Duck grooming chicken

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mrgreeny11, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. mrgreeny11

    mrgreeny11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey all, I have 4 chickens and a pair of khaki Campbell's in the same coop. Over the last few weeks I have noticed the male duck Grooming one of the chickens, it seems like strange behavior to me:/ but I am fairly new to raising poultry.
    Just want to know if it is normal or common behavior. :)
  2. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    I think what you are observing might be mating ritual. And for a drake to mate a chicken is very very dangerous to your chicken. The anatomy is very different and so your chickens are at risk if a drake tries to mate them. I have an all duck flock, and I've never observed grooming among any of them.

    I would separate your chickens for their safety.

    Edited to Add: "Preening" is the natural behavior of ducks, where they rub the oil gland and then distribute the oil thruout their feathers. Neck grabbing is typically mating or dominance, very different from preening.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
    2 people like this.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

  4. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2013
    Colorado Springs, CO

    There is no grooming behavior among my ducks. If he's going anywhere near a chicken's neck then I'd say that's mating ritual.
  5. mrgreeny11

    mrgreeny11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Will separate ASAP.
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    While i do see grooming behaviour among my ducks if a drake started doing that to a hen? i'd be worried. The only ducks that do that here are ones who have kinda paired up.. so drake/duck. So i will follow the flow here and say time to move the duckies(or chickens) whichever is easiest.
  7. ladrholman

    ladrholman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    I actually observed this tonight when out in the barn but it was a hen (duck) grooming a hen (chicken). The chicken was feeding around the ducks and the duck was mouthing around the chickens neck and such. The chicken did not seem to be paying much attention to the duck. Thoughts.....
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I'm just glad you clarified duck is female, drakes doing that means they will mate and that is death for hens[chickens] Do you have a drake? if not maybe the duck and trying to give the chicken the come on.
  9. smonkeySK

    smonkeySK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 20, 2013
    wigan uk
    Only my female ducks preen the chickens, it's sweet to watch :)
    I would be very worried if my drake started doing it as he doesn't even do it to the female ducks!
    To be fair though I doubt he would do anything as my drake only gets a jump when my girls offer themselves.
    He's lucky I have 2 sex mad Campbells as the rest of his girls are only interested once a year!

    It depends on your birds, but even with my well behaved drake; he doesn't sleep in the same coop as the chickens (one of the female Campbells does but that's a different story! )
  10. ladrholman

    ladrholman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    I do have a drake but he has not shown any interest in the hens. He will chase a hen if she happened to pick on one of the duck hens. I see this as more protective behaviour though.

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