Problem with ducks. Need some advise

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Patty43, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Patty43

    Patty43 Out Of The Brooder

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    Looking for some advise with my Indian Runner ducks. Currently I have 3 females and 1 male. They are 2 1/2 years old and were raised together. They have always lived together and have always gotten along very well. Just recently, (1week) they have started to pick on one duck. Originally the male was not involved but now is just as bad. They have pulled off all the feathers in one spot on the back of the duck. One other duck is missing some feathers, but not to the same extent. It is beginning to look quite ruffled and unkempt. I have brought it into the garage in fear that they may eventually kill it. I have actually seen them pin it to the ground and gang up on it. It is feeling a little thin, and wonder if they were not letting it eat. It seems as if when they start to fight they are almost in a complete frenzy. They get squabbling and make a huge ruckus, and then start pecking at it. They also seem to almost wrap their necks around each other. Any suggestions as to what might be going on? I have never seen this behavior in them before. Any advise would be greatly appreciated .
     
  2. Lizard King

    Lizard King Out Of The Brooder

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    Probably Dominance And Testosterone, I Don't Know How To Stop It But U Could Try Slowly Introducing Them In A Controlled Situation And Feeding Seperetlely And Keeping A Different Pen Until It Is Resolved.They Probably Won't Kill It But They Could If It Got Really Bad So Keep An Eye On Them, Good Luck!!!
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Unless you can somehow rearrange the pecking order they may very well kill her just from the stress they are putting her under, I'd try keeping the 2 getting bullied separate from the 2 bullies. See if they can live together. After your worst bullied one has had time to recoup, you might remove the 2 bullies into the garage and give them some time out putting the other girls back in their pen. this is going to take time but I'd just keep changing everyone around till they have all had time to be with bullied girl and are behaving with her. Then try to place them all back into original pen. This may just stir up the pecking order enough they all live in harmony again. Never put the 2 bullies in with either of the other girls together though you want them to be completely separated from each other when staying with the 2 bullied girls .In my mind i can see this could work now whether you can pull it off I don't know but you cannot put this girl back in with the other 3 the way things are now.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Tough situation, but not hopeless, I feel.

    I have a flock of nine Runners and a Buff.

    At times I have heard of ducks picking on one that is not well. I would take her to the vet if that is possible.

    In any case, look her over very well. Give her half an hour or more in a lukewarm bathtub so you can check her out. Is she using both legs properly? Does she have an odd smell? Are her eyes clear, are her nares clear, is she breathing clearly? If she is underweight it could be that she has parasites, or egg yolk peritonitis or other health problem.

    How is her poop? Are her legs or bill unusually warm? All that.

    Keep her in a warmer place, with some nice fresh bedding and fresh water and food. Watch her appetite.

    Get some poultry vitamins - I think they are about 4 dollars for a pack that will last my flock for a year. Put some in her water twice a week for a few weeks. Will she eat her favorite treats?

    Put an unbreakable mirror in with her. Under supervision, have one of the other females in with her and see what happens.

    If she is healthy, then I would put in a divider fence overnight and separate out first the drake for a few nights, then one or two of the other ducks (females). At times, temporary separation blasts the negative dynamic and things sort themselves out peacefully.
     
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  5. TracyLovesDucks

    TracyLovesDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You've gotten good advice.

    I just would add that if possible, try to keep one of the other ducks with her. Otherwise, it could become impossible to reintroduce her to the group that is already hostile towards her. If she has a partner when being reintroduced, she may not seem like such an outsider to them and she will have a little extra support. But, as Amiga suggested, it may be that separating her alone could be the "reset button." I'm kinda just making an educated guess here, so whatever works best for you.
     
  6. Patty43

    Patty43 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the great suggestions. My husband and I were originally planning to split the pen tomorrow. I may keep her in the garage for a few days and then try to put her back outside with the other duck that is also being bullied somewhat. Aside from being a bit thin, she is bright enough, and active I will know better tomorrow when I can see if she has eaten. I did see her drinking today. I'm not completely convinced that she is perfectly healthy, as she has been moulting for what seems a long time and the wrong time of year. Is it unheard of for a duck to be moulting thru the winter? I can't imagine it is very good for them. I am a veterinary technician but admittedly not very well versed in duck health. However, she does not sound raspy, her eyes and nares are clear, and was having no problems running around outside today. Wishing it was warmer. Splitting the pen at this time of year will be no easy task. I will have to get another heated bucket, and build another wind break. It truly brought tears to my eyes today to watch them pick on her. Well, we will see what happens. Thanks once again
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    When I make temp fencing to separate some one usually mamas and babies I get the plastic poultry fencing at Lowes it's so much nicer to put up and they have those fiber glass fence pole that have sharp points on them so it makes it easier to push into the ground especially when the ground maybe frozen. I hope you can work it out and she will be able to go back with the flock, hopefully the other girl that had been picked on some will be able to keep her company. And about molting in winter, I have about 3 Muscovy's that are doing a mini molt first time I have seen this since i started with ducks over 10rs ago. Not to the point they are naked but feathers all in their house and I can see thin feathers on a couple of their heads and neck. I have no idea why. But I have added some extra protein to their diet in the form of dried meal worms some use good quality dog or cat kibble as a supplement too. Keep us updated on how she is doing please
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  8. TracyLovesDucks

    TracyLovesDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had to separate ducks when I got a batch of younger ones (the chocolate and blue runners)... my older fawn and whites did not treated them bad for a long time, until they could literally see eye to eye. The plastic fencing Miss Lydia was talking about, a bunch of zip ties, possibly some t-posts, and maybe some eye screws will all go a long way. Pictures below show how I split up the yard and how I split the house. Maybe this will give you some ideas.

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
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  9. Patty43

    Patty43 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well just an update : I am beginning to think there may be a problem with the duck that I brought into the garage. We did not have much luck splitting the pen on the weekend due to the weather, so she has remained in the garage. She eats and drinks well but she looks very unkempt. Her feathers are all ruffed and very dull looking. I took her outside today to run around the yard and she seemed to be having a hard time. Does anybody know if ducks can become jaundiced. I have noticed that the skin where her feathers are missing on her back appears to have a yellow tinge to it. I did not notice this last weekend and am wondering if she may have a liver issue???? Any ideas??
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    She may have hardware disease - from swallowing metal. A vet would be best. Chelation therapy sometimes works, some have been able to get surgery for their ducks - risky.

    She could have a systemic infection - and need antibiotics.
     

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