2 questions about Pekin ducks and ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MimiEggs, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. MimiEggs

    MimiEggs Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2012
    Rusk, Texas
    I have 2 Pekin ducks that were hatched on app Sept 3, 2012. The larger of the 2 has 3 curled feathers on it's tail, the smaller one has 1 curled feather on it's tail. I read that sometimes the males will have 1 black feather in the middle of their back but have yet see any sign of a black feather in all that white.

    Whenever I clean out their kiddie pool to add fresh water (every 2 days) the larger duck starts this head bobbing action, grabs the smaller duck by the neck and tries to mount him/her/it. The smaller duck is like, "get off me jerk", then they end up in the water playing and splashing and all is well.

    They both make the same "sound", sort of a mumbled chatter of low quacks run together.

    They live in the chicken coop and run with my flock of chickens and get along very well with everyone, including my 2 roosters.

    Question #1: Am I correct in assuming they are both males and the larger duck is simply showing dominance over the smaller duck, or is it possible the smaller duck is actually a female?

    Since I have been assuming they were both males, I recently ordered 2 "sexed female ducklings", that are now 4 weeks old. I have been keeping the ducklings in a separate brooding area inside my chicken coop so that they would have visual and voice recognition once I incorporate them in with the rest of the flock. Up until yesterday I have been carrying them to a completely separate area for daily swims in a kiddie pool. This is getting to be a little bit of a pain in the butt.

    Yesterday when I went to give everyone their afternoon treats and fresh swimming water for the older ducks I let the ducklings into the yard just to see what would happen. Since nobody was paying them any attention I got their kiddie pool and put it in the chicken yard some distance from the older ducks pool, filled it up about half way just in case I had a problem and went to clean out their separate quarters, add fresh water to their water-er, etc.

    So the ducklings are in their little pool having a good ol time and all of a sudden I hear one of them crying out. I turn to see what is happening and one of the older ducks (not exactly sure which one but I think it was the adult duck with only 1 curled tail feather) has grabbed one of the ducklings by the neck. Not as in "had the whole neck in it's bill" kind of thing, more like "a few fuzzy neck feathers". Similar to what the larger adult duck does to the smaller adult duck as I am adding fresh water to their pool.

    I shooed the adults off to their pool and as I just happened to have a portable puppy pen in the yard, stretched it out to somewhat block the adults from the ducklings and went back to what I was doing. Just about the time I finished my cleaning the adults had made their way around and DID IT AGAIN.

    Yes, got that part---It is NOT time to incorporate the new ducklings in with the adult ducks. Which brings me to...

    Question #2: At what age can/could I safely let the ducklings in with the adult ducks?

    I know 2 males and 2 females is not a good ratio. I have been thinking about calling around to see if I can find a Vet willing to vent sex everyone for me, then keeping only 1 male. I was thinking about having that done a week or two "before" I actually tried (again) to incorporate the ducklings. If the 2 adults are in fact both male, and I have to re-home 1, I was thinking of waiting until it got closer to incorporation day, so the male I do keep would not be too lonely waiting. Or would that make it easier if he "was" lonely? Not sure what to do at this point as my chickens/roosters could care less and I "could" incorporate the ducklings any time as far as they are concerned.

    As a side note: In the last two weeks both ducklings have begun to make a very definitive "quack sound" unlike anything I have heard coming from our two adult ducks, so I am guessing that is the "sound" of a female. (?)

    What to do, what to do, what to do........?
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    First off does you ducks drake feather look like this ? http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...BEuUeniFsKKqwGa54DQDA&ved=0CE8Q9QEwBQ&dur=562
    And Pekin drakes don't get a blk drake feather unless mix breed, Pekins are solid white drakes and ducks. even the drake feather. your drakes will make a raspy quaking noise where your ducks will have a loud quack. and as you found out your girls are not ready to be introduced to your drakes, and from everything I have read and heard Pekins sexual drive is about at the top of the chart and can not only injure your ducks but can also injure or kill your hens if they try to mate with them, and probably will try to mate with them soon, I'd get those boys out of your chicken coop. and yes 2 drakes and 2 ducks isn't good for the girls, they will be over breed and could become injured. Mating is rough anyway, usually 3-4 ducks to 1 drake is best for the ducks. And most likely what you are seeing in the pool is your larger Drake trying to mate with your smaller one. oh yes they will try, The only reason why I don't see it here is because my Muscovy drakes would never get into the pool together. But even ducks will go through the mounting and mating ritual but i have heard of drakes actually mating other drakes. I wouldn't want that. So probably be best to rehome one of your drakes or get them at least 3-4 girls apiece and hope for harmony but away from your hens. And give your ducks a little more time before putting them in with the drake which ever one you decide to keep, they need to be at least 4 months old before being set out with the drakes that is actually when mating should start, but drakes can be relentless and may try to mate the girls too early. I am not kidding you drake hormones are way out of control during mating season. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  3. MimiEggs

    MimiEggs Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2012
    Rusk, Texas

    Hahaha, a picture would be most helpful....here they are.
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Definitely 2 boys. ML gave you some good advice.
  5. MimiEggs

    MimiEggs Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2012
    Rusk, Texas
    Well that saves me a trip to the Vets office [​IMG] Thanks!

    Many years ago, my mother-in-law housed chickens and ducks successfully without any chicken vs druck drama, of course the ducks were a different breed. So far we have not had any complications but then again the "boys" are just coming into their hormones. When I ordered the girls I also started calculating the possibility we could encounter issues when everyone was old enough to mate, so I also began making plans in my head for a seperate area just for the ducks. Of course I was thinking that would be drake vs rooster, not drake vs chicken, LOL.

    I think I will leave the portable puppy fence around the pool I just added to the yard yesterday, so the "girls" can have their own space without being bothered by the drakes. That will at least buy me some time to create a seperate enclosure.

    Since it will be another 3 months before I can introduce the girls to the drake we keep, I am hesitant to re-home 1 drake now. If I only have the one drake milling around with all the "hens" and 2 rooster I may be inviting trouble early as the 2 drakes pretty much keep to themselves (at the moment).

    I will definitely have to keep a close eye on this! Thank you so much Miss Lydia and jdywntr for your help.

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