Diamond88

Songster
7 Years
Apr 25, 2012
462
22
111
Chicago
My four-day-old call duckling has been scratching herself nonstop for the past day or so! The poor thing is so itchy. She's scratching her back, her belly, her head, everything. I've noticed some white flakes in her down that look like they might be dead skin. Could she have dandruff? What can I do for her? I have an appointment with the vet in four days but I'm worried that this could be a more urgent problem. Any suggestions as to what could be wrong?
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,779
531
Southern New England
Based on my experience with runners, I am guessing that she is starting to get some feathers, and she needs regular warm (85 to 90F) baths, followed up with a return to a clean, warm, dry brooder, and help drying off if she does not immediately begin preening herself.

My ducklings got covered with incoming feather wrappers (don't know the real word), bits of food and dried poo. Mercy, they got so dusty!!! So we began our daily baths when they were . . . two days old. First bath was in a steel baking pan
.
 

Diamond88

Songster
7 Years
Apr 25, 2012
462
22
111
Chicago
Thanks, Amiga! I haven't given my duckling a bath yet because I was worried about her getting too cold. I didn't know she needed to swim in order to stay clean. I just cleaned out the brooder and I'll set up a bath for her soon. Good to know that the itching is probably caused mainly by feathers coming in. Poor little thing. So warm baths will help relieve the itching associated with feathers growing?
 

Missy60

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 20, 2012
299
1
99
Southwest Virginia
A paint tray is a good option also for swimming when they are so small. Be sure to keep an eye on them at all times when they are swimming they can get water logged very quickly. A bath should help them a lot with their problem. Mine would get the exact same thing when they were babies.

I set their water bowl in the paint tray also to help with the spillage mess.
 
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Diamond88

Songster
7 Years
Apr 25, 2012
462
22
111
Chicago
Great idea, Missy. Thanks! I'm glad to hear that a bath usually helps solve the problem.
 

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