Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Accidental Cannibals

Remember those cute little ducklings that Elvis hatched five weeks ago?



Well they've grown! Compared to turkeys and chickens, Muscovy ducklings grow ridiculously quickly. You can understand how when you watch them, for they peck at anything and everything to see if it is edible.


A few days back I let Elvis and her gang out of their protective compound. I judged they were big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves. Elvis is a good mother and would protect them and teach them well. But what I hadn't accounted for was the danger within.

After a couple of days I noticed that three had blood around their developing wing feathers. I separated them off into the stables and put the rest away for the night. In the morning another four had similar injuries. It didn't take too much observation to work out what was happening.

When you spend all day waddling around pecking at everything in sight to see if it is edible then your siblings' newly developing wing feathers just look like another potential meal.

The trouble is that open wounds are not particularly conducive to good health.

The situation developed rapidly and I now have nine ducklings in a stable, with one of the peckers also a peckee and separated off on its own.

My hope is that their feathers grow in properly within a week and that all wounds heal up quickly. I will then try reintroducing the ducklings to the chicken pen and see how things go.

I don't like having them shut up inside when they could be wandering around the orchard pecking at grass stems, snatching insects and seeds.
However, they have failed to make appropriate choices and need protecting from themselves.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the share, love checking out your blog! Keep up the posts, always a good read.

    Gregg

    ReplyDelete

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