All blood feathers broken, what to do.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SouthernPride, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. SouthernPride

    SouthernPride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I posted this on the diseases/injury forum but didn't get very much help. I have a female mallard that was brought to me yesterday, she was found at a park being gang raped. Her neck is totally missing feathers but it's the wings that I'm worried about. Every one of her blood feathers have been broken. After washing her up, I had her in an outdoor pen and when I went out in the evening to lock them up I found her covered in flies and maggots. I've cleaned her up again using a brush I remove the maggots, diluted betadine to kill germs and then used a natural flea killer for pets and sprayed her down. I'm really surprised she did not bleed to death. My question is, since she has so many broken blood feathers will these fall out and will new ones come in before the fall?
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  2. SouthernPride

    SouthernPride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning she looks maggot free, caught it just in time. I never knew they could be any more disgusting than what I originally thought. I bathed her again and she is resting in a quiet room. She is drinking water that has save-a-chick in it but will not eat the crumbles or mealworms I have in there. Her skin is raw, almost looks like callouses. I researched this site for recommendation on the blood feathers but pulling them is not an option since there are so many of them. Anyone have any advice they can share?

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    This is a picture of the maggots clumps, so gross.
     
  3. getaclue

    getaclue Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Since no one seems to be answering, I will give it a go, but am by no means an expert. Don't feed it chicken feed, instead use gamebird feed. Instead of bathing, just apply betadine. If it get's weaker, or seems to get infection, try adding Tetroxy (tetracycline - any brand) to it's water for 7 - 10 days. When the water just starts to change color, it's enough. Probiotics are good for it too.
     
  4. SouthernPride

    SouthernPride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The crumbles are what I give all of my ducks and geese so I know that is OK, good idea about the tetracycline, I will add that to the water as well. Thanks.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia "I Believe" Premium Member

    I'd just let the blood feathers fall out naturally in the fall when she molts and then they will grow back in. Poor thing I have never seen a duck in such bad shape, Maggots are awful to deal with, thank goodness I have never had to but have read may accounts where people have. Not always with a good outcome either. Or when do Mallards molt? my Scovy's molt in the fall but evidently some breeds are molting now. As for antibiotics if you feel she has infection then I'd give her a course.
     
  6. SouthernPride

    SouthernPride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mallards are molting now, that is why she had so many blood feathers. I really don't know if her system will kick in and produce more, especially since she is so depleted of nutrients and fluids. I guess the best thing to do is get her healthy and see what happens.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia "I Believe" Premium Member

    I think I would too, that would be so stressful and painful to have all your blood feathers pulled out.

    I'm going to save this so when someone comes in and say has 4 drakes and 1 ducks we can show them what the duck will look like if they keep all the drakes with her. That is heartbreaking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  8. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a similar issue with a Radjah Shelduck back at my zoo. Our vet recommended to pull all the broken blood feathers (even though it was almost all from the one wing). We were able to anesthetize the duck though, so it was a painless procedure for her. They will heal up much much faster and there will be no more risk of bleeding/infection if they are all pulled and the wing area cleaned thoroughly. I was also told the feathers would grow back more quickly if we pulled all the blood feathers, but as that wasn't a vital detail for the particular duck (being safe in captivity and pinioned) I really couldn't tell you how fast they came back in. All I know is the wing healed up very fast and the duck was happy and pain-free by the next day or so. If you do pull them, it's also very important to get the whole shaft of each feather out. Sometimes you have to dig around in there to get those out that were broken below the skin.

    Not sure if that helps at all, but that's all I've got. Good luck to the poor girl!
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia "I Believe" Premium Member

    I can't imagine doing this to a duck with out anesthetizing.
     
  10. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I agree. I don't suppose you have any vet connections that'd be willing to help you out with that? I feel bad for the poor thing. I don't have the resources to do things like this anymore either, so I totally feel you. I'm not sure what I would do in your place. Maybe pull a few feathers a day? Spread it out a bit? We did pull broken blood feathers without anesthesia a few times on different birds, but it was maybe 2 or 3 feathers and not a whole wing.
     

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