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Drake problems - bad Mikey

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Bad Mikey has been at his naughtiest lately. As posted before, he follows at my heels and nips them when I am leaving. He also attacks me if I try to mess with his girl. Sarah died by eating an object she shouldn't have, so it is just Betsy now. Ducks swallowing anything is another topic to discuss some day.

 

Well, Mikey flew over my short yard fence. It has kept them in for a year but not any longer. Betsy is too full-figured to fly over. So I trimmed Mikey's wing, and trimmed it some more, and then shortened what I trimmed. He is still doing it, although his landings are no longer graceful and he leaves keel skid marks when he lands in the mud. He can fly back in at will and will do so if I am giving Sarah a treat. The first time I noticed him fly out was when I was on the front porch settling the new ducklings into their tub. Khakis just don't brood well so I had sent a dozen eggs to a friend with an incubator. Three hatched, a big one, a little one, and one with a crest. The big one was kinda silly when he hatched. He had a wing, a foot, the tip of his bill out of a hole in the egg, and he could see with one eye through the hole. He tried so hard to force his way through that the egg spun and bounced. Poor guy, I rescued him before he was too tired. So now there are 3 duckies. I thought maybe Mikey was being social, NOT! When I showed him one of them he grabbed it by the nape of the neck and I had to pry it from his bill. Then Mikey starts another new behavior. He followed me up the steps and into the house. Then he started looking around, perhaps trying to locate the peeping young ones. Now he does it whenever the back door is opened. Another bad thing he does is chase my bantam Phoenix hen. Been doing that since I got her. She squawks and flaps away. So this morning, bad Mikey comes up the stairs into the house and immediately charges the hen in her safe dog crate with her two, month-old Surama chicks. She squawks and he realizes he can't bother them. Then he looks to the side and sees the 3 duckies in their open topped night box and grabs one by the nape of the neck. By then I had caught up with him and rescued the baby before he could hurt it. Now what? Bad Mikey is walking a thin line only he doesn't realize it. I don't know how he would behave if Betsy had hatched them, but he is making my life more complicated with this behavior. The Surama's belong to a friend who simply used my broody hen. At $50+ each I have been super careful that they are kept safe. Such tiny things. Baby duckies at 2 weeks make them look like they just hatched.

 

Bad Mikey is so beautiful (even with one clipped wing) and I know he would die rather than let any racoon, dog, or cat attack his girl. But what am I to do besides place Mikey in solitary when I am not around to monitor him?


Edited by spiritbrook - 3/24/16 at 9:16am

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post #2 of 3

Bad Mikey sounds like a character.  You might try clipping his other wing too.  I had a chicken that was flying over the fence and I clipped one wing.  Well the next day she was back over the fence again with one wing clipped.  I clipped her other wing and that grounded her for good.  Another option is getting a higher fence put up around his pen or put flight netting over the top but of course you wouldn't be able to walk in there is the netting is to low.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hum, got my words mixed up. The duck PEN is Fort Knox. The backyard has 6' chain link panels and is pretty much Mikey proof, especially now. It is becoming a mud slick though with constant duck occupation and the dogs want it back (I prefer without mud) It is the duck yard in general, the area between Ft. Knox and the house that is NOT Mikey proof. Can't afford fence right now but I am eyeing that 6' plastic mesh the neighbor has around his yard, perhaps it wouldn't be as expensive as wire.

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