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Fading Muscovies

Discussion in 'Other Animals' started by animalmom, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. Aug 13, 2018
    animalmom

    animalmom Herd Master

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    My Muscovies look terrible. Their feathers are not shiny and iridescent like they used to be, instead they look bleached out.

    They are active, breeding and setting on nests but not hatching any ducklings. Either the eggs are not fertile or for some reason the ducklings die in the egg.

    We feed them a good chicken crumble feed with brewers yeast added and they get some scratch grains daily.

    They have clean water and a big tub to swim and bathe in.

    Any ideas as to why my birds look bad?
     
  2. Aug 13, 2018
    rachels.haven

    rachels.haven Overrun with beasties

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    Feathers just fade as the year goes on. Usually they look worst right before they start molting, and muscovy can slow molt for a LONG time and look terrible...forever. Check out my profile picture. See what I mean? They can also seem to drop feathers fast and just stay looking terrible until they EVENTUALLY grow them back in. They just don't seem to want to bother to look nice at times. If they're not unhealthy or diseased, it could just be their molt time.

    You could always worm as a precautionary measure, just in case that has anything to do with it. Just make sure if you do you worm at least twice to get all the stages of worms-I do 3x, 10 days apart, once a year. I use ivermectin cattle/swine pour on and that seems to work.

    Temperature could have something to do with the eggs not hatching. If it's hot, funny things can happen. I always get better hatch and development rates when it's cold (like in February or April when my early girl starts up sitting, so it's below freezing). Or exploding eggs in the nest contaminating the rest. Are the eggs developing and not hatching or just empty? 38 days is a LOONG time for something to go wrong and sometimes it does. Candling in the 2nd or 3rd week, then at the end to catch deads and rottens always seems to help with that. Exploding eggs can kill their neighbors and make everything wreak.

    IDK if it would be the case, but I'd make sure the scratch isn't turning your drakes into lazy lard balls. My big guy is currently fat on twice a day layer feed and has proven he can mate, but just barely. Last year he made it to 16 lbs. No scratch for him if I want him to live, I get the impression. Other lines will be different though.

    Those are just maybes, barring actual disease, of course. Somebody may know more. Muscovy are fairly no nonsense typically. I'm sorry you're having trouble.
     
  3. Aug 17, 2018
    animalmom

    animalmom Herd Master

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    Thank you @rachels.haven, I appreciate your response. As active, ahem, as the drakes are I don't think they are overweight but I'll keep a closer eye on all of them. They get about 10 handfuls of a mix of scratch, wheat and sunflower seeds a day (not 10 handfuls of eat type).

    We've now had the ducks a full year and I suppose we should have thought they would molt.

    Any way thanks for your time and response. I do appreciate both.