Help!! Chickens attacked duck and injured her pretty bad!

GraceG

Hatching
Sep 14, 2021
4
0
2
I have 7 chickens and 1 duck, all females. They are about 3 years old and have been raised together with no issues. A few mornings ago I went to let them out of the coup and the duck was very bloody. The chickens had plucked out the feathers on her wings and pecked at her wings so bad a lot of skin was missing, a bloody mess. They plucked her back feathers out too, but not through the skin. I cleaned her up well and am dressing and cleaning her wounds to prevent infection. She is currently living in a dog crate in the home. I was not sure if this was the chickens until I tried to let her visit the chickens today for a bit and 2 of them pecked at her and stood on her back to peck at her wings again. No harm was done, I was there in a split second, but now I am not sure what to do or why this happened in the first place. One odd thing I have noticed is that all my girls have not been laying for a few weeks now and they are normally laying every day at this time of year. Also, we are battling a rat problem at night, so my first thought was this was possibly rats, but I do not think that now.
Please help!!
 

nuthatched

Fishin' for Chickens
Nov 9, 2019
4,385
9,362
486
Rim Country, Az
What do they eat? They may need more protein in their diet and are choosing the ducks feathers since she's not as fast to get away. You might need to separate her to her own area, at least for now.
 

JustCallMeMaple

Songster
Aug 22, 2021
257
484
143
Aww ducks are social and given the duck was raised together with no duck buddies to back her up it is easier to gang up on a timid duck. It's interesting it's just now becoming a problem though. The rat issue could be frustrating them are they getting into the coop/run and bothering everyone in their safe space?
 

GraceG

Hatching
Sep 14, 2021
4
0
2
Yes, they are :( Every time we think we eliminated any area they could get in, the darn rats find a way. I do believe they are frustrated because of this.
 

GraceG

Hatching
Sep 14, 2021
4
0
2
What do they eat? They may need more protein in their diet and are choosing the ducks feathers since she's not as fast to get away. You might need to separate her to her own area, at least for now.
She is in a cage with us while she is healing. I realized a bit after the laying slowed down is when I had switched their crumble because the feed store was out. Maybe this has something to do with it. Something is off for sure. I will add more mealworms to their diet to get the protein intake up. Thank you
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
2,587
4,247
391
If there's a stressor, like rats, they could stop laying. It's also fall most of my flock isn't laying but they are molting. Maybe your flock is getting ready to molt?
As for the duck, she will have to be separated until fully healed otherwise the chickens will attack again. Is there anyway to get her a buddy? I let my ducks and chickens co-mingle, but sometimes they have to be separated. So I have my run divided in two with a duck side and a chicken side.
What type of feed do they currently get?
 

GraceG

Hatching
Sep 14, 2021
4
0
2
If there's a stressor, like rats, they could stop laying. It's also fall most of my flock isn't laying but they are molting. Maybe your flock is getting ready to molt?
As for the duck, she will have to be separated until fully healed otherwise the chickens will attack again. Is there anyway to get her a buddy? I let my ducks and chickens co-mingle, but sometimes they have to be separated. So I have my run divided in two with a duck side and a chicken side.
What type of feed do they currently get?
They get organic lay crumble. Yes, that was always the plan to get her a buddy. It just never worked out. We have had to deal with a lot of diseases and I am letting the flock I currently have live out there lives without being able to add anyone to the flock because of ILT. It is not in me to cull the 'infected'. So, this is why we have been reluctant to add, but I've heard that ducks do not generally get ILT, they just carry it. I just do not want to bring any diseases in or infect the incoming. Any recommendations?
 

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