Have you ever wandered into the farmyard and asked yourself, “Why doesn’t the duck simply fly away?”
There are three answers:
1. He does, sometimes. As you can see here in an older post.
2. He seasonally has wing feathers trimmed to help keep him down on the ground.
3. At nearly 11 pounds, he’s a little bit too chubby to really get off the ground.
In the early spring and fall, Ducky molts (loses) his old feathers and grows a nice new set in. This would prepare him for long, seasonal migration flights, if he were a wild duck. These young feathers, called ‘blood’ or ‘pin’ feathers, have a great blood supply and birds need to be handled carefully when they’re coming in. Once the pin feathers grow out completely into flight feathers, we can safely trim them back to keep our duck grounded.