feathers for a couple more weeks. But my geese are all of the opinion that it is just the right time to molt, so the number of daylight hours might have some effect.

    It never hurts to check them for bugs. 8 week old ducklings should not be having any issues with your air temperatures.
     
  7. JenniferK

    JenniferK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, this was a while ago. I think they were just moving on to the next coat of feathers though, since they all seemed to do it and the new feathers came in fine. There was never any evidence of bugs.
     
  8. feathersweet

    feathersweet Out Of The Brooder

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    my khaki Campbell is 8 weeks today and she its going through the same thing - losing feathers and chest looking like a change in a lighter color. checking here to see what folks think. they have been eating 16% protein crumbles and fresh vegetables, daily. they live in our atrium with open air and protection while their home ours being built (and finished). Temps in 75 now with 15 ┬░swings.(CA). I have three other ducks and the Pekin seems to be losing some - but is very full with larger feathers now. khaki Campbell is one I am worried about...acting normal.
     
  9. 5foulladies

    5foulladies Out Of The Brooder

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    curious since this was a while ago with out any updates, I have two KC hens and they are showing the same signs, missing feathers but looking closer they have that fluffy feathering under the feathers being lost, also seem whiter by comparison. how did your ducks do with this change? was it an all over change or just the breast area?
     
  10. feathersweet

    feathersweet Out Of The Brooder

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    hi - for our ducks it was a natural occurrence and they transitioned into more coat feathers. how are your ducks?
     

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