Ducks plucking chickens?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by babalubird, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2008
    Help! My six ducks, Khakis I think, pluck the feathers out of my chickens and eat them. They were all raised together, all about 1 month old now, and housed together in the new coop, 14 ft x 16 ft and 5.5 feet tall, so I don't think overcrowding could be an issue. Only 40 birds at this point and only 6 are ducks.

    I'm afraid it may be the food, first all chicken starter but now mostly chicken egg layer formula. I'm afraid it may not be enough protein, but how do you provide different foods when they're housed together, as many people do.

    Thanks for suggestions in advance.

  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Yes, that is definitely NOT enough protein for the ducks, and also, ducks need more niacin than chickens and the niacin level in standard chicken feeds isn't high enough.

    Your basic options are to up everyone's protein level by using a higher protein feed such as duck and goose grower formula which would also have more niacin, or to separate. It won't hurt chickens to have duck formula, niacin is a water soluble vitamin and extra is just excreted from the body harmlessly. It just costs a little more to buy duck grower formula than standard chicken layer because its higher protein. I actually feed my hens either turkey or duck grower most of the time because I think the extra protein encourages more egg production in older hens - 16% layer formula is sort of the minimum acceptable level of protein for chickens.

    The feed may not be the entire cause of the problem, it could also arise from boredom. Do they get to free range or are they always in the 14 x 16 pen?
  3. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    I thought too high of protein causes angel wing in ducks?? I'm confused. What is a good level of protein for ducks then?
  4. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Durham, Connecticut
    Quote:Ducks need to forage. I know that geese will pluck other poultry if they don't get to forage in grass - is there a grassy area for them to forage in? At 4 weeks a 15%- 18% should be OK as long as they are getting other greens.
  5. jenny_kap

    jenny_kap Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2011
    i had the same problem last year. my ducks were plucking my chickens feathers. but at a point, the chickens started to fight back, plucking the ducks feathers. that up to the point when they didn't let the ducks to come close to them and they didn't let the ducks eat. it took me some time to figure out why my ducks seems do not grow too much. and when i saw what happens, i started to feed the ducks in the evening and at night, when the chickens were in the coop, sleeping.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011

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