Please help - Duckling losing wing feathers

PavoFowl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
80
7
48
South Texas
Hello!

I am venturing out of my usual place on the Peafowl forum, because my new ducklings seem to have a strange issue.

I bought two Pekin ducklings from my local TSC because they were the last two, lonely, and I'm a total softy. I bought them yesterday morning, checked their eyes, nostrils, beaks, wings and feet, etc, to make sure they appeared healthy. They looked great. Quite lively, actually. I would guess they may be a week or so old? Not sure.


I have since kept them in a 20" by 36" plastic tub brooder, on 20% chick starter, chick grit, and plenty of clean water.
They took to using the chicken nipple like ducks to water... Ah, puns..


It was a HOT 98 degrees in South Texas yesterday, so I figured they'd do best without a lamp. It was supposed to drop down to 73 at night, so went ahead and put a heat lamp on overnight. They're now enjoying the 85-ish degree temperature in the shade. They have been drinking and eating well, no panting or huddling, and are already really spoiled, wanting to be held all the time. (I tend to have really, really tame birds.)

On a more serious note, I notice one (we'll call him/her Duck A) seems to like to peck at the others (we'll call him/her Duck B) wing, but only one so far. It is obviously a little more bald than the other, and the skin is red. Duck B's other wing seems fine, and so do both of Duck A's. Any ideas as to why little Duck A is pecking Duck B's wing, and only one?

Thank you!
 
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Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,207
2,649
531
Southern New England
Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks suggests that overcrowding leads to that kind of behavior. Any chance you can get them into a larger space, even temporarily to see if it helps?

Also, how old might these be? Because if they are, say two weeks old, they need to be around 80 to 85˚F and you don't want them to be too warm. That might make for a little crankiness.
 

PavoFowl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
80
7
48
South Texas
Hmm, I can try that. Funny enough, I only see the first duckling go after the other when I put them in the little kiddie pool with a few inches of water in it. I don't leave them unattended, or leave them in for more than 5-10 minutes or so, because they don't have the oils for their feathers yet. I have a video of it, but no idea how to put it on here. I can try uploading it to YouTube and posting a link? Otherwise, they cuddle together quietly in their brooder. I am really not sure on how old they are. I think that they definitely could be too warm. They have plenty fluff to not be cold in this weather. Tonight is a low of 63, should I leave the heat lamp on? I have it adjusted about as far away as I can get it. I'll snap a photo to upload and check the brooder temp and post it for more info. :)
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,207
2,649
531
Southern New England
Sounds like you are monitoring them closely. Yes, you can upload to Youtube then select the video icon above and enter the link to the YT video there.

63 sounds a little too chilly for week olds that need to be at 85. Do you have a thermometer? A way to raise the heat lamp, like a chair next to the brooder?
 

PavoFowl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
80
7
48
South Texas
At 11:00 Texas time, the temp was right above 100 with heat lamp. I pushed it even further away, going to check back in about 10 minutes to see if it drops any. As you can see, the birds are all the way on the opposite, cooler side. They must be hot. :( I've got to find a middle ground.

Update - 11:30 Texas time, brooder temp under lamp was just under 80. Scooted back towards the light just an inch or two. Its cooled down quite a bit, and they're still not headed towards warm area, so assuming they are comfortable. I'll rest better knowing they're not in 100 degree temps but more like 80-85. :)

Will update again first thing in the morning about overnight checks.
 
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Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,207
2,649
531
Southern New England
The heat and less than optimal space with a certain kind of personality is likely going on. Those high temps can be fatal. Good you fixed it.
 

PavoFowl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
80
7
48
South Texas
Okay, how soon can they go into a pen? I have a pen that is about 6' X 6' that I can put them in as soon as they can be on the ground. Are they like peas that can't be in the dirt for a long time?
 
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