Bump/growth on duck head, flock rejecting her

LittleGreyFarm

Chirping
Jan 15, 2021
24
75
79
Hello! Sorry for the long post. I will try to use bullet points to make it easier to follow.

We have a flock of 7, one drake and six gals. Frank (our drake) is a HUGE Pekin. We have a Pekin hen (Maggie) two Cayugas, a Blue Swedish, and two Golden 300 Hybrids.

- Frank and Maggie (Pekins) are almost a year old, hatched around 8/20/2020
- Bettie and Dot (Golden 300 Hybrids) hatched around 9/10/2020
- Luna (Cayuga) hatched 2/22/2021
- Penelope (Cayuga) hatched 3/1/2021
- Wanda (Blue Swedish) hatched 3/1/2021

Once mating season started, Frank seemed to pick on Bettie, our smallest hen. She had some of her feathers plucked out on the back of her head, and there was actually blood drawn from where Frank was grabbing on to her head. A couple weeks ago, I noticed she had developed a large bump on her head. I thought it was just swelling from the injury being tender.

Now, the bump is quite large and she has started withdrawing from the flock, and appears to be losing weight.

Additionally, Frank seems to be trying to attack her to hurt her, not for mating purposes.

The other females have joined in the attacking behavior, it almost looks like they are all trying to kill her, except for her hatchmate, Dot.

All the other ducks seem to be aiming for the base of her neck rather than the back of her head, where Frank use to grab onto for mating.

Bettie was laying eggs daily, but has stopped.

I allow Bettie to hang out with the rest of the flock, still, but with ample room to stay far away from Frank, but when I secure them in their run at night, I worry that she wont be able to escape the attacks.

So. My questions for you, wonderful duck moms/dads:

- Is the bump on Bettie's head an abscess? How would I treat this?
- Is it safer to separate Bettie from the flock at night? In a large dog kennel?
- Is the flock rejecting her a sign that she is dying?

Thanks for reading this novel of a post. Photos with descriptions in comments.
 

LittleGreyFarm

Chirping
Jan 15, 2021
24
75
79
Frank and Maggie
 

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Miss Lydia

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I believe I’d be doing some separating so you can keep bettie from being injured beyond help. Put her and Dot together by it where everyone can still see each other there are ways of using fencing to split a secure run and even a coop. Can you post some good up close pictures of this lump. Having her separated you can also monitor her eating drinking and pooping. Also put some poultry vitamins in her water to give her a Boost.
 

HollowOfWisps

Previously AstroDuck
Aug 28, 2020
2,329
5,104
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Iowa
So… these are kinda graphic. I’m sorry View attachment 2762235 View attachment 2762236
1. Is the bump hard or soft? How long did it take to develop? If I had to guess I would say it is a "Hematoma" which is a blood pocket pulling under the skin caused by trauma to the area. Sometimes they go down on their own and other times the swelling creates pressure on the skull which in turn puts pressure on the brain and can result in very serious issues if not taken care of right away. However, I am no vet and if possible I would highly recommend getting a vet involved. There is just too much that can go wrong especially with head injuries and infections in that location.

2. I would separate her for sure and please don't let Frank anywhere near her. If she has a female friend that she tends to hang out with you could try keeping the two separated together that way it is less stressful.

3. Ducks don't have hands so when they see something new like an injury on another duck, they pick at it with their bills. On the opposite end of the spectrum if a duck is not feeling well they will often find a nice quiet spot to hide away from the others.
 

LittleGreyFarm

Chirping
Jan 15, 2021
24
75
79
1. Is the bump hard or soft? How long did it take to develop? If I had to guess I would say it is a "Hematoma" which is a blood pocket pulling under the skin caused by trauma to the area. Sometimes they go down on their own and other times the swelling creates pressure on the skull which in turn puts pressure on the brain and can result in very serious issues if not taken care of right away. However, I am no vet and if possible I would highly recommend getting a vet involved. There is just too much that can go wrong especially with head injuries and infections in that location.

2. I would separate her for sure and please don't let Frank anywhere near her. If she has a female friend that she tends to hang out with you could try keeping the two separated together that way it is less stressful.

3. Ducks don't have hands so when they see something new like an injury on another duck, they pick at it with their bills. On the opposite end of the spectrum if a duck is not feeling well they will often find a nice quiet spot to hide away from the others.
Thank you so much. I have separated her and her sister (we already have a sectioned out area to keep them from demolishing my lawn any more than they already do, but bettie and dot can be princesses in that area together. I have a large dog kennel for them to sleep in, and food and water set out for them.

I couldn’t upload a video, but it is firm, but not quite rock hard, and moves around under the skin like a big marble… hopefully that makes sense.

our duck vet is booked out pretty far but I will see if they will at least look at pictures and decide on the next course of action.

thank you all again for the advice.
 

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