Repost-Help- Duck suddenly chewing on hen's feathers?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by KrisCVT, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. KrisCVT

    KrisCVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I posted in one of the chicken forums and they recommended I also post here...


    Last night, I went to do a night check on my birds- and having realized that they were roosting in their run instead of in their coop, I started to move them one by one inside. When I lifted my favorite bird, Maple (the one in my profile) I immediately felt a bare patch (her saddle area). I checked it with my flashlight, did not see any blood, but couldn't figure out what happened. I checked on them again before I went to bed, first thing in the AM, and then throughout the morning until I was home for good and could let them out to free range. She is acting fine, eating, always begging at the gate and the first one to go for treats or scratch.

    After letting them out, after seeing them all head towards their favorite spot under a rhododendron bush to scratch around, I kept seeing my female duck nuzzling her- making the same motion on Maple as a duck does when they dig in the ground. I didn't see her pull any feathers. But observing them all for awhile today, none of my other chickens are missing feathers, and none peck at each other or peck at Maple.

    I notice that because Maple is so friendly and food-driven, she tends to not get scared away from the feeder or treat basket easily- even if the ducks give her a poke. I also notice that she squats a lot lately- even when I lean down to see her (she started laying less than a week ago).

    SO I am thinking she is an easy target and my ducks are poking at her? It's not the drake- seems to be the female. I already ordered a chicken saddle from some shady website (the usual website is sold out).

    Anyone have any ideas as to what I can do to keep my duck from bothering her? Spray? Vaseline? Building a separate enclosure for the ducks at this point is out of the question- but should I bring her inside?


    I feel so horrible right now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Buck Oakes

    Buck Oakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some time cornstarch or baby powder works they don't like the powdery texture
     
  3. KrisCVT

    KrisCVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So she is getting pecked worse- she just won't move when anyone comes at her. I applied Blue-kote yesterday after close inspection checking for any external parasites (none). My TSC didn't have any anti-pecking stuff. But this morning, the area looked more bare, the feathers were damp around that spot (making me suspect the ducks since they are always wet), and the other chickens would peck her whenever she came close. I wonder if the Blue-kote attracted attention. I don't know what is up with her. She looks awful and disheveled. Still laid an egg though….and still follows me around looking for treats.
    I set up a spot in my basement for her. I have had her outside with the flock today- they seem okay together when outside other than the occasional peck when they were dust bathing together. I guess I will bring her inside tonight. I am just so frustrated- everyone got along so well up until now!

    My husband is convinced we are going to end up with a house chicken.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    From time to time, there is a situation that is just about impossible to explain and figure out.

    I know that sometimes bringing a bird in, getting them healed up, and reintroducing them changes the dynamic for the better.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @KrisCVT The Blue Kote should actually disguise the area and cause less attention. I think your right to keep her in when they aren't free ranging. Could something be going on like Maple isn't feeling so good, since you say she looks awful and disheveled? Do you use Poultry vitamins? or ACV in their drinking water? and how old is Maple? the anti pecking stuff doesn't work or it didn't for me when one of my hens was pulling the feathers out of another hen and I think it was preening that got out of hand and she became obsessed , I started using Blue Kote and who ever was doing it must have stopped because her feathers started coming back in and now I can't tell they were ever missing and these where feathers around her bottom. Red raw skin draws chickens especially so getting a hen saver will keep any of the chickens for going after her and that along with the Blue kote will hopefully stop the ducks from chewing on her. When my hens squat that is the signal for mating and I think that sets off another one of the flock to be abusive too. She is being submissive and the other is being dominant. I have seen a few of My EE's squat for my geese and they would pluck her clean in a split second if I'd let them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  6. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls would get like that from the claws of my drake. So if she is letting everyone play hop on top with her always being the bottom then I bet that is what it is from. It took a long, long time for my girls feathers to grow back from being over mated by my drake. Now and then one of my girls will get bald on her back right there too and I no longer have a drake. I'm not sure what you can do to prevent it, but now that it is raw and the chickens are pecking it use blue Kote and I would keep her put up with another submissive duck for a bit. Ducks are so strange.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. KrisCVT

    KrisCVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks- I will apply more Blue-kote- presently she is set up in my basement (not happy about it). I gave her vitamins yesterday (the type that you dissolve in water- she did drink it), I am also going to give her some crushed egg shells this AM along with her oyster shell- I watched her eat a feather in the yard…and also watched her hop into the run and go for the feeder of oyster shell and start gobbling it up. Wondering if she is super deficient in calcium since she started laying. It's weird because she willingly eats the oyster shell. Wondering if I should change over to a layer feed instead of this All-Flock…The hen saver is ordered from their site- unsure of how long they take to ship. This is stressing me out because we go away for a week around Christmas. I'm more worried about my birds than my dogs and cat!
     
  8. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you let them have free choice of oyster shell? Meaning do you leave it out at all times? Crushed egg shells do the same thing as oyster shells. Either can be used to up the calcium. Sometimes one hen/duck will need more calcium than the rest. Mine will gobble is all up at once and the won't touch it for the rest of the day.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Is someone coming to care for your birds? I always print out care instructions so anyone knows just what needs to be done and when to do it. Hopefully your hen apron will get here before you leave, I have ordered from Louise's Closet been a while but her products are great and Crazy K farm too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  10. KrisCVT

    KrisCVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes- I just had a pet sitter over to show her things…she does farm calls and stuff and has taken care of chickens before. I am hoping that her coming once a day is enough…and then hoping to beg my in-laws to check in too since they are only 1/4 mile away (no one understands my concern). I ordered from Crazy K but have no idea how long they take to ship. Fingers crossed. I bring my hen inside when they can't be out free ranging (so they don't get bored and peck her). But otherwise I let her stay in the coop overnight and outside with them if they are in the yard. I limited her veggies because she is obsessed with them- wondering if she is stuffing herself with veggies and treats and not her pellets. So she only gets a little BOSS and some Ultrakibble. She's such a good hen- she laid an egg in the nest box I made out of a cat carrier while inside yesterday morning!

    And yes- she has free choice oyster shell- I took one of these...http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Chicken-Supplies/Round-Hanging-Waterer-16-oz-p1396.aspx
    and filled it with oyster shell instead and have it hanging up inside the run.
     

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