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Drake dominating young ducks (do they make duck muzzles?)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Subtitle: Bad Mikey Chapt. 3

 

Ok, young ducks are 5 weeks old now, so I decided to experiment and introduce them to their parents without a fence in-between. Bad Mikey has been pacing the yard fence or the duck pen fence whenever I had put the young ones out but now that they have grown up a little he has been loosing interest in them some. We had to be out of town last week for overnight and I decided that the young ducks could go into the duck pen (aptly dubbed, "Fort Knox") and Mikey and Betsy could spend the night in the side yard with the six foot fence. Mike was being a pill and I didn't want to run him down to catch him so I got my herding stick and started the trio towards the back where the pen is. Mikey spied us and came in like a rocket, head low and wings flapping going for the first duck in the line. I swung my cane and smacked poor Mikey so hard in the head that he bolted in surprise and right into the side of the house, bouncing off of that in a stunned heap. I put his stunned body in the side yard and finished herding my small flock to the pen and shut them in. As I walked back I could hear Mikey running his bill as usual, I think I recognized some duck talk that asked Betsy what happened. Betsy had gone to find out if Mikey was OK, (don't know what she see's in him anyway) I was relieved and amazed that he had recovered so quickly. When we got back ol' Mikey was all better and ready to get those young ducks again - and a little less trusting of me, sigh.

 

I got brave, they need to be together some day. I've been locking Mikey up and running them with Betsy and Jenny the hen for two weeks now. I think perhaps that is why Mikey developed the sore on his foot - from him walking the fence panel incessantly.  I again got my herding stick and marched the kids out to the yard. Hubby had seen them walking right up to the pen when Mikey was there to try to talk to him so I felt now was the time. Dumb duck anyway. Again he comes in like some type of guided missile. This time my stock handling was more in tune and I was able to step between Mikey and not bean him with the stick when I blocked him. Then one of the kids bolted past me and I watched to see what would happen, ready to chase if needed. Well, I discovered quickly why Mikey always grabbed the back of the little ones' neck when he met them as hatchlings. The dirty old man, he would have killed them doing that when they were young. I got them separated and kept Mikey at bay until everything settled and Mikey when back to grass nibbling with Betsy. As soon as I thought I might leave Mikey rushed past and was at it again. Poor Fuzzy especially was abused as he has that poof of feathers on his head that is too easy to grab. They all have less feathers on the backs of their heads/necks now. I finally gave up protecting them and put bad Mikey in a pen.

 

Is this a normal reaction for a dominant drake when being introduced to new ducks? It didn't seem to matter if it was boy duck or girl, he was doing the same to all of them.  If I had a duck muzzle like we have for working dogs he couldn't grab the back of their heads and they could get away, maybe that would help (working dog muzzles are really open, they can't bite but they can drink water and even nibble kibbles if they had to)  Is he going to stop bothering them or is it yet another negative strike in the saga of bad Mikey. I can't bear the thought of someone making duck stew with him but there probably isn't much demand for belligerent yard/garden ducks no matter how pretty they are.

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post #2 of 3

A horny drake will try to mate a rock, stump, or water jug - perhaps he needs one of those testosterone lowering drugs.

 

Hitting in the head is not a good idea - very easy to paralyze an animal that way.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sourland View Post
 

A horny drake will try to mate a rock, stump, or water jug - perhaps he needs one of those testosterone lowering drugs.

 

Hitting in the head is not a good idea - very easy to paralyze an animal that way.

Didn't do it on purpose. Was trying to hit the ground in front of him, something I have done many times working with both sheep and ducks, but I misjudged his speed. A thump with my stick that is meant to make a "crack" noise, my stick is designed to do just that, is way harder than I would intentionally smack anything smaller than about 200 lbs. Wouldn't hurt a large sheep, cow, or horse - nothing I would intend to do to a dog or duck.

 

I wonder if they do make such a drug for ducks - a "chemical" neuter in a way.

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