Plucking Ducks And Geese





I would like to know about how, when and how often to pick old ducks so

as to get the feathers for pillows and not kill the ducks, either. Will

they lay any eggs while growing new feathers?



Neither ducks nor geese should be plucked until after the laying season

is over, which will be in July. Just before the moult, when the feathers

begin to loosen, they may be plucked again. Those most considerate of

their birds make only this latter plucking, which does not greatly

inconvenience the fowls. At no time must they be plucked unless the

feathers are "ripe"; that is, dry at the root, so that no bleeding or

injury to the skin is caused. An old stocking is drawn over the head of

the victim, and the bird held in the plucker's lap on a burlap apron;

then the soft feathers on the body are quickly and very gently removed;

but those on the side of the body which support the wings should not be

taken. Great care should be exercised not to injure the skin or

pinfeathers or pull the down. To grow new feathers quickly and resume

laying are matters which depend largely upon the condition of the bird

and the feed. The latter should consist of some 15 per cent of animal

food.





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