duckling wing feathers injured

loofa

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2009
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82
131
I just noticed that one of my almost month old ducklings has some injured wing feathers. She was fine this morning, and we've been around them pretty much all day with no incidents - We were just herding them out of the house for a bit of outside time when we noticed blood. They have just started to peck at one another a lot, which I wasn't worried about as I figured they are just establishing a pecking order, but it's the only thing I can think of that would have caused this injury. The injury clearly isn't life threatening, I'm just wondering how worried I should be. I would hate to have to separate her from the other two, but should I? I could make it so that they are just separated by a see through dog fence, so they can still be right next to one another.

Any insights about this injury appreciated. The group photo is just for a clear idea about their size. They are khaki campbells, 4 weeks old tomorrow.

ducks.jpeg
duck wing 1.jpeg
duck wing 2.jpeg
 

loofa

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2009
89
82
131
I'm currently letting them swim around as I figure that regardless of how it was caused if I can get the blood off it's less likely the others will want to peck at it. I would have thought it was just that one blood feather broke if they didn't all look so motley - but maybe this is normal? She's definitely growing a bit faster than her siblings (these are optimistic pronouns) so maybe her wings are just at a different phase?
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Jul 19, 2016
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The frequency of the pecking can be reduced by providing plenty of space for the ducklings to roam in as well as some activities to do, a water source will help of course, but so will a hanging treat ball, brush pile, or logs in their pen. I'm not sure what your setup is like, but most often these problems occur due to boredom/lack of space.

The injury to the pin feather looks fairly minimal, but if you want you could dab some blue- kote onto the feather, not only will help it with preventing an infection it should help keep the other ducks away since the smell is quite strong.
 

loofa

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2009
89
82
131
Thank you so much for the tips. It's true that their indoor space is boring! Now that they are spending some hours outside every day I was not worrying about that, but clearly I need to spice things up in there until they are old enough to be outside all of the time. And I just found instructions for DIY Blu Kote, so now I have project.
 

loofa

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2009
89
82
131
Okay, I ended up buying blu-kote, not making my own (you should see my hands now - all purple). I dyed her wings with it, but they continued to peck at her and her injury got worse. So I have sectioned off part of the indoor pen so that she can have some space to heal. She is still right next to her friends and they are even sleeping pressed up against her side, so they all feel like they are together. I got a dog treat ball to put some treats in, and tomorrow I'll do more to try to make their indoor pen more fun, but they were even pecking at her outside, where there is lots of interesting stuff to do so I don't know that this will help with the pecking - it will still be good for them to have a less boring pen though.

This poor little duck. Every single thing that has gone amiss with this, my first time raising ducklings, has happened to her. She got niacin deficiency (despite lots of added yeast that they definitely eat since I wet their food), she got stuck in a water access hole (no injury, just scary) and now this. The crazy thing is that I think that she's going to be top of the pecking order - other than this, she is a real take charge critter.
 

loofa

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2009
89
82
131
Side note, my copy of Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks just arrived. I happened to open it right to the section on butchering them, and promptly tore those pages out. Excited to read what's left :)
 

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