Outcast duckling?

Led ByTheWind

Feb 23, 2015
Grass Lake, Michigan
Hello all. Duckling question. I have (6) one week old female Pekins. I have been keeping a close eye on them as this is my first time raising birds. I'm starting to be able to tell them apart based on personality. There is one that is the bully, one that is peaceful, one that likes to adventure. However my concern comes in with be one that is the outcast. Is this normal? Is there anything I can do? The other girls peck her, they don't let her cuddle, and they just generally don't like her. She is the most nervous of the group. She gets super panicked when held (the others don't mind as much), she is scared of my dog (again, the others are great with my pup) and she gets stressed when I let them swim. She is also the smallest of the group. Am I worrying too much? How does duck hierarchy work? Thanks so much in advance!
I'm sure others with more experience with duck flock behavior will chime in, but I do know that in animals who live in groups this commonly occurs when one is perceived as a liability to the group. I would watch her closely for several reasons: 1) to make sure they are letting her get enough food and water, 2) to make sure she isn't getting hurt (either by them pecking at her, or by getting stepped on by everyone else)and 3) and finally because it has been my observation with my own flock, and reading others here, that sometimes there is an underlying reason for the small one being so small and the she may be more likely than others to develop health problems either because of stress and reduced feed intake, troubles metabolizing nutrients, or other issues (she may not, of course, but it is important to keep a close eye out).
I would add to localife's good thoughts that I would fix up some vitamin, electrolyte, probiotic water and make sure she drinks from it. I would also consider dividing the brooder so that she and one other duckling are in one side and the rest are in the other - where they can see each other and cuddle against the separator (like some plastic poultry fence). Not for very long, just a while, to change up the dynamic a little bit.

She may have a developmental problem. How is her breathing, her poop, her appetite if she can be given the chance to get at the food?

You know what else I just thought of? There is this liquid called Bach's Rescue Remedy. It is often used to help reduce anxiety, some of my critter-loving friends use it with their pets. I wonder if a drop or two in the bedding (not much, just a tiny bit) might be soothing. Please do a little reading, see if you think it is worth a try.

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