Pecking Order Issue in Wild?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MrsDuck, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. MrsDuck

    MrsDuck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Western WA
    My mom sent me this picture of a Muscovy on the lake at their house in Florida. She is worried about it. I realize that there is no shortage of Muscovies in Florida, but she still wants to know if there's anything she can do to help. I would do the same thing, of course.

    There are apparently about 5 ducks that hang out together on this lake, and only one of them looks like this. She sent me pics of all of them, and the rest look fine. Is this one just being picked on by the others? If so, why doesn't she just leave? Obviously she can't fly now, but it seems like she should have flown away before it got this bad. Is there something else wrong? Any thoughts?

    Here's a close up of the one she is concerned about:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a group shot. The troubled one is towards the back:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    The loss of feathers on her head may be due to overbreeding. But, I can't tell you what's happening with the wing feathers. That looks pretty bad. I've never seen that with wild ducks. Usually, just the tail feathers get pulled out.

    (I changed my previous response after I looked at the photos again).
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  3. Quacking

    Quacking Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 23, 2010
    Not too sure about one of those pictured, but I can make out 3 drakes in that lot, and the one Im not sure about sure looks more like a male to me. The wing feathers may be damaged from the males claws when they stand on her back to mate. Poor girl, if someone owned her they could seperate or add more females, but in the wild she kind of has to put up with it- or fly away to find a group with less males.
     
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    She does look over-breed, and I counted 4 guys around her. I bet she is at a point where she no longer can fly, and has to tolerate the guys. Someone needs to catch her so she gets some time to recover.
     
  5. MrsDuck

    MrsDuck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Western WA
    Thanks, everyone!!

    I noticed the head and neck, and thought it might be over-breeding, but didn't think that explained the wings. DUH! Their claws are SHARP! I swear... my brain sometimes.

    OK, so what should Mom do?? Even if it were legal, she couldn't keep her as they don't live there full time. If she were to catch the poor girl and give her time to recover, do you think she would fly off afterward and find a new home, or is she going to go right back out there and let it happen again? I realize you can't really answer this... I guess I'm just wondering how to help.

    Why didn't she fly away before it became a problem??

    edited because I forgot to say thank you. doht!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010

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