Breeding Season Drakes over breeding each other

Kimmyh51

Songster
5 Years
Nov 16, 2015
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I have a Drake problem.

As its peak spring egg laying season, I have separated a number of my drakes from the ducks. i have done this befofe without problems, but this year I have had a lot of problems with the separated drakes choosing one or two drakes in their pen then ganging up on them and gang raping them.

Unfortunately I Dont have enough land to pen them far enough away from the ducks that they cant hear them. At the moment they can also see the ducks, however I could put corrugated iron up between their runs and main enclosures if not being able to see the females (but still being able to hear them) would help.

I dont want to rehome them as I have heard too many stories of people rehoming drakes having people pretending they wanted them as pets, who actually wanted to eat them, and would be really upset if I rehomed any drakes to someone who was going to slaughter and eat them.

So I have always had a policy of keeping my drakes (as well as rescuing ducks I am growing my domestic flock whose eggs are in high demand and pay for the feed for the domestic and rescued birds). While I have been tryingnto purchase females, there simply arent many available to buy, so I have had to breed my own ducks to increase numbers. And of course as a result, I have more drakes now than last spring, which I assume is the reason I am having problems this year.

The other option I am considering, is whether If I separate my main drake area off into a lnumber of smaller runs, and place 3-5 drakes in each run, whether that might solve the problem, at least if nothing else I could move drakes between various groups.

I have a mix of khaki campbell, runner and pekin ducks and drakes, and most re x of the above. I have also noticed that I cannot house any white drakes with a group of more than 3-4 non white drakes, or the white ones are always picked on and gang raped.

I am not having problems with my domestic drakes fighting, but this gang rapng situation has resulted in drakes being hounded, and sufferingnthe same sorts of injury that over mated ducks can suffer.

If I need to pen the boys separately, I will do so, but it will take me some time to build enough separate pens as I am a sole charge operation here. So if anyone has any suggestions on what else I can do in the meantime to try and minimise the problem.

Does anyone have any experience with fencing drakes so they cant see the females, but can hear them?

Is it worth me firstly putting a fence up between the drakes and the rest of the flock to prevent the drakes seeing them? Or is that a waste of time, given the drakes will still be able to hear the females nearby. As above unfortunately I dont have the space to locate the drakes where they cant hear the females.
 

Pyxis

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Unfortunately, this is just what ducks do. They're hormonal, and they're not picky about what gender they mate with. Females will mate with females, males with males, any outlet for the hormones will do. It's not that they can see and hear the females. My first poultry were two male ducks. No females anywhere around. They still 'mated' with each other. So setting up a sight or sound barrier will not work.

You can set up all your drakes in pairs in separate pens (and even then, again, they're still probably going to try to 'breed' each other, it's just that with a one on one scenario, injury is less likely). Or you can let some of the drakes go to new homes where maybe they'll be pets, or maybe they'll be food. And if they do end up food, well, they had a really great life first, much better than the lives of the birds you can buy in the supermarket.

I would also recommend that you stop breeding your ducks if you can't bring yourself to eat or rehome the drakes. Unless you get lucky, you're going to be hatching the same number of males as females, and that doesn't help the situation. Collect all the eggs laid each day and sell them, since you get good money for them.

You could always buy female ducklings from a hatchery to boost the numbers of your hens, but again, the males that don't sell at a hatchery are killed. There's no way to save all the unneeded drakes.

Apologies if this comes off as harsh; it's not intended. This is just the reality of keeping and breeding poultry. The same number of males hatch as females, and the extra males simply aren't needed, and, as you have found, cause problems if kept.
 
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chickens really

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When raising Ducks or any livestock you need to change your way of thinking. You can't keep all the Drakes. Separated pens won't work because they want at the female Ducks and yes, they take out their sexual frustration on each other. One standard sized Drake can cover up to 8 Hens.
 

Kimmyh51

Songster
5 Years
Nov 16, 2015
243
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Just sell your drakes. You don't want then, you don't need them, they aren't thriving.
Let them go, be it as a pet, breeder, or dinner.
You aren't doing them any favors keeping them as you are.
I am considering rehoming the drakes. The problem is finding good homes for them.

Unfortunately there are not many places to purchase ducks where I live, no commercial hatcherys anywhere in my region only back yard ducklings, and not many of those, so I cant purchase many females. I dont know that there qre any commercial hatcherys that I can purchase female ducklings/juvenilles from anywhere in the country.


So if I want to grow my flock to produce enough eggs to meet demand, I am finding it difficult to figure out how I can do so except by hatching my own.

And as I am the one bringing these drakes into the world, I feel that its my responsibility to protect them from harm.

Most people consider ducks dinner rather than pets, and dont place any value on an individual as a pet or family member, while to me my ducks are my family, not just livestock. I realise that I will never become a rich or even well off egg farmer for this reason. I will be happy if I can earn enough to cover costs and pay myself the equivilent of the minimum wage (ie succeed as a poor egg farmer lol)

Since posting this thread, I have started on some smaller runs, and have so far been able to put up to 5 drakes together and not one single rape has occurred.

I have reduced the number in my main drake enclosure and the group in there now are for the most part keeping it in their feathery little pants lol. There is some occasional mounting, but its only occasional and no one drake is being singled out. Its also one on one rather than gang banging lol.

So for the moment, I will keep fencing off new runs, rotating the drakes around, and put the world out among friends for any potential homes for drakes.

I am also having some success in 'training' the drakes I have raised myself to not gang rape, so I do believe that this behaviour can be modified and controlled by a drake if there is some motivation for a drake to change his behaviour. Not sure if its possible with non human i printed/hand raised drakes though.

In another month or so, they will start their summer moult, and with the exception of a few girls under lights, the rest will stop laying and the drake problem will hopefully disappear until autumn.

I have also noticed, that often when the drakes gang rqpe females, there will be 3-4 drakes raping a girl, but one ringleader. And once I separate the ringleader, the other drakes behave themselves.

As an aside, has anyone else noticed that even when most or all of your ducks are laying, there will often be one or two females who most of the drakes seem to be fixated on...So that even if you have lots of laying ducks and only a few drakes, that one girl will get all the attention until you remove her, or every single drake except her mate?

Do you think drakes and ducks have a concept of 'beauty' or some other characteristics (outside being healthy, in lay, and fertile) that make some ducks more irresistible?
 

Dona Worry

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I am considering rehoming the drakes. The problem is finding good homes for them.

Unfortunately there are not many places to purchase ducks where I live, no commercial hatcherys anywhere in my region only back yard ducklings, and not many of those, so I cant purchase many females. I dont know that there qre any commercial hatcherys that I can purchase female ducklings/juvenilles from anywhere in the country.


So if I want to grow my flock to produce enough eggs to meet demand, I am finding it difficult to figure out how I can do so except by hatching my own.

And as I am the one bringing these drakes into the world, I feel that its my responsibility to protect them from harm.

Most people consider ducks dinner rather than pets, and dont place any value on an individual as a pet or family member, while to me my ducks are my family, not just livestock. I realise that I will never become a rich or even well off egg farmer for this reason. I will be happy if I can earn enough to cover costs and pay myself the equivilent of the minimum wage (ie succeed as a poor egg farmer lol)

Since posting this thread, I have started on some smaller runs, and have so far been able to put up to 5 drakes together and not one single rape has occurred.

I have reduced the number in my main drake enclosure and the group in there now are for the most part keeping it in their feathery little pants lol. There is some occasional mounting, but its only occasional and no one drake is being singled out. Its also one on one rather than gang banging lol.

So for the moment, I will keep fencing off new runs, rotating the drakes around, and put the world out among friends for any potential homes for drakes.

I am also having some success in 'training' the drakes I have raised myself to not gang rape, so I do believe that this behaviour can be modified and controlled by a drake if there is some motivation for a drake to change his behaviour. Not sure if its possible with non human i printed/hand raised drakes though.

In another month or so, they will start their summer moult, and with the exception of a few girls under lights, the rest will stop laying and the drake problem will hopefully disappear until autumn.

I have also noticed, that often when the drakes gang rqpe females, there will be 3-4 drakes raping a girl, but one ringleader. And once I separate the ringleader, the other drakes behave themselves.

As an aside, has anyone else noticed that even when most or all of your ducks are laying, there will often be one or two females who most of the drakes seem to be fixated on...So that even if you have lots of laying ducks and only a few drakes, that one girl will get all the attention until you remove her, or every single drake except her mate?

Do you think drakes and ducks have a concept of 'beauty' or some other characteristics (outside being healthy, in lay, and fertile) that make some ducks more irresistible?
I think you are putting far too many human emotions onto your ducks, honestly.
Ducks have no concept of death, or the future. Your ducks simply won't care if they get their heads chopped off.
You think keeping them alive is taking responsibility for them, and I can understand and admire that, but I don't agree. You need to keep them confined, move the groups around, and either keep your drakes in a constant state of confusion and sexual frustration or allow them to over mate each other and the hens.
That is not responsible animal husbandry. That is not putting the needs and well-being of the flock before yourself.
What would be best for your flock, now amd the future, is to put one good drake, with all the physical and mental traits you desire, in with your girls, and keep one or two good solid backup drakes separately, and to sell, eat, or give away the rest.
Your feed needs will decrease, your hens will thank you, your main man will be living the good life, and the replacement drakes will have more space and less stress.
You will mourn the loss of your other drakes, but responsible breeding means responsible culling. If you can't do that, you need to stop hatching ducks and find another way to make money.
 

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