Need help, plucked ducks.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by chickboss, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Well, Scruffy the Australian Spotted, is at it again. He was introduced back into the flock about a week ago and showed no signs of wanting to pluck feathers and I thought we were in the clear. I was gone camping for three days while hubby held down the fort, and at some point yesterday evening or early this a.m. (I got home too late to really see them) Scruffy went nuts and plucked two of the Runners backs completley clean. I was so upset when I found them. They were having a hard time walking (I am assuming because it HURTS) and have brought them in the house and given them vit/probiotics/food/water and sprayed the area with Vetricyin. I am worried about the black Runner though. Seems to not be handling the stress of the injury well at all. I checked them all over for signs that it could've been something else, but there is nothing, and we caught Scruffy going after another Runner, and one of the whites has minor signs of being plucked in the same area as well. Scruffy is once again isolated. Anything else I could be doing for the two that were severly plucked? I was pretty upset with hubby, because the severity of it made me think it happened over a longer period of time, but he swears they were fine (even cried, because the black Runner is his favorite and is the total love of our DD ,then I felt like a jerk). They have access to a large area during the day, and a house that allows room for them all to walk around, sleep, strech out, eat drink, so I don't think it is a crowding issue. I think Scruffy is just a really naughty duck. Anyway, any further suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks....
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Scruffy is very lucky he lives with you. If he had the bad fortune to live with me, he would be invited for dinner.

    Poor ducks.
     
  3. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Oh believe me, I am feeling close.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  4. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    So sorry to hear you have come home to find this. I have never had a bad issue with feather plucking- and some of my young ducks are housed in fairly cramped conditions over night. I will notice a bit of nibling at each other- but not straight out plucking.

    Bordom could be playing a part. I have recently bought some bird and cat toys for my ducklings to nibble on which I hang in the corner of the brooder. Apart form segregating him- until older amd hoping he grows out of it with age I dont know what else to suggest. Its not really like you can smear the feathers with hot mustard or something equally unappealing to taste to stop him doing it....
     
  5. secretquail

    secretquail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hear there is an opening at freezer camp![​IMG]
     
  6. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    I don't think he is bored. He runs around in the yard, eats bugs, plays in the pool, ect, ect. All the normal ducky stuff. I know that with chickens, sometimes a need for more protien can lead to plucking. I will try supplementing his diet, but my gut says that isn't it. I just think he likes it. I know it is harsh, but he may end up culled (yes, freezer camp culled) even though he was not meant for that, as I couldn't knowingly sell a duck with this problem, and he will not be happy alone. He is still young, so I will give it some time, like suggested (thanks for the support duckyfromoz). I am hoping the black Runner starts acting less like it is in shock by tomarrow. I am pretty upset (kind of surprised, I've had to deal with injuries enough). I think it is because I was gone, off having fun, and feel that I maybe could've caught it had I been home before it got that bad. Anyway, thanks everyone.
     
  7. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Is there a special reason you can't do this with ducks? Is the anti-picking spray toxic to them or something?

    I had a problem with my 4 chickens when they were 6 months old and started to lay. Suddenly, one of them decided that she was queen of the roost, and she picked the backs of the other 3 clean of feathers and bloody during the 9 hours I was gone for the day to work. It was rather gruesome. I separated her for a couple of days, treated the wounds, and when I put them back together, I used a product called "Qwell Anti-Picking Spray for Caged Birds" that I bought at the local pet store. Worked like a charm, no more picking after that.

    Wouldn't that type of product work ok on ducks as well?
     
  8. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Kildare, Wisconsin
    Quote:Is there a special reason you can't do this with ducks? Is the anti-picking spray toxic to them or something?

    I had a problem with my 4 chickens when they were 6 months old and started to lay. Suddenly, one of them decided that she was queen of the roost, and she picked the backs of the other 3 clean of feathers and bloody during the 9 hours I was gone for the day to work. It was rather gruesome. I separated her for a couple of days, treated the wounds, and when I put them back together, I used a product called "Qwell Anti-Picking Spray for Caged Birds" that I bought at the local pet store. Worked like a charm, no more picking after that.

    Wouldn't that type of product work ok on ducks as well?

    I would think so - except that ducks are in the water half the time, so unless it's waterproof, you'd probably end up having to re-apply it a LOT. [​IMG]
     
  9. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    I did try some anti-pick ointment before, when this started the first time. They practically sucked it off their own feathers like it was ice cream... Still, I know that they wouldn't like not having a bath for awhile, but maybe some other product like the one mentioned and no kiddie pool until it is established that his flock mates are not waddling snack bars might be worth a try.
     
  10. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Quote:Is there a special reason you can't do this with ducks? Is the anti-picking spray toxic to them or something?

    Although a spray specially manufactured for the purpose may work in certain conditions- what I meant was anything you put on the birds to stop them being feather plucked- would cause other issues for the bird- preening themselves would be a problem if there was something abhorrent on them- also the waterproof factor. And as Chickboss has now stated - she has tried a spray- but it didnt work as she had hoped.
     

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