Are my ducks fighting?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Pete Tracey, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. Pete Tracey

    Pete Tracey In the Brooder

    I have 2 drakes and 5 hens. I've raised these ducks since they were born. This week two hens were clearly fighting. One was pinning the others head into the ground. She chased the other for a while. It didn't look good. At first it looked like a rooster fight, but of course not that intense. Now, one of my drakes is chasing the other drake out of the pool, and out of the garden altogether. He bites and pulls on the other drakes feathers. He spends the entire day chasing him and one other female away from the garden. Is this because they are establishing their pecking order, or who's boss? They are 5 months old and mating everyday. It's September. What can I do, and what can I expect? Should I pair them up away from each other? I've divided their shed so they can't fight. And could they lay eggs at this time? Thanks for any insight on this.
  2. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    West Chester, PA, USA

    Please don't take my response as your final answer. There are people here who have vast experience and may give you better answers. This is (partly) just my personal experience.

    Some drakes will become very aggressive if they feel they're competing for the hens. Much advice will tell you that you should have only one drake for every five hens. We have a higher ratio than that, and I've had only one issue with it, but it was with grown ducks, not the ones we raised ourselves.

    We bought some year-old buffs last spring, three hens and a drake. Within two days, I returned the drake, which I was by then calling the "demon drake," to his previous owner. I possibly should have given it more time for things to shake out, but it was breaking my heart. He wouldn't allow all our ducks we'd hand-raised to do anything they wanted to do. He chased them around and pulled out their feathers. If they tried to go in one of their ponds, even if he wasn't in it at the time, he'd go over and chase them out. He'd chase them away from any food dishes. He'd often, even if the other ducks were minding their own business in another place across the yard, just decide to put his head down and start running toward them.

    The previous owner had fortunately told me she'd take any of them back if they didn't work out, so I tried by the second morning to get in touch with her to say I needed to bring the drake back. By the time my husband got home, I was crying and so upset that I said (apologies to all duck lovers since I'm one of them), "That drake is leaving tonight, dead or alive, and I'm not sure I care which one at this point. We're going to at least crate him until we hear back from (previous owner)."

    I so much hope you get more responses since it sounds like you raised all these yourself and don't have the option of taking the aggressive drake back to a previous owner like I did. It was incredibly upsetting to me to see all our normally friendly ducks huddled at the back of our property and afraid to go near their ponds or food dishes because they were so terrified of that drake.
  3. Pete Tracey

    Pete Tracey In the Brooder

    Thank you kindly for your response. It's appreciated.
  4. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Songster

    Jun 10, 2014
    This spring we decided to raise a bunch of ducklings - we already had a runner drake and a pair of females. Everything went reasonably well (with the caveat of there being multiple duck packs), until the younger girls we kept got their adult feathers - then all heck broke loose with the drake chasing them around and mounting them any time he saw them (and pretty much ignoring the other girls). This went on for maybe 3 weeks, and then promptly stopped - and then we had 1 pack of 8 ducks from that point on instead of little groups.

    I think Drakes just need to establish "I'm the boss, this is my territory, and these are my ladies" and things will be a bit rough until that happens. Once everybody accepts the order of things, everything calms down.

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