NEW TO DUCKS--AGAIN

Discussion in 'Waterfowl' started by danathome, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, what Robin said! It's genuinely terrifying, there is a 3000 meat bird contract farm, (famous name in your supermarket), less than a mile from me and their contract time is 45 days, from start to shipping them out. And they average 100 to 150 dead birds a day. Live birds get shipped, anything else gets ground for commercial compost. And they have a giant manure pond. Yay.
     
  2. danathome

    danathome Well-Known Member

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    As it pertains to the birds, it also bothers me; can't help but feel bad for the birds. An older brother raised broilers one year. The bird's growth rate was surprising to me and him. As they grew a number of them lost the ability to walk and laid by the feeders eating. It got to the point it was revolting to be around the broilers and my brother never repeated the experience.

    Some call ducklings have problems with Angel Wing where the duckling grows so fast that the wings are unable to support the feathers when they come in and the wing end bows outward and becomes deformed. My blue drake has that problem with one wing. I now know to keep the wings clipped at the first sign of Angel Wing until the duckling has reached its full growth.
     
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  3. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, there you go, I just learned something else new. I had heard that people wrap them when angel wing pops up. I didn't know keeping the feathers trimmed would also prevent it.
     
  4. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it looks a little like slip wing, I've seen it three times here. Some folks blame it on too much protein in their diet, which can be a contributing factor.
     
  5. danathome

    danathome Well-Known Member

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    I should have explained further on this. When Blue showed Angel Wing we tried wrapping; wasted effort as he had all the wrapping removed in minutes. From examination it appears that the wing is not developed/strong enough for the fast feather growth. Believing this to be the problem I THINK clipping will help as there would be less weight for the wing to support. So clipping is something I plan on trying should the need arise.

    Yes PJ, I have heard protein is to blame or that it may be genetic. I know the duck egg seller quite well and believe her to be honest. She told me that the last incidence of Angel Wing in her flock had been several years ago and it was the only time. From this it seems not to be genetic.
     
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  6. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, count me in on following how this works if it does show up again.
     
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  7. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    I used to trim just the most offending one to three feathers. I have to admit in recent years, I have been lazy and not trimmed, some self correct, and others do after the first molt. I probably would be more attentive if the bird was intended for show.
     
  8. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    With Dan's observations it makes sense that it would correct without further intervention.
     
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  9. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't imagine trying to wrap a duck wing!
     
  10. danathome

    danathome Well-Known Member

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    Both wings were effected at first. One wing did correct itself as it got stronger. PJ-might the other self correct during the molt next summer even though the duck is mature.
     
  11. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe, probably if it's not bad, do you have a picture?
     
  12. danathome

    danathome Well-Known Member

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    Not too bad. I don't have a current picture. He is in the loft where I don't want to disturb the brooding homers. It's cold and nasty today so I hesitate to do anything where the birds will be off their nests.

    Thanks PJ. I moved the four oldest ducklings into the poultry yard this morning on a permanent basis. So far they are doing well; still playing in the water like it's a warm day.
    They're four weeks old today and you were right as to size. They're about 75% the size of the adults. It now looks like most of the growth is in feathering out.
     
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  13. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    and weight, they will gain toward their adult weight.
     
  14. danathome

    danathome Well-Known Member

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    The ducklings spent the night in the shed. Today the temperatures are in the 30s and the ducklings are still messing in the water outside. I found the peas on top of the garage this morning where they spent the night. I hadn't noticed they weren't in the coop when I shut things up last night.
     
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  15. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    The same here, I figure when they want to go in, they'll go in.
     
  16. danathome

    danathome Well-Known Member

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    But they're only a month old and outside and it's in the thirties in temperature. They look fine and not the least bit cold. Tonight it's supposed to get in the 20s. How cold is too cold?
    Rather than worry I will end up bringing them in for the night. Probably.
     
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  17. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    I would bring them in. All my ducks are currently adult size and have significant fat insulation. They make their own choices, the only thing they don't like is cold wind, then they go in the coop for shelter.
     
  18. danathome

    danathome Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. They will be brought in.
     
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  19. danathome

    danathome Well-Known Member

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    I have left the four oldest ducklings outside, overnight, for the past two days. They have been just fine. This morning everything was iced over and the water dishes/bowls had to have the ice broken before the birds could drink. No sooner had I done so and backed off a bit, that the ducklings dove in, started splashing, dipped their heads, and submerged themselves in the freezing water. While I shivered and turned blue the ducklings had a big time playing in the water. Ducks! I need not worry about ducklings and it being winter. The second group of four are outside for the day and will soon join their older siblings.
     
  20. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    LOL That was good for a giggle. Even after seeing that I'd still be hovering.

    Next we need to know what they do about their water hole being iced over.