Drake attacking brother drake to death


In the Brooder
Aug 22, 2021
Moncton, New Brunswick
We hatched 5 ducklings in April, 2 males and 3 females (mix of Swedish Blue, Kaki Campbell and Pekin). One of the drakes tail feather curled while the other we noticed curled a few days ago. At the same time, we got a pair of East Indie Ducks (1 year old drake and a few month old female). The bigger ducks free range during the day while the Indie ducks enjoyed the pen and were caged in the coop with the bigger ducks at night. My bigger drakes started bickering/fighting, we thought to set dominance and may be related with the other drake’s tail feather curling recently (hormones?). I also checked with my friend who has a bit older flock and she confirmed it happened with their 2 drakes. We came back at the end of the day to find one of the drakes hiding behind the flock in the bush. As we always do, we put them in their coop for the night (they can go freely in the fenced pen if they want). Next morning went to take them out, the hiding drake wouldn’t come out and when he did, oh my gosh… all his back shoulder feathers have been plucked away. The other male came after him right away to pull more feathers. I separated them and took the injured drake to the pen while the others free ranged. He was pretty weak. He must have been attacked all night. Growing up together and never having any issues, I never thought in just one day this could have happened. I got some electrolytes and polysporin but he passed away the next day. I’m riddle with guilt, we should have separated them before knowing now how quickly it went bad. Is this because I brought a new pair of Batam ducks? I inquired with their breeder if there could be any issues with my flock and setup. I never thought this would have happened, never read this anywhere in all the reading I’ve been doing online and in forums/groups. I’m having a hard time looking at the flock and not seeing him there… 😢


Fishin' for Chickens
Nov 9, 2019
Rim Country, Az
Two drakes can't share a flock that small, it makes no matter if they were brothers or raised together. How big are the bantam ducks and by pair do you male and female?

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
Mountains of Western N.C.
I had 2 Muscovy drakes rescued from the river before I brought them home they were best buds flying and swimming in the river together. Never saw either of them fighting and I spent alot of time with them before I brought them home. Went down to feed them one day and there was another drake with them, all 3 seemed fine together.
Well I went and bought 3 Muscovy females and that started it all. The drakes started coming up to the house and the next thing I know they are fighting with each other, They would come up during the day and go back to the river at night. One day only one of the drakes came up. Our river has very steep sides and we could see one of the drakes on top of the other one that looked like he was mating with it. Not sure on that but he def had him down. By day's end the beat up drake finally got to part of the river where he could get out and I could get to him. I brought him up to the house checked him over and didn't see any significant injuring just some feathers missing. By next morning he was dead, Pretty sure he was injured internally. Saying all of that to say this, Yes hormones turn brothers into rivals and bringing in other birds just makes it worse. We never know how this is going to go until it does. I'd def separate the 2 EI for their protection.
I'm sorry you lost your drake. Hopefully the one left will not be too rough on your females now that he doesn't have to share them with his brother. You might want to consider getting a few more females. And do intros slowly so resident drake and flock get use to the new females over time. Best way to do that is with fencing between them.


Apr 17, 2021
Leander, TX
Almost exact scenario happened to me when onset of puberty happened, and no new ducks were introduced, etc. They had just gotten a new pool, plus it was the start of spring hormone time, plus puberty. All that resulted in my drake snapping one night with no prior warning and turning on his flock "brother" who he was raised with. The other drake happened to be my very favorite sweet guy. I found him one morning with all his back feathers pulled out, just like you described, and floating in the pool too weak to get out (though still alive). He could have been in there all night for all I knew! Poor thing. I took him in the house and gave him the best care I could for 2 days (no vet would take him) and he also ended up passing away. Broke my heart. I was just as surprised as you were.

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