Drake Attacking Ducklings?


Aug 6, 2009
Ontario, Canada
Today our female duck hatched out 14 of her eggs, earlier tonight when I went up to the barn to take a peek she had all of her duckling out of the nest, and while I was watching I noticed the male being rather aggressive towards some of the babies. He'd rush at them, and bop them over the head with his beak. He's so glued to the females side that he is constantly stepping on any ducklings trying to follow her and whenever the babies approach him he swats at them with his beak, forcing them down into a sitting position. At first It seemed like he was just being a father, trying to keep the ducklings together, but now it's starting to look more like jealousy, and like he's trying to keep momma to himself. We tried separating the male for a while but the female began getting distressed so my dad put him back.

Is this normal duck behaviour? Will he injure or even kill the ducklings?

My dad said we'd just have to check on them in the morning but I'm scared something will happen to them before than.
You are right to be concerned. It is not uncommon for a drake to kill ducklings. Please go separate them, perhaps just a temporary fence so they can be near each other but he cannot get to the ducklings.
Yes! Seperate if he's aggressive. I've seen whole hatches be killed by drakes. Drowned also. Better safe than sorry. :( Give the babies a few days to het faster and mom a chance to bond and want to protect them.

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