aggressive drake & chickens

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ceelo, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. ceelo

    ceelo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 11, 2012
    Nevada County
    I've a small flock of 4 female chickens and 2 Pekins, a male and female. The drake turned very aggressive toward one particular chicken, although he has tried to grab the neck of all of them. From all the BYC posts I've read on aggressive drakes, it is his ducky hormones run amok. I'm concerned he will kill or injure one of the chickens.

    Having read all of the posts, it seems he either needs: 1) 2-3 more mature female ducks, 2) less light exposure to shrink his testes, 3) separation from all the females, so he doesn't over-mate with the Pekin or harm the chickens, or 4) freezer camp.

    I was under the impression Pekins were one-hen-drakes, but I appear to be misinformed, or my drake is a rake with chicken-cidal tendencies.

    My preference would not be freezer camp, although that is where the other 3 drakes from the flock went when it was discovered they were drakes.

    If I get more females,
    a - how old should they be so they are not damaged by his romantic assertions?
    b - how long should I expect the pecking order thing to take?
    c - what are the best sources for obtaining a mature female duck?

    Any and all advice is very welcome. This is my first mixed flock, so it has been quite a learning experience. I just don't want my learning curve to hurt my birdies.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Hmm, I would say you want the new girls to be as close to full size as you can manage, just so he doesn't accidentally hurt them while trying to mate and also so they can stand up for themselves during the initial squabbles. As for how long the pecking order takes, that all depends on the individual birds. I've introduced ducks to each other several times, and once it went flawlessly and everybody was pals in a day, while another time it took literally weeks. Amiga has a good thread around here somewhere where she documented the introduction of two groups of ducks. You could read that and see if it helps. The best thing to do is just to monitor the situation closely. And as for getting mature birds, I would try your local craigslist, maybe put up a wanted flyer in your local feed store, or maybe see if there's a livestock auction near you. Otherwise, you could get some sexed ducklings. They do grow fast ;)
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    I would either remove him from having access to the chickens or remove the chickens so they don't have access to him. This is actually a very common problem with drakes mating with chickens and can result in death of the chicken.

    Ducks are flock animals and are not monogamous, so yes a 1:1 ratio is not the best .. i do have some of my Muscovy that have a slight pairing that said i definitely provide excess to avoid over stressing the female duck.

    It's usually said at least 3-4 ducks PER drake. To give an idea i have 2 drakes and 8 females.. i am increasing that to 5 females later this spring and possibly a few more, if i get some from my hatch due next week.

    Now aging, I've done it a few ways.. i bought some ducks that were within 2mths aging of what i currently had, i have hatched out young here so they grew up into the flock and i have bought duckling at 2-3wks old that have also grown into the flock. The drakes are just now picking who they want from the newest additions from last year... the younger three not quite ready to be part of that dynamic [email protected] only 7mth.

    The best way i intro birds IF there is no mama, is to have them penned where they have access to talk and see the older birds, i continue this for awhile to ensure the newbies are doing well and capable of handling the stress of a flock change over, you must always be prepared that the newcomers may need to be removed again if attacks are over the top, some pecking order behaviour is normal but you'll know when it's just too much..

    Also the quarantine issue comes into play as well, especially with older birds.. now fortunately, ducks have less issues but still you want to ensure your not bringing any issues to your flock.

    I generally prefer younger birds myself, but everyone experience is different... my newest ducks coming late spring will be ducklings, and they will transition in as i have done many a time before.

    Classified will probably help you find older birds, as well breeders could have some suitable. I definitely wouldn't just bring in one, at least two so they can well, have each other so a singular bird isn't without someone it knows or can at least share newbie status with.
     
  4. ceelo

    ceelo Out Of The Brooder

    18
    2
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    Jul 11, 2012
    Nevada County
    Thanks everyone!

    We've done a variety of things. The chickens and ducks have different hours of access to the open yard. Putting the drake on light deprivation, with less than 6 hours sun, has curbed him a bit. If I get more girlie ducks, I'll have more eggs than I can handle, though I could easily give them away quite easily. I've tried craigslist, but to no avail so far. Local ordinances don't permit that many animals, so that would add stress. I think he's destined for freezer camp.

    I sure do like raising ducklings and ducks. They are much hardier than chickens, if somewhat more stand-offish.

    Thank you for all the great insight. I'll update as things progress!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  5. farmer boy

    farmer boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    there would be no point in getting another drake then for your female pekin because all drakes will be like this they need 2-4 females so it will be the same
     

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