Drake prefers immature females

SpringChickens

Songster
11 Years
Feb 1, 2009
2,273
17
214
Lexington, KY
I have a relatively young flock of ducks ranging in age from 2 months to 6 months. It's a relatively good ratio of ducks to drakes - there are currently 3 mature females, 1 mature drake and 6 immature ducklings (4 female, 2 male). The problem is that the drake more or less ignores the mature females. They can be splashing around in the pond flatter than a pancake, bobbing their heads and batting their eyelashes and the drake completely ignores them. Instead, he prefers to grab the immature females and mate them while they struggle and scream.

Is this normal drake behavior? I'm getting really close to having roast duck for dinner because it's frankly disturbing me and I'm worried if he'll start going after chickens after the female ducklings mature and become willing partners. I've tried separating him for a day or two at a time when I notice the behavior, I've picked him up and held him away for the flock for a time, I've sprayed him with the hose, but nothing seems to be having a long term effect. The only reason he hasn't moved to the freezer yet is because he's the only unrelated drake I have, and I'm worried that the next drake will be just as bad. Is this something he'll grow out of? Mating season should end soon, right??

Any thoughts?
 

SpringChickens

Songster
11 Years
Feb 1, 2009
2,273
17
214
Lexington, KY
I would but I don’t have the facilities for a long term separation, especially more than 1-2 animals. I’m more wondering if this is normal drake behavior and if it’s something he’ll grow out of.
 

Chicka-de

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 13, 2014
13
4
76
San Antonio, TX
I have thoughts, but I don't think it would be appropriate :lol: However, I agree the above comment, try to separate if possible. Put a cage in a cage to separate for a few hours.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
954
2,335
191
Western Washington
I would but I don’t have the facilities for a long term separation, especially more than 1-2 animals. I’m more wondering if this is normal drake behavior and if it’s something he’ll grow out of.
It really depends. He also may get more aggressive. My drake suddenly decided he no longer wanted 2 of my female and relentlessly chases them. They had to be separated as well. They are all living in an old dog house converted to a duck house near my garden.
Unfortunately animal behavior is unpredictable. All you can do is make the best educated guesses.
 

SpringChickens

Songster
11 Years
Feb 1, 2009
2,273
17
214
Lexington, KY
I have thoughts, but I don't think it would be appropriate :lol: However, I agree the above comment, try to separate if possible. Put a cage in a cage to separate for a few hours.
Yeah, the problem is I’ve done that multiple times... doesn’t seem to make a difference. I’m okay with having roast duck if it’s not normal behavior 🤣
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
954
2,335
191
Western Washington
It really depends. He also may get more aggressive. My drake suddenly decided he no longer wanted 2 of my female and relentlessly chases them. They had to be separated as well. They are all living in an old dog house converted to a duck house near my garden.
Unfortunately animal behavior is unpredictable. All you can do is make the best educated guesses.
Also my drake is hit or miss with the chickens he tolerates some, others we have had to take significant measures to keep them out of the duck pen, or he would probably kill them
 

SpringChickens

Songster
11 Years
Feb 1, 2009
2,273
17
214
Lexington, KY
It really depends. He also may get more aggressive. My drake suddenly decided he no longer wanted 2 of my female and relentlessly chases them. They had to be separated as well. They are all living in an old dog house converted to a duck house near my garden.
Unfortunately animal behavior is unpredictable. All you can do is make the best educated guesses.
Right. That makes perfect sense, just leaning towards inviting him in for dinner. When does breeding season slow down? If I could separate him until then, maybe he’d be less obnoxious next spring when he has seven mature females...
 

SpringChickens

Songster
11 Years
Feb 1, 2009
2,273
17
214
Lexington, KY
Also my drake is hit or miss with the chickens he tolerates some, others we have had to take significant measures to keep them out of the duck pen, or he would probably kill them
He’s been fine with the other birds so far, luckily. We actually got rid of one because he showed too much interest in the chickens.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
954
2,335
191
Western Washington
Right. That makes perfect sense, just leaning towards inviting him in for dinner. When does breeding season slow down? If I could separate him until then, maybe he’d be less obnoxious next spring when he has seven mature females...
Mine became more aggressive with more females. I think he prefers a lower number.


Yours will have more females, but he will also have 2 more males to compete with. If I had to guess I would say that he might get more aggressive if not separated
 

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