Drake Behavior Question


7 Years
Mar 12, 2017
So, I have three drakes and three hens, and to get this out of the way, I know that's not an ideal number, but it's what I ended up with (and I'm actually getting more girls in about a month). My current girls are not showing any signs of being over-mated and seem quite happy. They are about 15 months old.

The boys were fine until mating season, of course, but one of my drakes started getting bullied to the point that he had a hurt leg and was scared to go into the pen with the gang, so he's ended up living on my porch for the last few months. He has plenty of space, but obviously, that's not the permanent setup. I'm working on building a little side pen next to my main duck house for either him or the other two boys to live solo, but life has kind of gotten in the way and delayed that. He and I have really bonded during this time, and he's super sweet to me (as are my other boys) and he likes my cats and dog.

Well, back in mid-May, one of my hens had an infection in her foot, so I brought her inside to treat that. She was on the porch with him but separated so they could see and not touch. The drake was so happy to have a friend. I finally got her healed up about a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't taken her back outside yet. I know he's enjoying having her, but she is beyond ready to go back outside. Throws a fuss every time I open the door. I haven't put her back out because 1) I feel bad leaving him alone again 2) I was having a predator issue with my chickens and didn't want to send anyone else out to it, but it's been resolved 3) I wanted to be sure her foot was healed, which it is as best I can tell.

Over the last few days, when I go out on the porch, though, the drake has started putting his head down and running towards me like he's going to go after me if I turn my back on him. If I turn around or say something to him, he stops. And it's like he's only half-heartedly doing it and doesn't really want to. But this is very new as he's always been soooo sweet. And none of my other boys do it when I'm with them. Is it because he's trying to protect her? I was picking her up a few times a day and taking her in for antibiotics and foot soaks. If I put her outside, will he stop this most likely? And would I be a huge jerk for putting her back out and leaving him alone again for a few more weeks (he should be going back out in July if all goes accordingly)? I don't want him to get depressed, but I'm not going to reward him for being a jerk either.
Hi, it is so lovely he has got a friend! I’ve seen wild mallards doing this head down run thing to ward off other males. My drake has two girls and he sometimes runs at us when we are walking away, I think he’s trying to look big in front of his girls! He’s a real sweety otherwise (he was also the picked-on one when we had other drakes - we rehomed them and he is so much happier now). I think he would miss her, our drake wanders around all lost looking even when his girls go off into their house without him!
My Muscovy drake would do this as soon as I would turn to walk away I could hear his feet flapping behind me like he was chasing me off. As soon as I'd turn around he'd stop and start whistling and looking around like what's up? lol Not really whistle but that is what would play in my mind. It was quite comical.
You could always put a mirror in with him until he is ready to be back with everyone. They usually love looking at themselves.
Thanks for the info! My other drake/hens have paired up, and I've seen the boys going after my rooster who used to free range with them like that, but never me! It is pretty funny, and I just hope it stays nonviolent. Haha. My porch girl decided she's broody all of a sudden, so I've got all kinds of hormones going on out there!
Broodiness is def contagious I have 4 chicken hens brooding on no eggs. They just love to brood. :idunno

Are you going to let her sit on eggs?
No, not this time. I'd love to hatch some ducklings, but I've gotta get these two back outside before I add anyone else to my flock. Plus, I'm going out of town for a bit in August, and I'd hate to leave my dad with ducklings to look after on top of everything else! I have a broody chicken now too, and I take her eggs every day, but she doesn't seem to care. It's nearly 100 degrees here, but she insists on sitting there. Crazy birds.
Yes they are def nuts when it comes to brooding. They like to make me feel guilty for taking the eggs away. lol
Yes, I felt so bad taking the duck's eggs away this morning while she was up eating. It breaks my heart when she goes back and sees that they're gone.

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