Aggressive drake?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GoodEgg, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    1
    159
    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Hello all,

    I'm still watching my ducks grow up and trying to figure out what they are all about.

    The kitten that we rescued from the woods is spending most of his days in the backyard now. He's about 9 weeks old I think. Ducks almost 4 weeks (2 ducks and 2 drakes).

    One of my ducks started begging for attention, and one of the drakes has been breeding with her for about a week.

    The kitten started out playing with the ducks when I started letting him go out a few weeks ago. He would run in the bushes and let the ducks chase him. It's a game to him.

    The ducks have slowly gotten braver. A week or so ago they started biting him. Must not be hard (can ducks bite hard? these never do) because he doesn't react much. He wants to wrestle sometimes but I keep telling him "no claws" and so far he listens. (I had to teach him that for playing with us.)

    Well, the breeding drake has stepped things up. He started rushing at the kitten and kind of slamming him with his neck and body. It's weird, like he's trying to neck-slap him then run over him. He doesn't flap or quack or anything along with this. I think the drake is serious, but the kitten still thinks it's all play. The kitten is starting to look unsure about it though. The duck is probably 2-3 times as big as he is. So far no real wrestling and no claws. (I don't want the kitten to scratch since cat scratches can so easily become infected. I'm worried for the ducks in that case.)

    Any ideas? Do drakes normally attack like this? I wonder if he "means it" or if he's playing. I can't tell. If he's going to become more aggressive, I might have to keep them apart because I don't want the kitten to fight back in self-defense.

    Then again, if that crazy drake thinks he can attack anything, he MIGHT scare off a dog or cat. The group chased off a dachshund once.

    Oh .... and I have a big fat longhaired female cat that comes in the yard with them sometimes. They've known her since they were small, and they like her and kind of follow her around, and she pretty much ignores them.

    But I'm mostly just wondering if this sounds like a real attack or not, and if drakes typically become aggressive. I thought they were too afraid to attack anything?

    Thanks, if anyone can shed any light on any part of this! [​IMG]

    trish
     
  2. Mike_Winters

    Mike_Winters Out Of The Brooder

    46
    0
    22
    Jan 30, 2007
    Connecticut
    Well he's being protective he has a mate that is in season so hes trying to keep the cat away form her. the cat thinks hes playing so will play with him but he doesn't want to play he only wants the female to himself & will fight if someone like the cat doesn't get the message to back off
     
  3. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    1
    159
    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thanks. That makes sense. He's not quite so actively chasing the kitten now, but he does still make a run if he's near, and will sometimes go across the yard for him. The kitten still runs, and so far everything is ok.

    One of the ducks also goes for the kitten (she was the first to bite him in fact, but this is not the breeding duck).

    I just yell at the kitten. He hasn't done anything wrong, but I want him to know he's not allowed to fight back. I fuss at him about the chicks too. So far he's VERY good about not messing with them. He's actually afraid of the chicks, because they've pecked him pretty good a few times.

    I'm still more comfortable training dogs. I'm not so sure about cats, lol.

    Just going to keep a good eye on the situation. He's to be an outside cat, so I need to know I can trust him with them. So far he's only a total terror to various bugs, but he won't be called off the gerbils either, so I know he'd go for a mouse too.

    Thanks!

    trish
     
  4. EmsoffLambs

    EmsoffLambs Out Of The Brooder

    62
    3
    41
    Jul 13, 2007
    Chilcoot, CA
    Your story sounds so cute! We also have a "happy farmyard" with all our animals getting along. However, use caution with your kitten. Cats aren't like dogs. Dogs can be trained to leave prey animals (chickens, cats, etc.) alone. Cats cannot. I guess their instinct is just too strong. I would think that your ducks, being fairly large and not affraid of the cat will be fine. (Although we had a little cat that would kill jackrabbits as large as he was.) But I sure wouldn't trust him with the chicks. Ever. To him, those little guys would make a tastey birdy meal.
     
  5. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    he is doing what Drakes do. I had a drake that used to do that to my roos if they got to close to his girls.[​IMG]
     
  6. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    1
    159
    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    I now have 2 drakes and a duck chasing the kitten. Kitten still thinks it's great fun. Still no eggs, but breeding. I think the other duck thinks she's a drake. She's often the first to attack now.

    I let the chicks out under CLOSE supervision the other day. The kitten refused to leave the area. And no, I don't trust him. He's actually very trainable, for a cat, but I don't think I'll ever trust him with the chickens, unless and until I am sure that he is 100% afraid of them. I don't know if that day will ever come.

    Right now he is SO excited. He thinks the chicks are playmates for him. When they fly or run at him, he moves back. He does the "S tail" thing and dances away that means "I'm having a great time, come chase me!" He won't let them catch him though. Poor cat, he grew up alone (we found him in the woods at 3 weeks old, so no brothers or sisters to play with) and we taught him to play without using his claws. Still, he IS a cat, and no, I won't trust him alone with them. (Oh, and one of the gerbils DID get out ... he just followed it around, thank goodness, and didn't try to catch it. He only attacks bugs right now.)

    The ducks were a different story. Within seconds of the chicks getting into the yard, Kupo (one of the drakes) came after one. I didn't see it, but I heard a squawk and I looked over to see Kupo with feathers in his bill. I chased him off with a rake. Not that I'd hit him, but I want him to know I mean business. I chase them away every time they get near the chicks.

    It's fun and interesting. Watching all these animals and how they interact keeps me laughing!

    trish
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by