SoS I think my new duckling is pulling out its own feathers??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by UrbanBlueShamrock, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. UrbanBlueShamrock

    UrbanBlueShamrock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Berkeley Springs
    Hi Im brand new to the poultry world and have a pressing question. I received my ducklings in the mail on Wed. they were not shipped within the proper time frame and were almost a week old when I got them. Other than 2 dead on arrival and a few signs of feather picking they all seemed fine. However its 2 days later and the largest duckling is missing a huge amount of "feathers" its back is almost bald Ive been watching them and havent seen any signs of aggression but obviously im not there all the time he also sleeps alone a lot in comparison to the large ball of down that is the others. He also seems to be damp? and is messing with his back alot I cant tell if hes scratching pulling out feathers or what. Im really worried about him. Any ideas of what may be going on? Is this a common thing? Thanks for any and all help!!!
     
  2. ksmith

    ksmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2010
    Nor Cal
    hmmm, I am not very sure but I will try to help you out anyway. First off, is there anything in the cage that can irratite his skin? Do you keep the bedding dry? The only thing I can think of is maybe he is having an allergic reaction to the bedding. Or the others are picking on him. Sorry I am not much help!
     
  3. UrbanBlueShamrock

    UrbanBlueShamrock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Berkeley Springs
    Thanks the allergy issue may be the case or the wetness. I started with shredded newspaper which wasnt absorbing the water fast enough so I moved up to aspen pine shavings which I add a fresh layer once or twice or even three times a day as it get soaked. Would either of these be possible allergens? I set up a separate brooder for him this evening and put in the two smallest ducklings one of which got pretty beat up in the mail. Soo the two smallest are with the biggest and I'm going to wait and see if they start to look better over the weekend. Thanks for the response!!!
     
  4. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    I would agree with the allergy idea. First off, I am going to guess that the rubbed off area started when he was crammed in that box. When they are too overcrowded for a period of time, they end up jumping and walking all over each other. That can cause bald spots like the one you were describing. It can take a little while for it to grow back, but it always does : )
    But if he's still picking at it then something is not right. I would give him a bath, just to start with. I don't use soap on mine, just warm water and I use my hands to rub the area. That way if there's any dirt or grime in there you wash it off. Make sure he can dry off and stay warm afterwards, you don't want those babies to be cold!
    Pine shavings should be fine. That's what I've always used. But if you find that he still has a problem, you might want to try straw or a low-dust hay. Also, if you can, try to move them to a larger area. I've found that if you have a larger space for them, you can put the water and food in one corner, and the light in the other corner. That really helps with the "mess" factor. That way one end can be wet with food and water, and the other end can be dry for them to sleep and stay warm. It just helps keep things cleaner, and then you just have to worry about one area being a mess all of the time. Plus that keeps them a lot dryer.

    Hope this helps!
     

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