Tail Feather Pecking

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Broodica, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    Just had the ducklings out for a swim. It seems the 2 older (3 weeks) ducks are pecking each others tail feathers. Comparing them to the 2 week olds whose tail feathers are coming in full, the older ducks tail feathers have been basically stripped clean, just the shafts are there. ACK!!! What do I do? Why are they doing this? The two older ducks have been together since they were 1 week old. The rouen is twice the mallards size, but until this, they have been the best buddies. I moved them into the bathtub so they would have more room and then this started. How do I stop it and will they grow back? HELP!
     
  2. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    So I am researching....So far 2 possible issues...Boredom? Confined to too small an area? Anyone else have these issues? What would be an appropriate square footage for 3 mallards and a Rouen be? The Rouen is really big, the 3 mallards are what I guess is normal for their ages, one 3 week old and 2 two week old. They are all in a large bathtub, bigger than standard size. The mallards tail feathers are now all gone and the Rouen's are pretty well stripped. Or how do I entertain them? They get to swim in the tub twice a day. They come out for walks twice a day.....should I take up tap dancing?
     
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Has anyone ever tried bitter apple on the those feathers. They use it for dogs so they don't chew on things. Ducks have great taste buds and I wonder if that is a turn off for them. Just a crazy thought.
     
  4. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    Quote:Thanks Katharinad....I actually do have some of that from when my dog went through a bad period when we moved into this house. Sour apple butts....LOL. I'm willing to try anything....I'm going to check and see what's in it...if it's OK for dogs, it would be OK for ducks?
     
  5. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    Maybe the light? I still have them on a heat lamp, but it's 250w infrared. I know with chicks too much light can cause pecking, same with ducks?
     
  6. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Ducks respond different to light then chickens do. Ducks get calmed down with white or blue light, but red it not ideal for them. Red works well for quail. Can't quite remember the preferred light color for chicken, but I think it was the same as quail. Quite honest ducks don't need too much heat compared to chicks.
     

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