Bizarre Welsh Harlequin Behavior

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CityChicker, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I have recently seen some new and somewhat strange (or at least intriguing) behavior from one of my WH.

    I am beginning to put my new baby Runners outside during part of the day. They are about a hundred feet from my WH, but they can see each other. The WH are still really babies themselves- not even three months old yet.

    One of the female WH just goes nuts when she sees the baby Runners. She becomes frantic and calls to them SO LOUD it is unreal! I have never in all the years I have kept ducks seen anything like it, certainly not to this degree or with such a young bird.

    I have heard that WH will go broody, more so than other large ducks. It certainly seems like this one might be one that does! [​IMG]
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Hee hee hee

    It could be she has a strong mothering instinct...

    OR...

    Given the opportunity, she would try to dominate those evil little interlopers.

    Look at her closely while she is mouthing off. Does she quiver at any point? That quiver often precedes a domination "neck flop"
     
  3. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm... no, I haven't seen her do that, Wifezilla. She just gets very excited and paces back and forth calling to them. I am stunned at how loud she can get. She has not done anything like this with the dogs or the chicks, just the baby ducks.

    I hope it is the mothering instinct. The WH have grown on me so much. I have had a couple of offers to buy all of my remaining birds, but I am just not ready to part with them. I still find them to be a very nervous breed, but there are so many pluses to them as well.
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I guess because I have an Indian Runner, the WH look mellow by comparison...LOL

    BTW, your boy is a scruffy mess right now. He is in heavy molt. Yesterday he climbed on one of the girls backs, looked confused and then wondered off. It was SO FUNNY!
     
  5. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Quote:that would be first thought if it were one of my wenches!
     
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Mine too... especially Uno [​IMG]
     
  7. ChaosTheory

    ChaosTheory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have your ducks seen any other strange ducks before? This has only happened to me once (in the morning [​IMG] ) when my girls were about the same age. There was a pair of wild mallards that came up to their pen and got real close and our girls were going nuts for a bit and then they quieted down to share some chatter. When the mallards decided to leave, everytime they would get a little farther away my girls would just quack really loudly. It was funny, the wild drake apparently really wanted to leave, but everytime my girls would quack the wild girl mallard would stop and look back. The drake had a "let's go, honey" expression about him.

    That's the only time they've ever acted that way. The second time my remaining girl saw strange ducks she mothered them because they are quite young (not even a month) and she is around 5 and a half months.
     
  8. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Of course, y'all have to go and rain on my parade! I am sticking with my first thought which is that she wants to mother them, not eat them. [​IMG] Really, I hadn't even thought that it might really be aggression!

    Chaos Theory- No, these guys haven't been around other ducks yet. It does kind of worry me now though (the noise factor) since I am trying to get all the birds in one location (the rest are at my MIL, but will eventually be moved). They will be exposed to all my other birds in the next couple months (in separate runs though).

    I *hope* it doesn't cause a ruckus!
     
  9. Duck Keeper

    Duck Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say, under extreme caution and while watching closely, to let the one duck in with the babies for a minute, just to see what she does.

    Of course, all at your own risk, but if she's acting like that, I would try it. [​IMG]
     
  10. I saw something similiar with my year old WH hen this spring when my runner hatched out a clutch of ducklings. Towards the last week or so before the hatch the WH would sit on the eggs for as much as an extra hour when I opened the duck house and the broody got up for her morning break. She never actually went broody herself but did sit for hours with the broody on the two mornings that the eggs hatched, and took an active interest in the ducklings well being. It was adorable! After the last one hatched I separated the mother and ducklings from the other ducks, but the WH stayed fascinated with the ducklings. She would often watch them through the fence, and when the mom and duckling ran around the pen she would be quacking at them. After a couple of weeks I put them all together again, but by then she had lost interest.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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