by Alan
(Beverley WA)

We breed Muscovy ducks and currently have around 150 ducklings aged between 2 weeks and 2 months.

Over the past 2 days they have developed a nasty habit of pulling out each others tail feathers to the point where they are raw and bleeding. I did find a month old duckling that had been pecked to death.
Last night we (the missus and I) searched our medicine kit and concocted a mixture of citronella oil and olive oil which we painted on their butts.
Today they don't seem to be as aggressive with each other and we have segregated them into the respective age groups. I made some calls around the big smoke and was referred to Bio John who recommended a spray called Chloromide. We have applied it to all the affected ducks and wait to see the results. It is sold as an antiseptic but apparently has a nasty taste (haven't tried it myself).
Has anybody got any other ideas??

Alan and Marilyn...Beverley

MEG: I've noticed this problem as a result of crowding in baby chickens. Separating them into age groups and providing more space was a good move! Also make sure they are getting enough protein... e.g. supplement with meat meal if their diet has a lot of grain in it.

Comments for Carnivores

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 29, 2010
Poultry cannibalism problems
by: wendy

A lot will keep pecking once they see red/blood. Try and weed out the peckers if you catch them in the act. Giving them more space and pen them according to size is a good idea as already suggested. Let them have a run in a big yard too, will help. You can herd them along with a long stick easy enough to pen them at night. Grass for them to eat will help in their diet as well. Boredom can cause cannibalism too. Good luck with your ducks.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Poultry, Fish and Livestock Forum.