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Author Topic: Ducks molting  (Read 394 times)

Briggsy from Gower

  • Joined Nov 2018
Ducks molting
« on: January 24, 2019, 08:07:18 am »
HI,

I've got a couple of white campbell ducks, they are just over a year old.

They started molting back in October and there is no sign of new feathers yet. They are laying regular as clockwork and are otherwise fit and healthy looking. They spend each day free ranging and even at night have a large fox proof enclosure so there is no overcrowding issues.

Is that normal?

Our kharki's take a few months, but these seems like a long time to me.

Any comments would be welcome.
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landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Ducks molting
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2019, 03:30:21 pm »
The regrowth of feathers takes up a lot of protein. As your ducks are (unusually) still laying eggs, they may not have a surplus for feather production. I have always found with my laying hens that if I increased the protein content of their diet, they got through the moult faster.  I would suggest therefore that you try this with your ducks. Either buy a feed higher in protein, or add a high protein supplement eg mealworms which are 45% protein.
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abc123

  • Joined Oct 2018
Re: Ducks molting
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2019, 05:00:01 pm »
Yes exactly landroverroy. I would feed more protein, and let them have more/longer free range time. A wild duck during its  Moult needs about 1000 bugs/slugs a day to get enough protein for regrowth, so its not too different with domestic ducks. They need a lot of protein to actually have regrowth. Also during the regrowth period, try to avoid handling as much as possible. The new quills easily snap and bleed, and it just slows everything down :) As well as mealworms and slugs, feed kale and parsley as well. they always seem to help a bit  :thumbsup:

Give them constant access to fresh clean water if possible, or at least twice a day, deep enough so they can wash off any feathers that dont preen out, and any in their noses... ;)

Good luck

Briggsy from Gower

  • Joined Nov 2018
Re: Ducks molting
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 08:07:56 pm »
Thanks all,

They have as much free ranging as daylight will allow.

It makes sense that the eggs are draining the protein. When Blondie (Khaki) molted in the autumn she had a long  spell without laying, and slept a whole lot as the new feathers came.

I have them on a 50/50 layers to grain so will put them on layers only for a while. I also will up their greens, I grow a Chinese green that is meant to be high in protein so will make sure they get plenty.

Thanks for the tips.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 05:21:29 pm by Briggsy from Gower »

Briggsy from Gower

  • Joined Nov 2018
Re: Ducks molting
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 05:20:36 pm »
Well I've had them on a high protein diet for nearly four weeks now and the silly sods are just laying bigger eggs!

Anyone know of any supplements that may help things along. At the moment they are on blackstrap molasses every other day, which they absolutely love.

 

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