Adding New Ducks going Poorly

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by natem1270, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. natem1270

    natem1270 Chirping

    Nov 11, 2019
    Rhode Island
    My Coop

    I started raising Khaki’s in the spring. I started with three but sadly have lost two to date: unsure of the cause of the first and the second was a hawk. My remaining Khaki was a drake and I decided I wanted to pursue an all male flock. My ducks live in an 16x8x5ft chicken wire enclosure with an attached 4x4x4ft nesting box and a kiddie pool. Note: they used to range the yard until the hawk incident.

    I purchased two new Drakes, a Rouen and a mixed breed I was recently inquiring about the breed of:

    My hope was that the two new ones would keep my current drake company. Sadly, after four days they still stay on separate sides of the pen away from each other. The two I adopted appeared to live mostly indoors (was not pleased to see how they lived before I got them) and tend to try and stay indoors if not locked outside.
    My question is, should I be looking to get rid of the new addition(s)? Today I noticed my original drake did not seem himself. He seems to be moving around less and spends most of his time just sitting in the pool.

    It was strange when I first added them my drake who was already there was very aggressive and tried to fight or mate the other two. Now, it appears he’s lost the power struggle and seems resigned to running away or avoiding the other ducks. I don’t see feather loss on his neck or body but I fear them all spending the night together in their nesting box. Should I wait or consider moving one of the new ducks.

    I’m new to ducks but have been raising other birds for years and have developed (I believe) an ability to tell when something is off with one of my birds despite their attempts to hide it. Just now I went out to check on my original drake and found him sitting on the ground outside which is not typical behavior.

    I should add, one of the new ducks is significantly larger than the preexisting drake.

    Group photo for reference:


    The two new additions are on the left with the new alpha on the far left. Far right is my Khaki drake I’ve had since the spring.
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Give it time. It's only been 4 days. Two weeks or more and things will be different. Very pretty Drakes.
    thumper650 likes this.
  3. Duck_life

    Duck_life Duck Addict

    May 14, 2019
    Woods of PA
    Agreed, you need to let them settle in a bit. They're drakes and they're not going to trust each other all at one time, they need to figure out who is going to be the boss and who is going to be in the lowest order.
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  4. Kholts

    Kholts Songster

    Feb 11, 2019
    I don't have an all drake flock but it took at least 2-3 weeks for integration with my flock when I added 2 new members to the existing 4.

    They just have to establish pecking order. As long as your not seeing to much physical damage to your birds it should be fine.
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  5. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    4 days is not long for introductions. I have had introductions take over a month before. To make things more gradual you could start with a see no touch setup. Then if all seems ok, add one of the new ducks with your existing duck, then if all seems ok add the second new duck into the mix. Ducks are social and it takes time for them to warm up to each other.

    If you were put in a new apartment with roommates you'd never met and had no way to get away from them and no personal space it would be a bit of a shock for you too and it would take some time for you all to get to know each other and figure out how to learn to live together... probably more than 4 days. These things just take time ;)
    Miss Lydia and natem1270 like this.
  6. thumper650

    thumper650 Crowing

    Mar 10, 2018
    Maynard, MA
    I had 2 pekin drakes (brothers), and added 2 runners (hatch mates) and things went ok. They still nip here and there and I separate the 2 types in the Summer, but they get along well now. Here’s their introduction last year.
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  7. Duckie doodle

    Duckie doodle Songster

    Jun 27, 2019
    I would give it a week or two. When I got my welsh harlequin drake there was so many fights between the boys and this was during breeding season. Now the welsh harlequin drake, ( his name is Hanz ) gets along with everyone. Added a picture of day first introduced him to the flock to a more recent one with him chilling in the snow with his duck friends. You could also separate the new ones as well but make sure they can all see each other.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  8. Duckfarmer1

    Duckfarmer1 Songster

    Jul 23, 2019
    Absolutely give it time! Can I ask..did you put them together the first night or put them in a crate of some type but in a pen beside each other? Here’s the deal..this is the time of year for drakes to gain control..some of mine are missing neck feathers and they’ve been together forever! It’s nature. They need a pecking order..that will come. Please don’t give up on these guys so fast..I have integrated tons of ducks..I have 43 now...most are drakes...when the new ones come, they stick to themselves for happens..especially if they are in a pen. Mine are free range over acres and can avoid each Until night. There was a time I referred to my ducks as the new guys, the new new guys, the new new new they are just my guys..all one’ll get there...they are like teenagers right now...keep watch but let them work it out. :). And congrats on your new guys!
  9. natem1270

    natem1270 Chirping

    Nov 11, 2019
    Rhode Island
    My Coop
    Thank you all for your replies, and my apologies for the delayed response. After reading this I separated our current coop into two portions and started building a new pen I could easily partition if needed. Photo attached:



    Of course, as many of you mentioned, things sorted themselves out by the time this project was finished. No need to even use the divider I created. Nonetheless, the ducks now have a bigger more easy to clean home for the winter. The divider will go into use after the new ducklings I ordered are old enough to go outside. Pure poultry decided to ship my three baby Pekins today instead of the requested date of April.... so thank god I expanded now!
    PirateGirl likes this.
  10. Duckfarmer1

    Duckfarmer1 Songster

    Jul 23, 2019
    Oh that’s wonderful! I love that you ordered new ones because you saw that it CAN happen! And now, like you said, you’ve got a perfect set up for all the future new ducks! Just wait, they become addictive!! I’m so glad that everything worked out! You will love Pekins, they are soo silly. Total characters..get into trouble all the time! Can’t wait to see pictures! :)
    natem1270 likes this.

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