A question about duck behavior

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ella, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. ella

    ella Songster

    My Buff Orp babies are about 7 weeks old...


    Cute huh?

    Anyhoo, I'm starting to see some new behavior from them and I'm wondering what it means.

    It starts with a shivery type of head shaking and ends with them sort of charging each other or one of the chickens. It looks a little aggressive but they're not otherwise aggressive and have never nipped at me. And the shiver/charge has never included biting or anything like that so I'm a little confused.

    And they only seem to charge someone when their back is turned, kind of like when a rooster courts a hen, could this be a male thing? Do I have two little boys??

    I know pretty much all of the chicken¬ís body language but ducks are totally new to me. Anybody with duck experience out there know what I'm talking about? [​IMG]
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    Mine do that. I call it the scary duck face. :eek:
    Charging with bills open and neck shivering is saying "My yard, MINE! Get away" They do it when a hens back is turned because they don't dare do it when someone is looking. [​IMG]
    Perfectly normal. Hilarious, but normal.

    Your ducks are gorgeous! You should be able to tell if they are boys or girls by this time.
    A boy will have a raspier wak-wak wak-wak and a girl will have more of a quackquackquackquack chattering quack like she is repeating some juicy gossip.
  3. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    [​IMG] these ducks are too cute
  4. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Oh, they are beautiful, and I have some serious pond envy!!!! Dont let my duckies see your pond, they are having to make do with a bunch of plastic kiddie pools.

  5. ella

    ella Songster

    Ohhh ok, Thanks for the insight! [​IMG] It's good to know what they're doing [​IMG]

    The female did it to me a few days ago and got a thorough snuggling for her efforts. She didn't like that much, but that's the price you pay. [​IMG] She hasn't done it since either!

    Glad to know it's not a gender thing, so I CAN go by the quacking/peeping. In that case the lighter one is definately the female and the one with the striped head is the male. Neat! Thanks all!

    The pond is just for field trips, they keep destroying the water lilies and they started going after the goldfish! I didn't know they'd do that [​IMG] so they only get to go in there on weekends when I'm around. They have a big rubber stock tank in their yard for during the day. It's easier to clean anyway!
  6. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Cool! I think our duckies ARE at least part Buff Orp then. These are great pics, and I had wondered.

    If you put a pom-pom on the dark one, and stretched his neck a little, you'd have Kupo (who is male, the drake feathers just came in at 3 months and he's a wak-wak), and the other is very much like Baka, who is female and a VERY loud quacker.

    I think you are right, from the colors I have seen on similar ducks. We spent a lot of effort trying to sort the boys and girls in our group.

    None of ours do the run-thing though. They come to investigate chicks and kitten, with necks stretched tall and looking them over, sometimes waddling in close, but not too threatening.

    Funny, the bigger female, Kuro, who is normally scared of her own shadow (and even more scared of OUR shadows) came in closest to the 3-week old chicks yesterday and seemed kinda happy to see them.

    Great pics again, though. Loved them. [​IMG] Enjoy your vicious attack duckies. [​IMG]

  7. Mike_Winters

    Mike_Winters In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2007
    its a charge there just telling the chickens there nervous and to close so they will dart after them. the shivering is a warning display but its hard to see so u usaly only see a duck running after u with head down
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007
  8. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Hmmm ... I wonder if my ducks were doing the same sort of thing?

    Today I took the chicks out all day, and put them in a makeshift pen that I put up right next to where the ducks usually hang out. AND the silly kitten kept going outside so I finally let him stay for a couple of hours.

    The ducks were very interested in the chicks. (Three of them were anyway.) They stood at the wire and just looked at them most of the day. And when I came to talk to the chicks, the un-interested duck came over and kept trying to bite me on the backside! (Not hard though, just sort of nibbly.)

    The kitten was another story though. He usually stays on the porch, but he ran across the yard playing a few times. The duck that bit me (Baka) also chased him. She bit him on the paw, but must not have been very hard because he didn't even seem to mind. (The chickies are another story ... I carried the kitten over to them and I guess they think anything in my hands MUST be food ... they tried to bite him through the wires! I think he now has the beginnings of a healthy respect for chickens ... [​IMG])

    One of the other ducks (Kupo) bent his tail up at a sharp angle and shook it a few times, then put his head way down and ran at the kitten. He didn't bite though. He's usually the aggressive one.

    I wonder if the ducks felt their territory was being invaded. The other cat spent some time outside early in the day too, until a mockingbird started dive-bombing her and she wanted to go in. Usually she and the ducks just wander together though, with no problems between them ever.

    It was an interesting day. I'm glad I got to see it, while I was TRYING to get the silly coop finished. [​IMG]

    I guess I'll see what all this behavior means. The chicks started sparring a little too, pretty much for the first time (only the banties did a few times before this). Unfortunately the pen I put together was too well enclosed for me to get in and separate them and play "alpha roo" according to the training suggestions here. Guess I'll have to try later. But it was an interesting day. [​IMG]

  9. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    sooo cute [​IMG]
  10. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

    love them, they are so cute!

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