Need to separate female duck - does she need a friend?

KCNC06

Crowing
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
426
364
261
Central NC
One of our female ducks has been plucked raw by overzealous drakes. With chickens, I've never worried much about separating an injured hen for a bit while she heals but I've never had this issue with ducks. Our chicken hens don't seem to care if they're away from the flock but I know ducks are different and don't like to be alone. This poor girl looks like she could use at least a day or two away from the flock but I don't want to her to be lonesome and get more stressed because she's alone. She's pretty raw from the top of her head all the way down her neck. Letting her back in the yard to swim and everything doesn't seem like a great idea right now.

Anyway, the title is basically my question. Is she okay by herself inside for a day or two by herself or should I grab another female to come keep her company? Or maybe option b - let her rest alone tonight and maybe (depending on weather and how she looks) grab another female to visit with her in a separate yard tomorrow? She's not at all happy with us getting near her right now. I can't say that I blame her. I'm sure she's scared and in pain. I'm hoping that being in a clean bed (the bathtub with blankets so she doesn't slip around) overnight will give her time to get some energy back. She doesn't look as bad as our bantam chicken hen that got torn up by roosters last year. At least this girl has skin left!! She's a little bloody but it's more like a scrape...the chicken last year had raw muscle exposed on her back. Her skin and feathers all grew back and she looks amazing.

Also, to answer the other obvious suggestion, the drakes will be dealt with. We apparently have too many. I had hoped they would behave since they're at about a 2:1 female:male ratio. We've had them at a 1:1 ratio before and everyone got along great. I don't understand why these boys are so agressive. Makes me sad. I told my husband and brother that I understand some boys need to go "up the road", I just don't need to know anything about it. Don't want to know who's going, where they're going, nothing. I'm a sap about that stuff. I acknowledge that they're about as bad as any predator we've dealt with, but they used to be my cute little babies so...I don't want to know.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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Can you put the injured duck in a run or cage or pen adjoining the others? Then she could be "with" them but they would be unable to hurt her.

If that doesn't work, you may have to just try it both ways--see how distressed she is alone, try giving her a companion and watch to see what happens, make a decision based on what you see. What's right one day may be wrong the next, so you might have to re-evaluate frequently. You might find that one particular female companion does not work but a different one does.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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You don’t mean they are going to literally take them up the road? Or do you mean cull? Yes hormones can really take over once these boys become of age. And many drakes can really put females through H. She should be fine inside for the night but I sure wouldn’t put her right back out there tomorrow with the drakes. Put your drakes separate from your females until you decide who goes who will stay. That will keep them from getting another female like this one.
 

KCNC06

Crowing
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
426
364
261
Central NC
You don’t mean they are going to literally take them up the road? Or do you mean cull?

Years ago a friend told me that her parents and grandparents would say animals went "up the road" instead of saying they got dead. I added it to our vocabulary around here. Never considered that it might be interpreted literally. We've acquired many pets that someone literally took up the road and dumped off. Both seem cruel to me but I'd never drop my fowls off at some random pond or lake. I've felt very sad for our mallards that flew off once they realized they could.

I'm not sure if we can divide their yard easily. It's not a regular shape and is quite large. I can probably put her in our dog yard if she seems ready to go out tomorrow. She'd be able to see the flock from there, it's only a few feet away. And our dogs are older and know not to go near the fowls. They're usually scared of them. Dogs afraid of fowls that is.

Do you happen to know if EMT ointment is safe to use on ducks? It says it's all natural and safe for all animals. I used it on the chicken last year. It supposedly makes a barrier so dirt can't get it, but still keeps the wound hydrated so it can heal faster. It seems like it could be good to keep her ouchies clean until she heals.
 

KCNC06

Crowing
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
426
364
261
Central NC
What is your drake to duck ratio?
I think we had maybe 1 drake to every 2.5-3 ducks. After watching the fowls in their yard from our back deck this morning, I'd almost guess the drake to duck ratio was closer to 0:1...or however a ratio of none to something would look. I hope that's not the case because some of our drakes were nice and some were very pretty. But I can't remember the last time our fowl yard was this quiet. A few ducks are foraging around but most are just quietly sleeping in the sunbeams poking through the trees.
 

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