Drake attacks new ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by fsaith, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. fsaith

    fsaith New Egg

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    Jan 11, 2015
    Hi all, would love to get advice from you all.

    I handraised 1 Pekin drake and 1 Muscovy duck. When they were about 2-3 months old, I got a Silkie chicken. The 2 ducks got along well with the chicken, so all was fine.

    When I found out my Pekin drake was a male at about 4 month old, I thought I would need to increase the male:female ratio a little bit more, so I got 2 female ducklings. However, from day 1, the Pekin drake hated them and would take every opportunity to attack them. We separated them with a wire fence, hoping that will help the drake to gradually accept them but it never work. I thought since it was the start of Spring, breeding season got my Pekin drake all hormonal crazy and so that's why he was so aggressive. Anyway how, the ducklings were terrified of him and even when they were about 4 months old, he still attacked them at least twice a day. Thank goodness the ducklings were faster than him and escaped from him most of the time. Anyway, we could tell the ducklings were distressed so I gave them away to a very good home.

    Now, the Pekin drake and Muscovy duck are currently about 10 months old. I received a call to take in this neglected 18 month old Muscovy duck who had lived in a confined area and no duck company at all for months. I thought since now it's the middle of Summer, the Pekin drake's hormonal craziness should die down abit, and this duck is an adult one, so it should be all good.

    However, I was wrong. The Pekin drake kept attacking the newcomer and the newcomer was also very visibly distressed. What he did initially was to mount and mate with her. Then subsequently, he charged at her and then mounted her but he DID not mate with her. He just merely stepped on her and then kept plucking her feathers at her neck area and peck at her eyes and head. It happened many times. I didn't want to interfere but after a while it was too much to bear, so I separated the Pekin drake from the rest of the flock. He can now see but not touch them.

    What would be your advice? My Muscovy duck is the boss of the flock. The chicken and her accepted the newcomer very readily. Why would the Pekin drake do that since he is not the leader? We think he simply hates the idea of any ducks getting near to his beloved mate. Is there any way we can get him to accept the new duck? It is just very weird duck behaviour and we can't fathom why he would attack all the female ducks that we have introduced to him so far.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    These things can be very frustrating - drakes and ducks just sometimes do things that make no sense to us.

    You have done well so far. Often, interfering with the dynamic by separating ducks can help things get straightened out.

    I am proud of you for bringing in the adopted duck to care for her. I hope you can be patient with all of them, and watch carefully and try different things so that all will be safe and content. It may take some time.

    Something that I have found can help is giving everyone treats at the same time. Sometimes picking the drake up carefully and so he cannot peck at you (many won't, some will try to nip) and holding him for a while, you can tell him whatever you want to say, sing to him, recite a poem, just chat so you won't get bored - but it lets him know you are the big one. It may help him cool his jets.

    I hope others will come in to share their ideas.
     
  3. fsaith

    fsaith New Egg

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    Jan 11, 2015
    Thanks for the reply Amiga :). I did try giving treats before with the ducklings (I should mention that I got the ducklings from day 1 and raised them till 4 months old) together with the older ducks. That never worked as the drake made sure that they couldn't get to us.

    We pick up the Pekin drake almost daily actually. We love to give him cuddles even though I don't think it's reciprocal haha. But he does love to come up to us whenever we go to the yard to give them treats or to clean up and greet us. So I do think he knows we are the boss since he has never once tried to attack us.

    I would hate to give away my Pekin drake as I am very fond of him. But at the same time I don't want to give away the new duck as she was so happy when she saw the other Muscovy duck and the yard. She wagged her tail continuously for ten minutes when she first arrived and was happily exploring the yard.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Please consider that as long as you can keep each of them safe, well-fed, in reasonable accommodations, even if they do not get everything they want, they are quite well off.

    When any of my ducks complains about something, at first I feel kind of bad for them, then I go over the list. Healthy? Properly fed, watered, sheltered? Daily attention? Medical care as needed? If all these are checked off - and they are - then let the ducky be a little disgruntled. That's my feeling.

    And relationships can change, but boy oh boy it can take forever. We are six weeks to Valentine's Day. Last winter I was able to keep the Buffs and Runners together, but this winter, it ain't happening. Maybe next year. Maybe this summer. It's up to them.
     

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