Feather pulling - HELP!


6 Years
Apr 21, 2013

I have 4 ducklings, I believe my two browns ones are Cayugas. They have started to pluck the feathers out of my white ducks to the point of BLOOD. I have had to separate them but the two white ones lay up next to the hexagon gates that separate them and they even do it through the barrier. It's not over crowding or stress. Why are they doing this and what can I do to stop them?
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It's a bad habit - once started, difficult to break. I would keep them separated, putting hardware cloth over the fencing between the two groups. You might put them together for supervised visits, but basically keep them separated until the pekins are fully feathered.
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When My Pekins are fully feathered will they stop doing this?? They are 6 weeks old. The above picture was a couple weeks ago. They have a lot more feathers now.
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That's going to be up to the ducks, partly. How much room do they have, by the way? They may need more than the standard. As sourland says, though, it can become a bad habit.
They have my entire back yard during the day and over 1/2 of the garage at night. A lot!
They have my entire back yard during the day and over 1/2 of the garage at night. A lot!
Go to the feed store and get some Blue Kote and spray those babies backs, Blue Kote will cover the bare skin and help also with healing, but most of all if your ducklings doing the pulling can't see the feathers to pull they may stop. Warning though Blue Kote has Gentian Violet in it and will stain anything it touches so wear gloves and very old clothes when using it. But thats what it's for to heal and cover wounds and keep other flocks memebers from mutilating each other.
Thanks so much!! I will go first thing in the morning! She is mostly healed from the picture now - but just today they made her bleed on her wings through the gates :/ brown ducks are mean!!
I am feeding them Duckling, Gosling food (18%) from the feed store, lettuce and greens.
You may also want to try increasing their protein level. While, theoretically, 18% should be fine, they may need more. Good quality cat food is an easy option. I had some ducklings that hatched in December that started feather picking. I seperated the culprits for a number of weeks until their feathers had grown in more. I also upped the protein % for them all, just in case.

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