Aggresive Scovie

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by EeyoreD, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. EeyoreD

    EeyoreD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You know, it seems like when you talk about aggressive fowl it's always a male that's due for the stock pot. As he should be.

    But how do you determine stock or restock with a female. My scovie drake died this spring but not before he covered the three females. Two of the three have been good brooders and decent mothers, one has been AWFUL. Her first brood she lost interest in like 4 weeks in (after they hatched - she abandoned the 4 week old 'lings). Now she's just a NASTY duck. She went broody again so I got some fertile eggs for her to hatch and I don't know what happened there. Seems like she pitched out some eggs that weren't hers and just got jostled and such so the 14 eggs I got only hatched one.

    After that hatched (I brought it inside because I couldn't trust she wouldn't lose interest) she has just been wandering around the yard trying to forcefully adopt whatever young thing is around. She's run other birds off nests, run anything nearby away from the one hatched Indian Runner and the 4 adoptees.

    Basically she's hindering other ducks sitting on nests nearby (and by near I mean like within 35 feet) and being nasty to ducklings that aren't hers (Even though none of the ducks she's adopted are hers!). She's a menace. BUT! She's been the most broody duck I have. But she's dorking up the broodiness of the others and screwing up intros of bought hatchlings.

    I know you don't want to breed a nasty roo or drake. Is this something I should cull in a female? In some ways she seems awesome, in others it seems like she's screwing up everyone else's incubation.

    Or is she just being like this because my poor drake died and she's assuming the role?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Mothering qualities are heritable traits in all species. It's your choice. Four weeks is a little early to wean ducklings, but it's not unheard of. Actually it maximizes the number of broods possible in a season. Her present behavior is because you removed the duckling and her strong mothering desire has run amuck.
     
  3. EeyoreD

    EeyoreD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, I may have described things badly.

    I removed her remaining duckling 2 weeks after she abandoned it and she sat the new empty nest. The duckling was unprotected. I ordered eggs in the mail to give her something to sit on. She bit and nasty-ed everyone and everything and only hatched one egg of the 14 I got her. The 13 she kicked out of the nest and kicked unbelievably far away.

    She has aggressively attacked her one surviving original duckling (that was left with her until it was alone because she ignored her spawn and all but one died). She screwed up her own nest - her eggs weren't fertile but she preferred those and the chicken eggs to the fertile runner eggs I had. But she's totally blown off those once the runner hatched and despite the scovy ducklings being sheltered for 3 weeks after she abandoned her runner eggs she's latched on to the various scovy ducklings - except her own.

    Now she's re-adopted the OTHER scovy hen 2 month old ducklings and still attacks the one that is actually hers. And attacks the runners. And prevents the other scovies from sitting a new nest. And bites at me and anyone but she expects and tolerates hand feeding when she's ready.

    I don't mind that she shoved off her spawn. I wish she wouldn't but whatever. The problem is that she's preventing the two other scovies from hatching eggs, ditching her own hatched eggs and viciously biting random youngsters.

    I'm all for aggressive protection but she's abandoned her own and is dorking up everyone else's ability to brood and raise young. She had her young and abandoned them. She has her young now and bites it until it bleeds. She is now fostering 8 ducklings that aren't hers - great! But she's biting and harassing everyone else and not within 8 feet but withing like 30 feet of her. She goes out of her way to just bite people (ducks are people, right?)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    If she is fostering 8 ducklings that aren't hers why not give her and the ducklings their own space for a while. Most of my Muscovy's are through mothering by 4 weeks, by then the ducklings are able to be on their own and do a good job of it. This year was the first time one of mine stayed till they were 5 weeks old. They also learn to stay away from the adults that tend to pick on them if they get to close.
     
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Miss Lydia. This duck may just need more space than others when she is brooding. If that is not something that you want to deal with, cull her.

    I don't see aggresiveness in a mother as bad, depending on where it is directed. I have been lucky that mine have, mostly, been great moms. I have hens that stay with their babies for about 2 months and another that lasts a few weeks. I have one that adopted 21 two week old ducklings that were 1 week older than her 7 babies.

    It all depends on what you want to deal with. My hens will go after anything that gets close to their babies, duck, chicken, dog, me. I view it as a good thing. Now, I had a chicken that wanted to go broody and was reacting to babies that peeped when I picked them up. I thought that she was being protective until I found her with a peeping duckling in her beak in the air. She is in the freezer now.

    Try giving her (and the rest of the flock) some space/privacy or cull her. Best options.
     
  6. EeyoreD

    EeyoreD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah good point, I'll give her another year.

    As for the fostering - she sort of adopted them once I let them out of the brooder into the coop (which she NEVER goes in). The 8 ducklings (can you call them ducklings when they're like 11 weeks old?) have been let out into the yard. No fencing, no coop unless they want to. But that dang mother just charges EVERYONE that gets near them.

    It's only been 3-4 days since the ducklings had the run of the place (the "mother" has always been free). I agree that some aggressive protection is a good thing. She's just SO aggressive that no one else can lay, hatch or be near them if she's around. Ever.

    I keep seeing people with some wall nests - you know, like 1 foot apart. This duck won't tolerate anyone brooding or raising young within 30+ feet.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    For the peace of the flock and the other broody's this duck needs her own pen once everyone is finished brooding and raising their brood. let her be out among the flock again. if she still is making everyone life miserable them there's only one other choice.
     

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