Bully, bully...

RachG75

Chirping
Jun 5, 2016
146
23
81
Central Illinois
Help please! I have two 2.5 year old Pekin females that are bullying my 9 month old Runner. I brought her inside last night because she was bleeding on her face in several places (not the back of her neck). I filled the tub and let her have a nice bath and disinfected the minor wounds. She stayed in the basement last night by herself - she has not been happy! I don't know what is worse, stressing her by being alone AND in an unfamiliar place or letting her go out with the two bullies? The first few times I observed this I thought they were just pinning her down for a "surf board ride." because they are missing their pond so much! lol. I've never seen them do that in their house before.

Second question...do you think they are doing this out of boredom? Stress? We are in the middle of a LONG deep freeze and the ground has been covered with snow since Christmas EVE. I have been keeping them in their sand run, which is quite spacious with an attached enclosed, deluxe condo with about 6-8 inches of straw/chips. They have not been venturing out more than to eat and drink though.

Their crumble food consumption is way down. Is it because they aren't using much energy just laying around, cooped up all day? Don't like the ice cold food? Both of those things combined with the extra corn I've been feeding them? How much thawed corn should I feed them a day per bird? It's been keeping around zero day and night. I've been giving them about a quarter cup per bird and maybe an 8th of a cup of thawed peas mixed in. Their crumble consumption was probably 3-4 cups a day between the three of them and now it is probably only two cups. This is going to finally break tomorrow - more snow and around 32. Woo-hoo!

Last winter was so very mild compared to this!
 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
106,849
113,261
1,892
Mountains of Western N.C.
Could be all the above plus some ducks are just bullies and if your Runner is fairly new to this small flock then that is another reason she is being singled out. Any way you can find another Runner for this one to have as a friend? it will take a while for them to bond but I have found my Runners are a close knit group and really have nothing to do with my Muscovy's, they have 2 Buffs that are part of their flock but they were hatched with the Runners. In the severe cold we all have been experiencing can put so much stress on our birds and our Runners being so thin in size anyway don't need the added stress of being bullied I'd some how either fix the pen and house where they can all be together but separate or keep her inside till better weather. Then see if with better temps they are nicer but honestly I'd try to get your Runner one of her own.
 

RachG75

Chirping
Jun 5, 2016
146
23
81
Central Illinois
all good thoughts and appreciated!

I am 100% positive they are all laying females. I would have never picked a runner to put with my two Pekins. Sorry to make this long, but a little backstory...this spring I ordered two Welsh Harlequins from Metzer. One for us and one promised to the farmer down the road. The ducks have been a learning and therapeutic project for my autistic son. I thought I was going to get a larger, sturdier, more cold-hearty duck to go with the Pekins. We raised them with the two Pekins ever since they were able to move outside...separated for awhile when they were still small. When they feathered out we realized they were actually Fawn and White Runners. Metzer refunded my money. The farmer still took the one promised, leaving me with one Runner; not an ideal situation, but my son was attached and in love with little Hazel. The girls have been together ever since the Runners were able to get away and after learning their places, all has been peaceful. The runner knows she is at the bottom of the totem pole, but they all have been getting along since.

I have been racking my brain for a way to keep them separated outside. The problem is the weather. I cannot divide the entry into their house from their run; it just won't work. If it gets warmer then I can keep them separated, but someone will have to sleep outdoors, in a shanty that I will have to slap together. I guess someone can stay in the basement - but what a smelly mess and everyone is a little annoyed at the constant quacking! lol

Maybe I am just projecting my personality or emotions, lol, but I put the Runner back outside and took Pearl (I believe the main or only bully) inside. Pearl is the big boss. Maybe a little time alone and scared in my basement will knock her down a peg. lol.

Besides how much I care about them, I just keep picturing having to tell my son that one or more died from weather or bullying and his heartbreak. It really has my anxiety going...may sound crazy, but these are important ducks! If anyone understands, I'm sure it is on this forum!

Can someone take a crack at those other questions I have about extra corn and why they seem to be eating so much less...thanks!!!
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goat Kids
Premium member
Sep 8, 2015
62,209
107,945
1,637
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
No need for extra corn and Ducks eat less in cold weather because they are not moving around as much.
I fully understand your delema and hope by removing the Bossy one the other two become close ..
 

iluvsedward

Crowing
10 Years
Jan 19, 2010
6,053
835
382
Calvert County MD
Corn has low nutritional value, it could be that they are filling up on it and prefer it to the crumble. You could perhaps reduce the amount of corn and increase the amount of peas, beacuse if they prefer the "treats" to the crumble, at least theyll get more nutrition from the peas rather than corn.
 

Miss Lydia

Enlightened
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
106,849
113,261
1,892
Mountains of Western N.C.
Hopefully that will help since she will be inside in a place she isn't familiar with. Time out might work hope so.

Def understand with your son and how important your ducks are.
My ducks are def therapy for me . I sure hope things work themselves out with your ducks. :hugs.

I don't know why so many are against giving corn especially in winter, I have been giving mine whole corn, Mealworms ,dog food [dry] and Boss for snacks in the afternoon and they are eating their ff also, But on those windy frigid days they do spend more time conserving energy than up eating. I would never recommend corn as total feeding but it's a good carb that can help with energy and warmth.
 

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