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male to female ratio

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

We got six ducklings (two Pekins, 4 Rouens) this spring and just recently we've been able to determine that we have three male Rouens, 1 female Rouen and the Pekins are a male/female pair. I first discovered a problem when the male Pekin seemed to have "claimed" the female Rouen. He would get pretty vicious with the other males, chasing and biting them and holding them under water before chasing them out of the pool. We leave them to roam our property during the day and confine them at night, however, my other problem is that the Rouens fly really well and are always out by morning.

Anyway, now it looks like one of the male Rouens has won over the female Rouen so the other two males have been ousted. The pair of Pekins and the pair of Rouens (everybody following this? lol!) seem to have grouped together and the other pair of males just hang out together sometimes with, sometimes without the others. I know the Rouens are not fully mature yet and I'm wondering how having so many males to females is going to work once they are mature. Will I have to house them separately? Will I have to get rid of any of them? We're very attached to them and I hate to have to get rid of any. sad

My other concern is that the Rouens can fly so well. I've been encouraged to clip their wings. Is that necessary? Would the two males without mates fly away in search of females? (There is a pond in a field across the road with wild ducks.) Right now the four of them will fly way above the trees and circle our property several times before coming back and they've never landed anyplace off our property (yet).

Any suggestions are appreciated!

Firm believer that getting their hands dirty helps keep kids' minds clean.
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Firm believer that getting their hands dirty helps keep kids' minds clean.
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post #2 of 15

Those Roans should soon get to big to be able to fly (unless they are actually Mallards?). 
Any possibility of getting more females?  You should have about three females to each male. 
If you can house the extra drakes separately that might work.  Otherwise you do have a problem with that ratio.  Not only will the drakes fight each other they will over breed the females.  Although I'm impressed with how the two drakes that have chosen mates have managed to fight off their competitors. 
When I had two drakes in my small flock the problem wasn't so much about the competition between them.  It was more about overbreeding and aggressiveness toward one particular hen.  Also the less dominant drake kept trying to claim ME!

post #3 of 15

3-5 females for each male is a good average for ducks.   

And yes, those Rouen should be getting to big and fat to fly.  If they keep it up, I'd guess you have Rouen X Mallard crosses or Mallards.

ETA:  To further answer your question, yes, you have too many males per females.  The others won't leave.  Ducks really bond to their homes.  They will keep scrapping for the females and the poor females will be bred within an inch of their lives.  Can you rehome two of the males and get more females?  Everyone would be happier.  Or if you have enough room, just add enough girls to make everyone happy. 

As far as bonding within the breed, ducks really don't care.  Although they will choose a mate, it's only for the year (usually) not for life like geese.  And they have no scruples about cheating on a mate.  They will have sex with any partner.  They're sort of slutty that way. 

So if you want them to breed true, you have to seperate them by breed.  If you don't care, just have enough females to males and there will be peace around the pond.


Edited by Soccer Mom - 8/1/09 at 8:48am
post #4 of 15

my dominant has his fav. but loves all the ladys! when he isnt on them he chases around my pekin who just came of age lol
i would get more girls but then again i have been known to instigate getting more ducks;) other than that yes i would seperate the other drakes

1 hubby, 2 kids, 1 dog, 1 pekin mix, 1 cayuga , 1 fawn and white runner, 1 blue runner, 1 black runner, 1choc. runner, 2 whelsh harliquins, 1 call hen, and 2 magpie.  magpies are for sale
and last but not least 2 polmeranian saddlebacks
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1 hubby, 2 kids, 1 dog, 1 pekin mix, 1 cayuga , 1 fawn and white runner, 1 blue runner, 1 black runner, 1choc. runner, 2 whelsh harliquins, 1 call hen, and 2 magpie.  magpies are for sale
and last but not least 2 polmeranian saddlebacks
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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the replies! If my options are separate housing or getting more females, for the time being I will have to go with separate housing. smile

Now as for the Rouens, I was told that's what they were and in my research before getting the ducks they were described as domestic mallards. idunno I will post pictures I took today and maybe you can tell me what they are.

Another question. I don't plan on raising babies, but I do want to use the eggs for eating and cooking. (I love to bake and was told duck eggs are perfect for that. ????) When they start laying can I use the eggs in that manner even if the hens have been with a male?

Here are a couple of pics I snapped today, but they're not the best. They were trying to rest under the lilac bush and the goat kept interfering and getting in my way. roll

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u194/black_opal_photos/2009%20pics/july09004.jpg
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u194/black_opal_photos/2009%20pics/july09001.jpg

Firm believer that getting their hands dirty helps keep kids' minds clean.
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Firm believer that getting their hands dirty helps keep kids' minds clean.
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post #6 of 15

I started in March with 6 ducklings and 5!! turned out to be male.  I had read enough to know I would have problems down the road, so through a few weeks of searching and trading, I now have 5 hens and 1 Rouen drake (see my website for some Rouen pics).  My ducks are now 5 months old and lets just say that I'm glad I have 5 females because he's after all of them all day!  I had a hard time letting go of my original 4 males, but have adapted to my new hens very well.  Good luck! (I'm pretty sure a true Rouen can't fly, mine is WAY too heavy, maybe 7 lbs.)

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/23932_sonny_3_months.jpg

See my crazy bunch at www.whatupduck.com .... 3 Khaki Campbell females and one 13 year old Pomeranian.........1 SH (sweet husband), 2 daughters (out of the nest :-)
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See my crazy bunch at www.whatupduck.com .... 3 Khaki Campbell females and one 13 year old Pomeranian.........1 SH (sweet husband), 2 daughters (out of the nest :-)
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post #7 of 15

I think your rouens are really mallards. If they were rouens, you would see 2 eye stripes and they would be closer to the size of your pekin.

7 quacking ducks, 5 spazzy quail, 3 lazy cats, 2 grown sons, 1 goofy husband... and no partridge, but I have a pear tree!
My micro-farm blog - www.bluefeatherfarm.blogspot.com
Duck pond and biofilter information- http://tinyurl.com/lfgeg9
The Double-Decker Brooder Thread- http://tinyurl.com/nf8zm5
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7 quacking ducks, 5 spazzy quail, 3 lazy cats, 2 grown sons, 1 goofy husband... and no partridge, but I have a pear tree!
My micro-farm blog - www.bluefeatherfarm.blogspot.com
Duck pond and biofilter information- http://tinyurl.com/lfgeg9
The Double-Decker Brooder Thread- http://tinyurl.com/nf8zm5
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wifezilla 

I think your rouens are really mallards. If they were rouens, you would see 2 eye stripes and they would be closer to the size of your pekin.


Yes they clearly appear to be Mallards.

post #9 of 15

Just agreeing that you have Mallards. smile


And you'll love the eggs, but you need more gals.  I use duck eggs for everything, from scrambled eggs to baking.   Doesn't matter if they are fertilized or not.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Oh gosh, now I'm really confused. When I think of a Mallard I think of wild ducks. Do people really raise Mallards or did someone steal wild eggs, hatch them and pass them off as Roeuns? Now I'm back to the flying. Do I need to do anything about that or just let them be?

I guess I'll have to reconsider swapping some males for females if it's in the best interest of the hens I already have. I hate to see those guys go, though.

Thanks again everyone for the help! I'm so glad I was told about this site. big_smile

Firm believer that getting their hands dirty helps keep kids' minds clean.
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Firm believer that getting their hands dirty helps keep kids' minds clean.
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