Just moved my six Rouens outside last Monday. Even with the crummy 40 degree, rainy weather they don't seem bothered by it one bit. They're a couple days shy of being six weeks old. Started having a problem with one duck nipping at the other ducks and pulling feathers out. Did a little research, looked through the forum on here quite a bit and ended up keeping that one duck separate from the others for three days. After the three days was up I let them all back together. Everything seemed fine at first but then it was back to nipping and pulling feathers. So now one of the ducks has bald spots on either side of it's back and two others are thinning in the same areas. So, just separated the culprit duck again...
I don't think it's a confinement issue. I have the ducks in a 25 foot by 10 foot enclosed pen, completely excluded from predators from top to bottom. At night they're in an 8 foot by 4 foot coop with a brooder lamp on to keep one side a little warmer (65 to 70 degrees) as it has been dipping into the 30s at night still. They seem content and happy in there. Can't reason out why it'd be a boredom issue as the ducks have full access to the entire pen and an open door to the coop all day long. They have a 40 gallon equine tub "pond" for swimming, access to forage, bugs and grower pellets all day plus fresh water for drinking.
Any ideas why this one duck is pulling feathers off the others? Any suggestions for correcting the problem? The other ducks seem minimally bothered by it. I read about changing the red heat light to a blue light as this is easier on the ducks eyes and has been shown to prevent feather eating (supposedly??). It's worth a shot I suppose.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.