December is approaching rapidly! The pigeons should finish moulting by then, especially the old pigeons. If they don’t, you shouldn’t worry. There are completely normal reasons for it. However, you may wonder why your pigeon has a bad moult! You should keep these tips in mind for the next season in order to keep your pigeons in a normal moulting rhythm.
As you know, the moult starts partly. During summer, the first quills are shed. After the fifth quill, the feather deck should start moulting. The feathers will now be shed step by step. This means your pigeon will get bold and create a new ‘suit’. This new feather deck is very important for the health and performance of your pigeon.
Some of your pigeons may have had some trouble moulting. They started late, the moult took a long time or the new feathers don’t look too healthy. It’s important to know the causes and how to prevent this next year! Also, there are still some things you can do to improve the final result and boost your pigeon’s strength.
What causes a bad moult?
The moulting depends on various factors. We’ll discuss the most common causes for a bad moult. We’ll immediately give some tips and best practices to prevent bad moult and stimulate the pigeon’s health.
1. Darkening the loft causes a bad rhythm
The first reason is kind of obvious, pigeons have a natural rhythm. Not everyone is aware of this, but if you darken the loft, this will have an influence on the pigeons natural rhythm. Darkening the loft is important to stimulate this rhythm, but if you darken at the wrong time with the wrong intervals, this will have a bad influence. Fanciers that cover the pigeon loft should be aware that their pigeons may start moulting at a different moment during the year. Read our blog about training pigeons to find out when we darken the loft.
2. A heavy racing season consumes energy
The second, most common reason for a different or bad moult is the exertion of your pigeons. If you race with your pigeons until late in the season, the pigeon will use its energy for racing, for physical exertion. We’ve discussed before what happens with your pigeons energy and muscles during racing. This means that energy cannot be used for moulting. As a result, the pigeon will start moulting later in the season. This doesn’t necessarily result in a bad moult. But you should realize that the pigeon may finish the moult later, or that the pigeon will moult at a faster rate. Both can influence the quality of the mould. For example, a faster moulting process may result in bungled feathers. They may be grown too fast and the quills may, during the process, not have had a sufficient blood capacity. Blood is important for the growth of feathers. If the quills are formed fast, they may be thinner and the blood capacity may be less. As a result, the feather did not receive enough blood to form adequately. Be aware that a pigeon that performs very well this season, may perform less in the next season due to the influence on the moult.
3. When the blood is not pure
Blood is important, which brings us to the third reason for trouble during the moult. If your pigeon is infected, doesn’t receive the right feed or sufficient water, this will influence the purity of the blood. Good blood is important for the transport of ‘building materials’. You should make sure that you always provide your pigeons with the best feed. Provide you pigeons with periodic detoxes. Bio 1, Travi-Allicin-plus, Setrachol, Knoflook+Ui, etc. These will stimulate liver function and purify the blood.
Building blocks are immensely important. If your pigeon does not receive the right vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fuels, etc. you pigeon will lag. We already mention the feed. The right feed is the basis for the physical condition of your pigeon. It’s important you also provide the right supplements. Don’t always give the same feed, but switch the days of the week. We give Rik Mix most of the time, but additionally, we give different healthy ‘snacks’ like minerals and grit, cabbages or supplements such as Omega Oil mix.
4. When the loft isn’t home
The fifth factor that influences the moult is, of course, the loft. Our pigeons need to feel safe, warm and happy. The loft has a big influence on this. We’ve already covered some basics of the loft in another article. Something that impacts the moult is the amount of draft in the loft. Make sure there are no drafts. Air circulation is important for fresh air, but a cold draft can cause a cold or cause irritations on the skin. The feathers protect against drafts, but during moulting, the pigeon is more vulnerable.
How to recognize a bad moult?
There are a few signs that the moult is not going well. Keep an eye out for stripes over the quills and old fuzz in the neck. It’s wise to contact a veterinarian for a diagnosis. The bad moult may not just be due to any of the reasons given above, but due to an infection. If you have a diagnosis from your veterinarian, we can help you further with advice and a targeted treatment plan.
To help you, we’ve created a moulting schedule that will help your pigeons during moulting. We hope you’ll be able to use this information and the schedule to your advantage!