Can he be saved?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by JosieR, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. JosieR

    JosieR Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    Orange County, NY
    We were sitting out in the yard me, my kids, my middle daugthers friend and hubby (you know, the guy who doesn't like the ducks [​IMG]). I was telling them how my drake is turning out to be the sweetest one, the hubby was talking about how beautiful he is (he's a Cayuga). He comes closest to me, follows me around, etc. Well, the kids were pulling up grass and weeds and feeding the ducks who were taking them with no problem. I was feeding my drake and he came close, I gave him a little pet and he just sort of scooted his tush out of my reach but didn't run. I reached a littler further to pet and he was fine, didn't move and let me pet him, was hanging around my feet. I was thrilled.

    Anyway, the ducks grew tired of eating from the kids' hands so I told them to just put dump whatever they had left in the water bowl and if they wanted it they would get it. All of a sudden, my drake ran over and tried to bite my daughter's friend! I grabbed a small twig and thumped him on his behind and yelled at him and he went running. We though maybe the boy had grass on his arm or something that the duck was going after.

    We're back to sitting and just talking, my 13 year old and my 6 year old and her friend are on the ground and we're on rocks next to the pond. The ducks come back over and are just eating and hanging out and my daughter pulls up some grass and puts her hand out with it and the drake GOES AFTER HER!! Got her right under her eye!

    I sent my son off to get the camera so I can put the drake on craigs list. I'm not very fond of duck meat and certainly don't love it enough to go through butchering it. He's almost 10 weeks so too early for the table anyway, no?

    I just can't understand what brought this on? I haven't had a problem with him, even putting them up last night, he was eating peas out of my hand. He's got my runner girls afraid of him, he takes grass right out of their mouth and you can tell they want to walk over to us but he's giving them the stink eye and they stay behind him.

  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    Sounds like he is starting to show dominance. I havent had much of a problem with it happening in my main flock of Runners- But from time to time I have had a drake that will act similar to yours. I have a hand raised Aylesbury who is a batchelor living with my pair of pekins. He is much too heavy and slow to ever catch my little duck- and know he is living a batchelor life. He has attacked my daughter and myself on a number of occasions. I spend a few days in January training him- and making sure he knew I was dominant . Every time he came rushing over trying to bite my feet I would turn him on his back. he would struggle for a bout a minute before he could get back over onto his feet- by which time I was well away from him and in the other pen. Other ways of showing dominance are to pick up the drake and carry him under one arm for a few minutes- or to hold him like a human baby on his back cradled in your arms. All of these are methods I have used with Monty. I will admit - he has been behaving himself very well since January until a few days ago- He started again... three days in a row he went for my feet- But the last time- I turned him over- and he hasnt tried it again in the last two days.
  3. This can be quite typical of some drakes, even some ducks. I would do like DucksofOz said, pick him up immediately, flip him on his back, or carry him under your arm for a few minutes. This will be your way of establishing dominance over him. He is just going to be an aggressive drake, but if you go ahead and consistantly put him in his place when he tries to be bossy and mean, he should get the idea he is not the boss. The kids will need to do the same thing if he goes after them. If your attached to him, nip his behavior in the bud at this early stage @ 10 weeks and not wait till he gets fully grown and into hormone overdrive. [​IMG] If you dont he will bite toes or legs and then try to do the deed on ya'lls feet I bet. [​IMG]

    Good luck!
  4. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Songster

    Apr 17, 2009
    Kildare, Wisconsin
    My Runner drake was the sweetest little puppy-dog right up until his first molt (8 - 12 weeks), when he got his "big boy" feathers and the hormones kicked in. Now I can't even pick up the food or water dish in that pen without getting bit.

    He's still a good boy though. I'd never get rid of him - it's not like a duck bite can do much damage. I have a rooster that went after my 7-year-old sister and drew blood and I yelled at my sister for not paying closer attention. My birds are spoiled brats. [​IMG]
  5. JosieR

    JosieR Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    Orange County, NY
    As spoiled as my ducks are, drawing blood is too much damage for my taste, I won't have it. I'm not going to have my kids not be able to sit on the grass in their own yard for fear of their pet running at them at biting their face.

    I will try as everyone said and remind him of who is dominant. What worries me most is he doesn't do it to me, my husband or my oldest (13 and my size). He just picks on the little ones which is far too calculated for me, it's not like he's dopey and he doesn't get it, he's picking who to go after.

    He's too big for my girls to pick up but I'm going to have my girls take a turn each day putting their hand on his back and holding him to the ground to show him who's in charge.

    Just because I finally uploaded some pics: [​IMG]


  6. Dingo

    Dingo Songster

    You could work with him on a solid "no" I know it sounds crazy but my puppy drake knew it and would cease attacking anything if I said it, including the flock of 6 that wanted him dead.
    They're not dogs but they do understand consequence.
  7. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Don't forget to have your girls keep up with the hand on back holding him down bit later, too. Do it every now and again just for good measure.

    When I read this, I thought OH, that drake is jeolous. Where they feeding the other ducks and not him. Or for some reason it thought the kids were threatening the other ducks. Sudden movements and all.

    Well, I might try to train him if your willing to remind him with your kids often. But if that doesn't work, in two weeks he'd be duck soup.

    Edited to add: My DH said he would have been duck sausage by now, if it attacked our granddaughter, no matter what age.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010

  8. Baybrio

    Baybrio Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    Poplar Grove, IL
    Quote:My drake that is second in command started showing dominance over my disabled duck in the pool (I'm lucky he just puts his head over Daffy's back). I use a sharp "no" and point my finger at him and he stops what ever he is doing and goes the other way. I really only need to get his attention and point my finger now. The first few times I did the "no" and then picked him up. I really didn't think this would work but it really does!

    On the other hand I totally failed at fixing the behavior of my favorite rooster. He was so sweet as a baby and last fall. During the winter he became more and more aggressive. After he decided he had to launch at me every time he saw me (turn my back) had to confine him, and even then had trouble changing his food and water. He was not happy, I was not happy, he had to go. I tried most of the humane tricks I found here on BYC but he just wouldn't stop attacking.

    I'd give the young guy a chance to learn better behavior but as you've said you want your children to enjoy their yard and their ducks.

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