Drake bullying nesting female

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Bliss Acres, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Bliss Acres

    Bliss Acres New Egg

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    Feb 2, 2017
    We have 6 Rouen ducks, 4 females and 2 males, all almost a year old and raised together. One male hurt his leg as a youngster and gets around fine but has a slight limp. The other male initially bullied this male and tried to push him away from the flock. One female insisted on staying with the cast out male even though the dominant male persisted in obtaining her. Eventually he left the other male alone, allowed him (for the most part) the one female companion and he took the other 3. The ducks have a large pond and an inside duck coop for night time and inclement weather. One of his females began laying on eggs within the coop and did not want to go outside with the others for several weeks. Every day when the others came in, the dominant male would immediately grab her by the neck and pull her off the nest. Initially I thought he was trying to mate her after being apart all day, reassert himself. Well the eggs did not hatch and it was when she started going back outside that I noticed he wasn't trying to mate her, he was attacking her, pushing her away from the flock. We run him off when we see this but there is plenty of opportunity when we are not around and she is stripped of feathers up the back of her neck and has become meek and withdrawn, often off by herself which worries me with other animals around, mainly the barn cats. He does allow her to eat with the others it seems, perhaps because we are watching, I'm not sure. We are considering putting the dominant drake in a timeout and allow her to get back with the others who don't seem to have a problem with her. However we have also read that it can make the drake even more aggressive when re-introduced. Any advice greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Her life depends on you protecting her. The drake is being a jerk, he needs to be in timeout for a while. You are the one to help her.

    Sometimes separating a flock member is enough to settle things down and shift the flock dynamic. I would take a good look at her, treat her wounds, give her vitamins with electrolytes, and check her weight.
     
  3. Bliss Acres

    Bliss Acres New Egg

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    Feb 2, 2017
    [​IMG]


    Done!! Fingers crossed! Such a bad boy [​IMG] Thanks for the input @Amiga
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    It is not always easy - trying to manage the social structure in a flock, and waterfowl mating can appear brutal anyway.

    But he is safe, well fed, well watered. And she is now safer and can heal. Bravo!
     
  5. Bliss Acres

    Bliss Acres New Egg

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    Feb 2, 2017
    Well, I isolated the drake for 5 days and tried to put him back in the coop and he immediately went after the duck again so I put him back in isolation. Maybe 3 days later I let all of them out on the pond and at the end of the day, she was by herself as usual and when they came i, he again went right after her so I put him back in isolation. Today, 2 days later, I let them out again together and he again went right after her and appeared to be trying to drown her. I think a duck is going to have to go and I'm not sure the drake is the logical answer. While the duck has healed and keeps her neck tall again, the other drake in the flock pushes her away, too. Not as violently, but we have witnessed this over and over and after 2 weeks, she has not integrated back into the flock even with the mean drake away. She just deserves better than to be forced off by herself or injured or killed. I am not sure why a nesting duck becomes ousted from the flock but she has. My concern is finding her the right home and not someone who just wants to put her on the dinner table. Ideas??
     

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