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Duck pulling and eating chicken feathers!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Liz2, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Liz2

    Liz2 In the Brooder

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    We have a pair of female ducks, 6 chicken hens and a rooster in a combo coop. They have more than enough room in the coop and the outsid run. I recently notice s that our one duck has been pulling and eating feathers from our hens! 2 of our hens aphave bare spots on their backsides and another hen has a spot started on her back near her tail feathers. I noticed it the other day and then today saw our duck pull and eat the feathers of 2 hens. What is causing her to do it and what can we do to stop it? It is the middle of winter so separating would be very difficult because of the cold and the snow.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

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    What is the actual size of your coop and run? You need to look at size and coop/run lay out, and also address the protein needs. Usually, protein or other nutrient deficiency is involved. Check the mill date on your feed. Is it over 6 weeks old? Feed quickly degrades in nutrient value after 6 weeks.
     
    shawluvsbirds likes this.
  3. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN" Premium Member

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    :goodpost:I also believe ducks have pretty different nutritional needs than chickens so it may well be that the duck is lacking in protein or something Else that could be making it want to do this.
     
    sourland and chickens really like this.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

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    Agreed. What is the protein content of the feed?
     
  5. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN" Premium Member

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    Oh and :welcome
    You have come to the right place.
    What kind of duckies do you have?:pop
     
  6. Skipper81

    Skipper81 " For my yoke is easy and my burden is light "

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    I have 3 MUSCOVY female ducks with 2 hens in one of my coops which I don't really like to do because it's wet from ducks playing in water
    I notice ducks get a little aggravated with hens on some days and grabbed feathers on back and wouldn't let go.
    I think it's pecking order communication they don't seem to speak the same language if you know what I mean
    When chicken runs off duck hangs on and pops out the feathers
    I was given advise that chickens need a dryer environment and I'm building a separate coop and also I think ducks require way more square footage than chickens
    Best of luck to you

    Edit: 1 of the hens is in with ducks because she had to be separated from the flock for pulling feathers which was eating feathers from boredom, or lack of protein. Put here in a cage with larger birds and she was at the bottom of pecking order and stopped
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  7. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN" Premium Member

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    All great points. . I know lots of people do keep ducks and chickens together but I don't think it works out well for most.
    My thinking is that if the duck is actually EATING the feathers after it pulls them out though there could still be a dietary issue :hmm
     
    Skipper81 likes this.
  8. Liz2

    Liz2 In the Brooder

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    Thank you for all the replies! I was thinking it could be a lack of protein but wanted to get others opinions as this is our first time with ducks. Their inside coop is about 8ft by 8ft and a 15ft by 15ft attached run. We have roosting bars for the chickens and several board at various heights along other spots in the coop for them along with their nesting boxes of course. The ducks I believe are Rouen. Here is a pic from when we had just started fixing up their coop area
     

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  9. Skipper81

    Skipper81 " For my yoke is easy and my burden is light "

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    The bantam rooster is very cute he looks so tiny compared to the hens
    There are lots of ways to get your birds extra protein.
    Please update us on your results.
     

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