Protein for naughty ducks??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by KrisCVT, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. KrisCVT

    KrisCVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 Pekins- 1 drake and 1 hen. They are 7 months old. They have lived with 5 chickens since they were babies- in one coop. Over the past 8-10 weeks- I discovered that my ducks are cornering my hens and pulling out and eating their feathers. I had one hen that is featherless on her back, under her wings, and shoulders...I wasn't sure it was them for sure, or the hen feather picking, but I have since witnessed them doing this.( This hen is now inside for the winter). I thought they picked on her because she was lowest in the pecking order and very tame. HOWEVER, the last couple days, I have witnessed them doing this to another hen. Usually the hens got away from the ducks- but for some reason, this hen just lets them eat her feathers. I can't let them peck another hen bald!

    What can I do? I already switched to a higher protein food (Purina Flock Raiser- 20%)
    They free range from about 9am until sunset...there isn't much in the yard but they have mulch beds, grass, and a garden to dig in.
    I give about 1 cup of BOSS between the 7 of them daily, and 1/2 cup mealworms daily.
    On cold evenings, I scatter a handful of cracked corn.

    I just ordered from Nature's Peck- Insect Medley, mealworms, and cracked worms....

    Any other ideas what to do? How much additional mealworms a day should I give them for more protein? I'm looking for actual amounts for 2 large Pekin ducks.

    The plan is to build them their own pen in the spring- but we cannot right now because of how the current coop/garden are situated.
     
  2. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd suggest offering some actual roughage in their diet such as quality hay, alfalfa pellets, lettuce, cabbage, or kale.

    Since you've already increased the protein the next thing to add would be fiber.

    Any vegetable matter may work
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I just think it's boredom and once one lets them do this they will find others who are willing. I have seen it here. Sounds like they are getting good protein so best thing is to separate I could not have my ducks and chickens in the same pen or house but usually if they are in the half acre fenced they are okay as long as the chickens stay away from the ducks and geese. When my chickens begin to be responsive to the rooster by squatting for them that is when they get in trouble because they will squat for a duck or geese or me.
     
  4. KrisCVT

    KrisCVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to feed the alfalfa blocks to my horse- would those work? I think I read somewhere to soak them in water....maybe I could throw some in a one of their water basins... I am thinking that would be something easy to purchase and feed regularly. Will definitely try more fiber. They LOVE greens but since it's winter, there isn't much for them. I save what I can from the kitchen but it isn't much.

    @Miss Lydia Yes, I think the squatting has made it worse. My hens just started laying several weeks ago- and I have noticed squatting with them. Ugh.
     
  5. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sure, horse hay may work :) a lot if it will depend on personal preference. They may prefer dry alfalfa with a lot of water play I they may prefer it drenched.

    My girls will eat pellets or cubes but only as a last resort.

    I buy bags of kale from the grocery when it's on sale.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I just read through this quickly - has anyone pointed out that if a drake tries to mate with a chicken he could kill her?
     
  7. tracyjg

    tracyjg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a rabbit pull back feathers out of my female hen. Any things possible
     
  8. tracyjg

    tracyjg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All my rabbits chickens hens roosters like kale. Maybe the ducks we our getting . Animals like it.
     
  9. KrisCVT

    KrisCVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tried soaked alfalfa cubes - bought a whole big bag (that's what Tractor supply had)..... Not interested. I actually locked my chickens in the coop today and the ducks in the run because of the impending winter storm. The dumb hens just stay under the coop with the ducks otherwise and let them eat their feathers. Ugh I can't wait until spring. One hen already has ruffled saddle feathers.
     
  10. tracyjg

    tracyjg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can only try to separate them. The one doing the picking gets the time out away from the others.or you will be sending them all to the sick coop.
     

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