Ducklings nipping pin feathers


Apr 7, 2020
My little 4 week old Buffy is getting her feathers in (pin feathers? The ones that you can see the blood inside them). Her buddies have taken to pecking at the feathers and are hurting her :( I tried putting some hydrocortisone on to sort of mask the blood but they keep pecking at her. We tried separating her but she gets panicky without her squad. I turned the light out early for the night so they couldn't see the spot and that seems to have worked for now but anything I can do to prevent them from pecking at her and how should I treat the bloody feathers?


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Isaac 0

6 Years
Jul 19, 2016
Hi there!

Sorry to hear you're having problems with your duck, could you give us a little more info about your setup and how many birds you have? Ducks generally don't attack each other unless they are being housed in a somewhat boring environment unless of course, you have full-grown ducks that are attacking because of hormones.

Providing ducklings with plenty of space during the day to roam, water to play in, and occasional treats will often help with fighting caused by boredom.


Apr 7, 2020
I have 4 coming 4 week old ducklings. They're being housed in my bathtub still because they've been too young to be outside(cold). We take them out to swim and play outside for about an hour a day and they get treats. We're working on their coop tomorrow so they can spend more time outside. Those feathers were sticking straight out on that side and they LOVE to peck at EVERYTHING, I think they stood out on her because she's light and they saw a spot to peck at. They had just spent an hour outside roaming and ate dinner when they really started going at her though, they should have been tired :/ Hopefully they will leave her alone in the dark and get tired out tomorrow once we get the pen done. Anything I can do to treat it for now? Should I put something on it or try wrapping it? I'm worried they'll peck at her more with a wrap on.


Apr 7, 2020
I don't wanna wake them up right now and get a photo but no, it's not big enough at all and I feel terrible but they're supposed to be kept warm and I couldn't find ideas on keeping them inside when theyre older. We've been working on their coop but everywhere is backordered on hardware cloth :( We are just making them a temporary run tomorrow out of whatever decent fencing we can find so they can at least be outside when we are home but I don't trust leaving them out unsupervised without solid predator proof fence or chance of being chilled in the rain. Everything I read about brooders was for small ones and said they needed to stay in the brooder til 6 weeks til they're feathered but they grew so fast! There's no way they can stay in here another 3 weeks. So confused :(

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16-17
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Oct 3, 2009
Mountains of Western N.C.
Do you have a kiddy pool you can set up for them to use as a brooder many on here use them @Isaac 0 can post a pic of his set up hopefully. Ever heard of blue kote TSC has it it’s got Gentian in it which is purple and disguises wounds etc works great on chickens might be worth a go for your duckling. It also heals. Just be sure to get the one with the dauber and I dab it on paper towel be for applying be very careful it stains what ever it touch’s but it’s great stuff.


May 30, 2020
Hi! My ducklings are a little younger than yours (ranging 2-3wks) but I also have 4 ducklings who are currently housed in a bathtub. Taking them outside isn't always feasible because we've had bad weather on and off lately, but one thing I've done is cleaned the whole bathroom really well to remove anything they might try to eat, and let them roam the whole bathroom 2-3x/day if I can't take them outside. I have to clean a lot of poop off the floor of course but it's worth it to see how happy they are to be out of the tub. I've also sectioned off a part of my kitchen and sometimes let them hang out in there while I'm doing dishes. I lay down a towel or blanket so the slick floor doesn't bother their feet. They might be a little spoiled now because they always act so offended when I put them back in the tub 😂 anyway just some ideas if you don't have a better way to house them at the moment, so they can get some more space throughout the day.

Another thing is one of my ducklings hurt her leg a little over a week ago. She also hated to be separated from the others, but i didn't want them to trample her and make it worse while it was healing, so I ended up putting her inside a clear bin which I put in the tub so they could all see each other but still be separate. Maybe something like that would work for you?

And, ok so this is my first time having ducks and maybe someone with more experience can comment, but are they supposed to get those wing feathers that early? I would be getting concerned about angel wing. I don't know enough about it though so I'd be interested to hear from someone with more experience


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