Why have my boys lost their green heads?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 8, 2012
I know that when ducks molt they lose their green heads and then eventually they get them back. But we seem to have a real issue with green heads around here!

Last spring we hatched out one Silver Appleyard drake. His name is Blinky. Blinky's head never fully turned green. Then last fall we hatched out another Silver Appleyard drake. His name is Po. His head came in beautifully green. Both boys molted around June, and neither have gotten green feathers back. Also in June we got one Silver Appleyard drake and 10 hens. I'm not sure how old they are, but they seemed to be coming out of a molt. They are definitely done with the molt now and some of the girls are laying eggs, but Bones (my 5 yr old named him
) still has yet to get his green head back. It seemed like some were coming back, and then they stopped. We also have a 20 wk old Mallard drake. His head has been steadily turning green since he got his grownup feathers. But I just went out and it seems like he has lost them too. What is going on? Is there too much soy in the feed and it's messing with their hormones or something? They're still definitely fertile based on the 27 ducklings the broody hens have hatched out this year. But why the lack of green?

The one in the back is Blinky. He totally looks like a girl!

If you are in the northern hemisphere, expect to see the green heads in about five months. Bean had a definite gray hood from late January till about six weeks ago, when he started to molt into his eclipse plumage.

Now it is harder to recognize him from any distance.

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