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Are drakes mean?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Brendah, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Brendah

    Brendah Hatching

    Jun 11, 2012
    Hello Everyone. I currently have 13 hens and will add to my flock in the spring. I only bought hens as I remember my cousins being chased by a nasty rooster and didn't want to traumatize my kids with that! Anyway, I would like to get some ducks as well. It looks like I can't just buy females so I want to know, can the males be nasty like roosters or are they fairly docile? Also, can ducks and chickens be housed in the same coop? Will ducks destroy my garden and flowerbeds like my chickens have?
    Thanks to everyone who answers!

  2. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Songster

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    Male ducks can be docile (if raised without females), but during breeding season (which is practically year round) they like to breed and can be quite nasty.

    They will noodle and trample your garden unless you have well established large plants. I put a new duck run in an area overgrown with weeds, and the ground was bear in two weeks time.

    Can't address the duck chicken issue - I don't have chickens, but might be too wet to have the two housed together. Think some have had issues with drakes going after their female chickens as well which can be fatal.

    Ratio of drakes to hens is important - I started with 3/1 drakes to hens (straight run ducklings), added two more hens, lost one drake to an eagle, and still have to keep the drakes and hens separate during breeding season or risk the hens getting killed. I have khaki campbells and magpies.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  3. nickie

    nickie Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY
    All Drakes, just like all roosters, are different. Temperment is in the individual. You can house ducks with chickens, but I don't. If you want flowers and gardens that aren't squashed under giant duck feet you need to either enclose the garden or birds.
  4. Crafty-Duck

    Crafty-Duck Songster

    May 27, 2012
    Lucky Duck Pond
    I have two Muscovy ducks 1 male and 1 female the male hates ALL MEN!!! but to women he is a nice as can be!!!!! he loves to be talked to and he will fall asleep on my lap.This is about Muscovy ducks because that's what I have, but I have heard male Muscovy's can very mean but I'm not sure about any other breeds.Also I keep my ducks together in a large run but I separate them at night.
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Can drakes be mean? sure but like with most animals that varies on the bird.

    I have drakes here and have quite a bit of experience with them actually, mine are fine they do NOT attack people. I also have not nor plan to separate my drakes from the flock, my flock has a 1-4 ratio a total of 10 now(so 1 drake to 4 ducks)... they all mingle together daily. At night i do lock down the drakes separately but many times they have a duck companion, i let the girls decide if they choose to overnight with a drake, otherwise they take the rest of the barn.

    Gardens? i have not had much trouble with mine but when they are loose they have acres to roam and prefer the horse paddock and manure piles. That said it would depend on your set-up, so you'd have to address it based upon that, i do notice my chickens dig like small dogs lol so from my perspective chickens would be more destructive at least digging wise.

    My chickens & ducks don't house together, if you have drakes they will mate with hens(female chickens) and that could result in worse case, death ..not a risk i am willing to take, plus ducks require a lot of water so they are messier than chickens in that regard.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  6. RavenWood

    RavenWood Chirping

    Aug 2, 2012
    Vanderhoof, BC Canada
    Whether drakes are mean probably depends a lot on the individual as well as how often they are handled as ducklings. I got mine at 14 weeks and they were already fearful of people because they were never handled. That said, they were not aggressive in any way and though they would run away if we tried to catch them, they were fine once held, except for one drake who liked to hiss and might've tried to bite had I not had hold of his neck! You do want more hens than drakes for sure though as they are definitely happy to breed often and harass the hens.

    I also have my ducks with my chickens and would prefer not to as they are terribly messy, always in the water, and everything is wet! Typical for a duck, not great for chickens. If you do have to keep them together, I would suggest moving to a chicken nipple water system for your chickens and put duck water in the farthest corner opposite that of the hens and outside any shelter you have! This will enable your chickens to continuously have fresh clean water that the ducks can't mess in. Another suggestion I would have for ducks, if you are setting up a pond for them, make it easy to keep clean by having a drain on your water vessel. That way you can have it large enough for them to enjoy, without hindering your ability to clean it. Use pvc tubing attached so it runs outside the pen or into a trough for watering your garden! A twist of the spigot or pull of the plug and you can rinse the mess away and refill without causing more moisture issues in the pen.

    Just a few observances I've had this year (my first) with ducks :) Despite being messy to keep, they are a joy to watch and their eggs are excellent for eating!
  7. Chicken Crazy12

    Chicken Crazy12 Songster

    Mar 10, 2009
    I've personally never had a drake that was mean with people. We keep a medium weight breed (Anconas) a light weight breed (Runners) and a bantam breed (Silkies) and I have not experienced a people or kid agressive drake in any of those breeds. Are their some out there? of course, but it's deffinintley a less common thing than with roosters.

    Ducks and chickens can be housed together in some situations but a general rule around here is to keep them separate. One reason being that ducks muddy their water very quickly and chickens would not have a source of clean water except right after the bowls were freshed. Another reason is that some ducks will pick on chickens and with the bantam ducks I've seen chickens pick on the little ducks. Although I've never seen this I have heard of ducks holding chickens down in the water and drowning them. So around here we just don't take that risk.

    As far as the garden goes ducks will pretty much do the same as chickens in my experience.

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