The habit of plucking each other’s feathers, as well as some manifestations of cannibalism, is very damaging to households. Such anomalous behavior occurs in both chickens and turkeys, quails and ducks. Let's take a closer look at why ducks pluck feathers from each other and what to do in this case.
All sorts of reasons
As experts say, most often the reason why ducks pluck feathers from each other is related to a lack of nutrients. But this does not always mean a poor diet or inappropriate care of the host for the bird. If I may say so, sometimes there is a confluence of circumstances. The fact is that many duck breeds genetically have elevated growth and development rates. Accordingly, for a set of muscle mass they need an increased dose of protein and nutrients. And so often it happens that during this period it is just feeding zucchini, vegetables and bran.
In general, poultry farmers do not advise too often to give vegetables, especially pumpkin and zucchini to growing ducks. The fact is that they have a laxative effect and flush out salts and trace elements from the body. If their shortage occurred during the formation of the feather cover, then plucking is difficult to avoid.There are also other reasons for this behavior:
- Violation of the diet, feed poverty - this reason is already associated with improper feeding of poultry. For example, this may occur due to overfeeding or protein deficiency.
- The lack of an arganin in the diet - if the norm of arganin drops from 6.9 to 3.9, then the massive feeding of feathers begins.
- Violation of the microclimate - dry air, little oxygen increases the fragility of the feather and its loss, as well as the desire of birds to get rid of it. Often they peck not only their plumage, but also someone else's.
Plucking out duck feathers is a rather unpleasant, but also a dangerous phenomenon. The fact is that a bird often not only pulls out a feather, but also pecks at the skin. And here the signs of cannibalism begin. As soon as the ducks feel blood, they can smash the wound with their beak and the bird will die from loss of blood or infection.
This is especially dangerous among ducklings. Very often, signs of slander and plucking appear after 60 days from birth, when the chicks are transferred to the paddock. Ducks become aggressive, irritable, begin to fight and pluck out each other feathers on the tail, neck and wings. At the first symptoms of such negative behavior, appropriate measures should be taken.
Is it possible to solve the problem?
So, why ducks pluck out each other's feathers, they figured out, now it's worth talking about how to solve the problem and how to prevent it. The first and most basic rule is a complete feed. If your ducks intensively grow and develop, do not rely on your own strength and feed. It is better to purchase a special balanced feed for ducklings, which will have an increased dose of macro-and micronutrients.
If the ducks pluck feathers "to the blood", a special course of protein food of animal origin will help solve the problem. It should give their birds slaughterhouse waste, ground beef, fat up to 50 grams per day per individual. Giving such products can be once a week. Also, experts advise to increase the rate of meat and bone, fish meal and milk powder in the diet.
To prevent the desire to pluck out feathers, you can add additional feed to your feed: arginine, cystine, methionine, as well as methyl bromide, manganese and sulfur. These elements will also stimulate the growth of feathers on already damaged areas.
If the nutrition of the ducks in your household is good, the birds get enough protein and all the necessary elements, then you should look at the conditions of detention.
- You can not dramatically change the living conditions of the ducks, their place of walking;
- You can reduce the intensity of illumination to relieve the nervous tension of birds. Use red light well;
- Compliance with the density of planting birds;
- Increased ventilation, normalization of temperature;
- Increase and number of nests.
If you notice that only one duck appeared in the flock, suffering from cannibalism or plucking other people's feathers, it should be immediately sown from the main group. It is advisable to change her diet, to supply vitamin and mineral supplements, protein feed. The same goes for indoutok.
For the prevention of such a phenomenon, experts advise giving twice a week to each duck 1-2 raw fish twice a week. For example, capelin or sprat. If there is a reservoir nearby, be sure to release them to collect the duckweed, or you yourself catch shells (toothless). This is a valuable protein feed that promotes good development and growth of poultry.