Adding 5 week olds to 15 week olds

robinjs11

In the Brooder
May 21, 2016
43
5
27
I have 2 drake muscovies and 2 females that are 15 weeks old and 2 females that are 5 weeks old. How should I intoduce them? They have seen eachother through a fence almost everyday for the past 3 weeks but the older ones still try to bite them. The duckling aren't scared and get upset that they cant follow the big ones when they walk away. Do I have to wait until they are fully feathered and not peeping? I did not expect them to accept them several weeks ago, just trying to ease the introduction but everytime they see them, its like they have never seen them before. Just thought I would have seen some progress by now. Im new to ducks and worried the older ones will never accept the new ones.
700

700
 
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Welshies

Crowing
May 8, 2016
3,250
2,508
286
Alberta, Canada
Well... you see, you are doing this all wrong.
1 to 2 weeks is great.. but they will always intially bite.
let them loose together. They have to have a squabble for a few days at most, to establish hierarchy. They will bite, hit, shove. Let them.
Over the course of a week, watch the ducks carefully for signs of ostracization, listlessness, open wounds, or bleeding. If they all seem fine- nonetheless a bit bitey the first few days- you are good to go.
 

robinjs11

In the Brooder
May 21, 2016
43
5
27
Thanks, im just over protective I guess lol. Is now a good age to try that? Im mostly worried about the darkest drake that is especially compulsive about trying to get to them. He is the boss and pulls their feathers through the fence if he gets the chance
 

Welshies

Crowing
May 8, 2016
3,250
2,508
286
Alberta, Canada
Thanks, im just over protective I guess lol. Is now a good age to try that? Im mostly worried about the darkest drake that is especially compulsive about trying to get to them. He is the boss and pulls their feathers through the fence if he gets the chance

Well he's establishing his dominance. Just use common sense. If they aren't relenting their squabbles after a few days, remove the problem bird that is rejecting them. And yes, they're fine. I introduce my ducklings at 2-3 weeks.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,221
2,832
551
Southern New England
I have a slightly different approach that is less likely to end up with injuries.

I agree that the flock has its own dynamic, and they have to work things out. At the same time, I feel a responsibility to keep each duck from getting injured. I think the age and size difference is big enough that I would not leave them alone together if they are not at least ignoring each other.

It may take a little more patience, but I feel it is worth it instead of real physical pain and possibly injury and expense and all that.

So, I would continue letting them see each other, but I would wait till the youngers are as tall as the others before letting them run together. And I would supervise closely. Anything more than a little poking and chasing, and the youngers are back in their area. It has not taken more than a few times doing this for me to introduce new members to the flock. And we have not had any injuries.

@robinjs11
 
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Welshies

Crowing
May 8, 2016
3,250
2,508
286
Alberta, Canada
I have a slightly different approach that is less likely to end up with injuries.

I agree that the flock has its own dynamic, and they have to work things out. At the same time, I feel a responsibility to keep each duck from getting injured. I think the age and size difference is big enough that I would not leave them alone together if they are not at least ignoring each other.

It may take a little more patience, but I feel it is worth it instead of real physical pain and possibly injury and expense and all that.

So, I would continue letting them see each other, but I would wait till the youngers are as tall as the others before letting them run together. And I would supervise closely. Anything more than a little poking and chasing, and the youngers are back in their area. It has not taken more than a few times doing this for me to introduce new members to the flock. And we have not had any injuries.

@robinjs11

x2 but I've never had any injuries with my approach... So I'm not sure. But my flock- even my completely restarted and hand-raised one- have always been good. A little bit of chasing and boom- it's settled out. Works for me, anyways.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,221
2,832
551
Southern New England
x2 but I've never had any injuries with my approach... So I'm not sure. But my flock- even my completely restarted and hand-raised one- have always been good. A little bit of chasing and boom- it's settled out. Works for me, anyways.

Thanks, Welshies, I like being on the BYC Duck Forum team with you! And sometimes our experiences differ some. I never want to discount someone else's experience. I feel that when you said "common sense" that covers so much! And I feel it takes some time when new to ducks to develop that sixth sense about how to handle things like flock dynamics.

Yes the chasing, that's par for the course. And every now and then I see the injuries from new introductions that did not go so well... Anyway, looking forward to hearing from robinjs11 on how it's going!
 

robinjs11

In the Brooder
May 21, 2016
43
5
27
700


I decided to wait to introduce the dark male for now. The first minute didnt go well. The duckling panicked and ran and the white male cornered them and had one foot on each with one by the neck. I broke that up and they duckling are now in a corner and im standing between them and the big ducks. Its only been about 10 minutes now and the big ones are starting to wander away a little
 

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