Drake behavior

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by earlyworm, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. earlyworm

    earlyworm New Egg

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    May 24, 2013
    I have 2 Cayuga drakes and 2 hens who are 5 months old. The dominant drake has been attacking my dogs (Pomeranian) regularly, even though the Poms pin him down every time. Even though he knows he's going to get his butt kicked, the alpha drake continues to come after the Poms. I've watched and made sure that the Poms aren't making the first move. I won't let them. I just let them do their "business" outside and then let them back into the house.

    I have read existing posts about drake/hen ratios, so I know I probably need to remove one drake from the mix. My question is, will this aggressive behavior from the dominant drake subside after awhile, or will he always be so aggressive. I had wanted to keep at least one drake to procreate and the dominant drake is the more handsome specimen. But, it may be because he matured more rapidly than the other?

    The ducks are free range and also have not bothered or attacked my free range chickens, or my barn cat-- only the dogs when we let them outside. I'd appreciate any advice about whether this aggression by the alpha drake may subside. I'm also wondering whether the non-aggressive drake is just slower to mature. I've seen the alpha drake mating the ducks, but not the other drake. If I remove the alpha drake, will the other drake just step in and take an aggressive role?

    Thanks for your help. This is my first go at raising ducks.
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I'm not sure if what you mean by an aggressive role you mean attacking your dogs,? I hope not, but the dom. drake needs to learn not to, I have geese and have had to teach them not to go after my dogs, I use a long pole, a mop handle works well or even a broom, when I see geese start after the dogs the pole/broom goes between to stop it, you might even have to touch the drake with the pole[not hit] but if your consistent you will teach the drake the manners that may save his life.Using the broom to literally sweep the drake away from the dogs would also work. eventually the drake will see the broom and put it together that he isn't to mess with the dogs, You first, dogs second ,drake third. And about the lower ranking drake, he maybe getting the girls when dom isn't close by But I would dif get more ducks especially if you plan on keeping the other drake.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I would say that you should either repeatedly intervene when the drake goes after the dogs or fence them so they don't interact. Even though your dogs are small, they could still do damage to a duck and vice versa. I had ducks that would kind of go after my shih tzu but my dogs did not react at all. If yours are pinning the ducks, I'd worry about what could happen if and when you have ducklings. They all need to learn to respect each other or else be seperated.

    The less dominant drake is likely reacting to the dominant drake in not mating. He probably isn't allowed to. He may or may not take on a more aggresive role if the other drake is rehomed.

    You are right in that you probably should rehome a drake. You need to decide what it is you want in a drake in order to make a choice. If they literally free range in open areas (not a backyard) then an aggressive drake may be able to better protect his hens which could result in you losing only the drake in a predator attack instead of all of them. Also, your drake will pass on his size, looks and behavior to his offspring.

    You may be able to wait a little while in your decision. If the drakes aren't fighting and the hens aren't being overbred, you may be able to wait to see more of the behavior of the two.
     
  4. earlyworm

    earlyworm New Egg

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    Thanks. I haven't intervened with a pole yet. I have stepped between the drake and dogs when the drake has come running across the log. I've scolded and talked to him, but he still often comes on the run when the dogs are let out. For a time I just let them get in a scuffle, hoping the drake would learn. But it seems he just can't help himself. I'll use your suggestion and see if I can teach him to back off.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    They can be bull headed to their own demise. [​IMG]
     
  6. earlyworm

    earlyworm New Egg

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    May 24, 2013
    Thanks so much for your helpful advice. I want to make a decision to cull very carefully, so I may still wait awhile to see if I can control the drake's behavior. I will need to reduce the flock by one drake, though. I wouldn't have chosen this ratio, but bought the birds as straight run and this was the hand I was dealt. Thanks again!
     

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