Duck thinks I'm her drake?? Can this be stopped?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mcgheeii73, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Mcgheeii73

    Mcgheeii73 In the Brooder

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    We have 2 female ducks and recently got rid of our drake a few weeks ago due to him hurting our 'special needs' duck--that story is at the end of this post if you're curious. No worries, drake went back to the farm he came from and has lots of girls, a legitimate pond, etc.
    The girls are almost 5.5 months and one of them has been laying an egg a day since mid-oct (the day after we got rid of drake, to be exact). Pretty sure it's our special needs duck based on her staying in the house excessively around the time we got our first couple eggs.

    Anyways...we moved the ducks really close to the house for winter so watering would be easier and could have use of an outlet for heat lamp when below 30F. I handle my special needs duck daily, always pet her or pick her up once a day minimum. The other duck doesn't care to be messed with or held and avoids us if she thinks we want to catch her. Now that they're basically right behind the house I pop out and check on them more often when I'm home (each time the dog goes out). Every time I approach the fence, the special needs duck lays down, flips her tail up, and her vent contracts/pulsates. I've also caught both girls taking turns being on top of each other, which someone here told me might happen when I contemplated getting rid of the drake. But the fact that the one duck gets in a mating position every time I come out there has me creeped out. I end up just scratching her back/wings for a few seconds to appease her so she will get up. If not she just keeps laying there for a long time, flapping her rear. My question is, what caused her to do this with me, and should I distance myself from her and not scratch her when she gets in that position? The other duck has done this once before but only when I caught her and held her down to get some pine needles unstuck from her legs (we have moved them away from any pine trees since). You may think it's silly but I'm just uncomfortable about a duck thinking I'm her mate, and to me it's the equivalent of letting a dog hump your leg (which i would never allow or encourage). The ducks don't seem to do this with my husband when he's refreshing water and food. If i step away from them for a while and let him handle their care fully, will she do the same with him or is this some kind of imprint/love bond that lasts? She simply doesn't thrive when being mated so bringing the drake or any drake back is not happening.

    I'm going out of the country for a few weeks and our house sitter has never had ducks. I want to be as informed as possible so I can explain their behavior, personalities, and quirks to her and make sure she's comfortable being trusted with their care and routine.

    I also read a page that said a female duck can turn into a hermaphrodite and grow a penis!! Nature is crazy.


    A brief recap of my ducks: I'm a first time duck keeper, got 3 ducks from a farm to have as pets. Believed to be a blue swedish, a black swedish, and a silver appleyard based on colors and input from the great people here. They are now about 5.5 months old. Thought we got all girls but the black duck turned out to be a drake. The appleyard turned out to be disabled (something wrong with her left wing, it doesn't extend out as far, she has fallen on her back several times and can't get up, she keeps her neck crooked tightly against her back, but we have discovered she can in fact extend it but it still looks a little off/different. She was born this way). Drake was very smitten with disabled duck and it got to the point that she wasn't thriving very well, refused to get in the pool and wasn't taking care of herself. She got foamy eye, worse balance, falling over on her back more, not cleaning out her nose/beak, avoiding the duck house. We chose to give the drake back and he has many girls to choose from now. The disabled duck improved overnight, walks upright and very sassy/confident, gets in water, keeps her nostrils cleaned out, gained weight, and just very happy now.
     
    sourland likes this.
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Mary Did You Know....

    What your seeing is very normal duck behavior girls will play mate each other and even lay flat for each other and their care taker. If it bothers you just don’t scratch her when she lays flat. If you ignore her long enough she may quit. I haven’t ever had one of my ducks do this but many of my chicken hens have I just pet an go on about my business. Doesn’t bother me at all. As for the sitter just tell them what she may do and if they don’t want to scratch her to just ignore. But this is very normal behavior. Enjoy your trip!
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    sourland, Loopeend, Jpat and 2 others like this.
  3. Mcgheeii73

    Mcgheeii73 In the Brooder

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    Thank you. I found info on google about female ducks with female ducks, but not much about ducks and their keepers so I'm glad to hear I'mnot alone. I don't have children so my pets are my children and because this duck has her limitations I immediately started giving her lots of attention early on. I used to have to hold her and pull debris (straw and grass and gunk) out of her nostrils with tweezers it would be so impacted, so she's kind of like my special little child and it's just bizarre to me that now she's doing better, healthy and caring for herself, my role has been changed from nurse/mom to something strange. I think I'll dial back on the attention to see if she stops or at least reduces the frequency.
     
  4. Mwolfe38

    Mwolfe38 Chirping

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    Derrick does this to me several times a day. Since she's an only duck and lives inside, I don't think anything of it. She doesn't know that I'm not a duck. To her, I'm her momma duck, sister duck, friend duck and now her "mate" duck. She's just super hormonal right now and is still laying. I'm sure she will chill out very soon. In the meantime, I just give her a good scratch and go about my business.
     
    sourland, Jpat and Miss Lydia like this.
  5. Loopeend

    Loopeend Songster

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    This is normal. Just as us humans; most species have the tendecy to try to mate with the "best thing available" when there is no other option; especially when young and full of hormones. They do not care much, like we humans, for being accused of being "gay". They just go at it in what is available!. And; some are infact gay. But most not, just like us humans; and most can sence your gender; even if you are from a different species. I'm non-stop seduced by drakes; my male partner by female ducks.. They even do that when drakes/females are available! It feels so weird because I'm also kind of their parent? What the duck?! They are just not humans; it's your human brain thinking that makes it weird.

    They don't think it's weird an will keep doing it. Try to stop your human brain in thinking it is weird.. they won't. For them it's normal. Just ignore it; and see it as an compliment. Apparently you have great things going on that makes you a perfect mate..for ducks.. but hey; atleast it is something! :p
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    As others have said 'normal hormonal duck behavior', and no duck hens can not grow penises.
     
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  7. Loopeend

    Loopeend Songster

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    You are in luck! I don't know much about what is going on in duck brains; but human children will luckely never try to mate with you! They rather dispice you and call you "gross" and "old" in their hormonal fase.
     
  8. Mcgheeii73

    Mcgheeii73 In the Brooder

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    Actually there are quite a few posts here (on backyard chickens) regarding ducks changing sex and articles from BBC, NatGeo, and more regarding the fact that ducks can indeed change sex. I never knew it either but look into it.
     
  9. Mcgheeii73

    Mcgheeii73 In the Brooder

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    Too funny!
     

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