Can peace be restored, or should we get rid of our drake?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GloryGirl, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. GloryGirl

    GloryGirl In the Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2013
    We have 3 Welsh Harlequins that are about 6 1/2 months old. Our drake got is curly feather about a month ago and has been making his best effort to breed with the girls, though there have been no eggs as of yet. Our gold duck has been far less receptive to him than our silver duck and has a few times tried to climb on top of them while they're mating.

    Today, I heard some very loud quacking coming from the yard and went to investigate. The drake was chasing the gold duck away from the silver duck, working very hard to keep the silver duck to himself and being very aggressive to the gold duck. He would occasionally catch her and pull her feathers, all the while the silver duck following them both around and occasionally trying to get in between them. I could see where he'd successfully pulled out a few feathers on her back. I separated the drake and put him in their coop, for now, but I don't really know what to do come nightfall. The yard isn't fenced and I wouldn't want predators to get any of them.

    I'm not really sure what the dynamic is between the drake and the gold duck. She took so much longer to get her quack than the silver one, and it's never been quite as pronounced, could she have some hormone confusion? I've heard of ducks taking on drake characteristics before, but she doesn't have any curly drake feathers.

    Anyway, if there's a way to restore peace, we might be able to rig a temporary 2nd pen, but if not, we'll have to do something else with our drake.
     

  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    What you are describing is pretty normal. Some feathers being pulled during mating is okay but if he is plucking the neck or causing any bleeding, that is a problem. They are still kind of young and all may be still figuring things out. All ducks, male and female, will mount others. It also shows dominance.
    They should be okay at night as they will settle in the dark and he likely will leave both girls alone.

    Bottom line, duck mating is not pretty or gentle. You will need to decide if he is being too rough on the girls. I'd give it a little time. Options would be rehome him or get more girls. Seperating him all the time wouldn't be good for him.
     
  3. GloryGirl

    GloryGirl In the Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2013
    Update: After being separated for about half the day, we let him out and he was on his best behavior. They are all back to being best buds. He wasn't trying to mate with the gold duck, but trying to chase her away and pulling her wings, but all seems well. My 13yods said he didn't like time out. :) Now if only they'd start laying some eggs. . .
     

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