Fly strike on ducks


5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
Hi Everyone. We have four female ducks, two 5-year old Pekins, and two 3-month old runner ducks. Everyone has been living outside together for a while, no drama or anything. The two pekins, Yoshi and Big Baby, have been molting and they've both been having pretty rough molts, rougher than normal. They "free range" inside a fenced acre and a half pasture during daylight hours. They always have access to clean drinking water and regularly changed bathing water. Last week we came out to put everyone to bed and Big Baby was weirdly dirty. Turns out she had maggots on her. We got her inside, sprayed her down with the fly spray we use for the alpaca, and I washed that poor girl in my bathtub for at least 45 minutes, but there wasn't a single maggot on her when I was done. Turns out she had a spot where her down was missing and she'd picked at it a little and had some very minor wounds. We've had her in the house for about a week now, and she's healing up really nicely. That same day, after we got her all cleaned up, we brought Yoshi in and washed her and sprayed her with fly spray just to be safe, but she was totally fine. Her down and oils were all in tact. We've been keeping a really close eye on her though since she's still in the process of molting.

Today we went to put everyone to bed and had to look for Yoshi. We found her laying awkwardly in some tall grass, just COVERED in maggots. She died while my husband was carrying her inside. She was fine this morning.

Big Baby is doing really well in her recovery, and we checked the runners over (not an easy task, they are FAST!) and they look great. But these girls are our pets. I know the pekins are 5 years old and not exactly young, but I didn't think that was terribly old either. Are they just getting less tolerant of stress as they get older? Is there something else that could be going on? Should I be worried about the other girls?

Edit: I should mention that we did look Yoshi over after she passed and she didn't have a single wound or cut or anything on her.
Sorry for your loss. Hopefully others with duck experience will help. With chickens, some may be more prone to flystrike and maggots in summer, but may be more affected if something else is going on, such as an illness. I would try to treat the fly problem if possible, and watch for soiled vents or injuries.

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