Drake Aggression - Hens laying in winter!

LACavalier

In the Brooder
Nov 30, 2018
14
40
44
Baton Rouge, LA
Hi everyone! I've been reading these forums for months, but now I have a problem I could really use some help with!!

I've had 1 drake and 3 hens (all Pekin) for about 6 months. Last week, two of the hens started laying eggs! It's winter, and these hens didn't lay eggs during the summer, so I was pretty surprised. What are they doing?!

After the laying started, one of the hens has been bullied by the rest of the gang - I can't tell if she is the one that started laying the eggs, or if she is the only one not laying. When I got home yesterday her poor head was all bloody, and I think the drake had bitten her head. I kept the drake out of the run (they free range during the day and get put up at night) until they all calmed down, and I cleaned her wound up.

When I let them out this morning, he chased after her again. She doesn't seem to be interested in eating or drinking, she's just following the rest of the crew around at a distance. From my perspective, it looks like she wants to be with them, but is afraid of them.

Is this just some hormonal drama that is going to pass once they stop laying? And how atypical is it for Pekin's to start laying in winter? Granted I live in south Louisiana, but it was in the 30's when they first started up. I just want them to get back to the harmonious life they had been living! I appreciate any advice yall are able to give this very inexperienced duck owner!
 

CrystaBub

Crowing
Mar 17, 2018
1,664
6,092
442
Shenandoah Valley
:welcome I'm in VA where it's much colder and my girls are still laying - and they are only 9 mos old. As for the aggression, I'd just try to keep her separated for a bit to see if they calm down. I keep a 'time out' and 'hospital' pen accessible at all times - using it today as a matter of fact LOL. Good luck - keep us posted!
 

LACavalier

In the Brooder
Nov 30, 2018
14
40
44
Baton Rouge, LA
In South Texas my ducks laid all year round. Only break was during molt. How old are they.

Hm, good to know they aren't the only ones laying! I have no idea how old the drake is! I think someone dumped him at the pond behind my house, but he's been around for at least 18 months. The hen that had been with him was lost, and he needed some girlfriends, so we got the hens. The girls aren't older than 8 months or so.
 

LACavalier

In the Brooder
Nov 30, 2018
14
40
44
Baton Rouge, LA
:welcome I'm in VA where it's much colder and my girls are still laying - and they are only 9 mos old. As for the aggression, I'd just try to keep her separated for a bit to see if they calm down. I keep a 'time out' and 'hospital' pen accessible at all times - using it today as a matter of fact LOL. Good luck - keep us posted!

Thank you!! And wow! I was really shocked when I saw the eggs in their house.

I may go ahead and get a separate pen - especially at night. Why can't they all just get along?! :barnie
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,659
109,072
1,647
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Thank you!! And wow! I was really shocked when I saw the eggs in their house.

I may go ahead and get a separate pen - especially at night. Why can't they all just get along?! :barnie
Bird keeping isn't all people think it is. It's a learning process and many changes before you figure out what works..:frow
 

KittyKat8828

Songster
Jan 5, 2018
54
127
101
kansas city, mo
We had the same problem but there was no blood involved. We separated our drake for a couple of weeks so the smallest duck Noir (a cayuga) could heal. Just watch out to see if it is the male or the females that is damaging her. Females will 'mount' other females to demonstrate dominance and hierarchy. If things get worst you might need to separate the injured duck for a while. Ducks are weird sometimes but i wish you the best of luck in getting them to coexist in peace.
 

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