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Flying Ducks

Although most domestic breeds of ducks have lost their ability to fly there are exceptions: Muscovies, Calls, East Indies and domesticated Mallards can all fly to some extent so if you keep any of these it is a good idea to clip their wings. This is quite straightforward to do by simply trimming the primary feathers on one wing. Clipping one wing will unbalance the duck making flying impossible and is completely painless, in fact to the duck it is a bit like having its hair cut.

Only trim the primary feathers as the others are important for insulation. With a lightly coloured duck you can see where to trim the feathers by holding the wing up to the light. You will see where the bloodvessels start in the shafts of the feathers. Finally, don't forget to clip the wings again each time the duck moults!

Please note that if you are in doubt about how to do this please consult your local vet.

Customer Images

A yellow and a brown duck sat in grass with a water bowl


Cody, 26 April 2024

Great information, thank you

Ellen, 7 February 2022

My DIL had Muscovies last year. All but one flew away.

Melanie, 3 April 2021

Thanks for this advice. I’ve just taken charge of a Muscovy duck so I’ve now clipped her wing successfully ????

Ann, 13 July 2014

Yes, Muscovies can fly, but they don't tend to fly away. So it's better if you don't clip their wings and then they can fly away from the fox if they have to. Plus they like roosting on fences etc. But don't listen to people who say they don't need as much water as other ducks- mine bathe far more than the others (Campbells, Runners and Cherry Valleys), and really love if it's deep enough to get right under.

Yates, 14 July 2011

Thank you for your Help. My Husband helped his granfather some years ago and just needed to made sure.