Aggression toward duck?

BrukeyBrooke

Chirping
Apr 10, 2020
53
51
91
Arizona
I have two 16-ish weeks old geese (African Grey/Sebastopol mix), and I am unsure whether they are male or female - maybe y’all can help with that too? I also have three mixed 11-week old ducklings, two females and one male (determined by quacking- pretty certain of their sexes). Anyhow, the geese have recently taken to biting one of my female ducklings and sitting on her in the water. They leave the other one alone. One goose in particular goes after her, and I have had to split them up. The duck runs away but comes right back for more. They all seem too young to be attempting to mate, but what else could this behavior be? I don’t have a pond inside their pen anymore, so they only get in when I am outside with them while they’re out to free range. But I am worried they will hurt her.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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My geese can be aggressive toward my ducks, and chickens. My geese are in an area that the other birds can escape, but the geese cannot. You may want to set the geese up by themselves. They will get worse after mature during breeding season.
 

BrukeyBrooke

Chirping
Apr 10, 2020
53
51
91
Arizona
Ugh. Is it naive that I wanted geese to protect the smaller birds? I actually rescued them from a bit of a hoarder. The thing is, other than these instances, the five waterfowl are thick as thieves. I have one chicken who tags along sometimes. But otherwise when they’re all out, it is chickens on one end of the yard, waterfowl on the other.

Side note-I love your signature!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,882
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1,452
Wisconsin
Were the ducks and geese brooded together? Sometimes they all think they are the same species when they are and it can have birds confused, and that interact like they are the same species, which also can cause problems.

Having ways for ducks to get away from the geese by having smaller doorways or things to go under or squeeze through can help keep other poultry species escape from agitated geese.

Geese can give a warning, but they won't protect other species. They run too from problems, and predators.
 
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BrukeyBrooke

Chirping
Apr 10, 2020
53
51
91
Arizona
Nope. The ducks and chickens were brooded together, which was a hot mess. Luckily, the weather here in AZ worked out to move them outside a little earlier than planned. The geese were introduced to my “established” flock just 5 weeks ago. They’ve all hit it off really well. I have only seen the aggression in the water, which made me think mating, even though they’re too young. I reckon there must be some hormones fluctuating as they grow, right?
 

BrukeyBrooke

Chirping
Apr 10, 2020
53
51
91
Arizona
I’m guessing that this play mating is not any indication of the sex of the geese?

As for protection, yes, the geese alert. They seem to be very aware of what is going on around them. They stop and listen when they hear the neighborhood hawks. And when the geese run for cover, they appear to heard the smaller birds with them. They also may be a deterrent for some predators. In my case, my biggest concerns are hawks and coyotes. Between my two geese and my two large dogs, nothing has entered the yard. Although, the hawks definitely watch from afar.
 

BrukeyBrooke

Chirping
Apr 10, 2020
53
51
91
Arizona
This particular duck must be giving off some “come get me” vibes. One of my roosters has tried mounting her too. She’s the only one.
 

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