What to do with my runt?

danideer

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
26
0
22
West Michigan
Hi all, I'm the proud owner of six roughly two week old ducklings (4 Pekins, 2 white cresteds) that joined my household just over a week ago. They've grown FAST already. All but one that is. One of the cresteds is much tinier and weaker than the others. She was small in the beginning, but the size gap between her and the rest wasn't as dramatic. She also doesn't have a lot of down and her wings are almost completely bald. If she's growing at all, she's growing at a much slower rate. She eats and drinks normally, but is often pushed over or trampled by the larger ducks.

Tomorrow the gang is moving to a large pen in the garage that will eventually be their outdoor home. They've outgrown the small puppy pen in my basement. However, I'm debating whether or not she's ready for this. It will be cooler (though theyll still have a heat lamp) and as her friends get larger and larger I question how long she'll be able to butt in for food and water.

Should I keep her in the puppy pen for awhile longer with the other crested? That one's on the smaller scale too, though not quite as much. My concern is that if I do separate her, she'll be more stressed than she is with the flock. She's the one who is the least bonded to me and freaks out if she's not with at least three of the others.

Ay advice? :/
 

duckyfromoz

Quackaholic
10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
5,583
114
241
Australia
I would keep the 2 crested together for a while- they really do much better with company.

To keep the little one from freaking out so much- when you approach the puppy pen - get down on your hands and knees if you can. Coming towards them standing up- you will look like a predatory bird about to swoop. Also talk to them as you approach so you dont startle them. Hope that helps ( along with lots of cuddles ) to start getting her more used to you.
 

danideer

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
26
0
22
West Michigan
Ok, will she adjust to only having one friend instead of five others? She seems to rely on the bigger ones a lot for warmth and comfort despite them walking all over her and not really giving her much access to food and water. I'm concerned about stressing her out as she doesn't seem to just take everything in stride like the rest do.

None of them really freak out about people being by the pen anymore. Actually rather on the contrary...they know that they have a good chance of getting a treat when we're near! This little one just panics a lot more about being held and never settles down like the others. I know she just needs more handling but like I said, I worry about over stressing her.

Should I be concerned about how thin her down is? I mean, all of them have places where you can see skin but her wings are by far the most bald and she has several patches on her back as well that look a bit raw.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
114,644
134,005
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
Ok, will she adjust to only having one friend instead of five others? She seems to rely on the bigger ones a lot for warmth and comfort despite them walking all over her and not really giving her much access to food and water. I'm concerned about stressing her out as she doesn't seem to just take everything in stride like the rest do.

None of them really freak out about people being by the pen anymore. Actually rather on the contrary...they know that they have a good chance of getting a treat when we're near! This little one just panics a lot more about being held and never settles down like the others. I know she just needs more handling but like I said, I worry about over stressing her.

Should I be concerned about how thin her down is? I mean, all of them have places where you can see skin but her wings are by far the most bald and she has several patches on her back as well that look a bit raw.
They maybe pecking on her especially where your seeing raw spots, please keep her and the other crested together and let this little one catch up a bit before putting them back in with the bigger ones. But very important that they are able to see and hear each other daily so as not to forget they are all one flock. Your lil ones may just take a little extra time to catch up but not being able to eat will not help that happen. Here is some info on crested ducks https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/707110/the-truth-behind-crested-ducks
 
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danideer

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
26
0
22
West Michigan
Thank you so much for the info! I honestly thought they were pretty much the same as the Pekins. I didn't really want to take them, but the guy we bought the ducklings from only had the six left and he let us take the cresteds for free because he didn't want them to be left by themselves.

From what I can tell, the others aren't pecking at her. If they are I've never seen it. Generally there aren't any scuffles except for the two biggest ones bickering over bits of food. I'll see about separating her and a friend but unfortunately I only have the one brooder lamp and I don't think my parents will be too willing to purchase another one. They just shelled out a bunch of money for a brand new pen. I'd buy it myself but I'm a jobless teenager and my parents are my only source of cash for at least another month. Any suggestions? :/
 

ducksinarow

Songster
8 Years
Mar 12, 2011
460
28
134
A trouble light will work. Preferably a metal one with a light bulb painted red. I use a 40 watt bulb.
 

danideer

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
26
0
22
West Michigan
Ultimately I decided to keep the little cresteds with the bigger Pekins. They've really grown in the past few days and seem to be holding their own in the group! The smallest one also seems to be less bald. I think she'll have an easier time staying out of the way of the bigger ducks now that they have a massive pen and there's room around the feeder and waterer for all of them. So far, so good! :D
 

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