Duckling showing mating/dominance behavior with older ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jwoo, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. jwoo

    jwoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2011
    United States
    Hi! I have four 7 1/2 week old ducklings. Recently they all got their quacks in and I was able to voice sex three as male and one as female. This was a bummer as we wanted at least two females and one male (we got the four knowing that we may need to sale a few extra drakes). I just didn't imagine that we would be unlucky enough to get almost all drakes. Fast forward to today. Browsing some local classifieds online and see that someone close by is selling a 4 month old hen. I've hardly seen any grown hens for sale so it's now or never if I want to get at least two females, with little hassle. It's a 4 month old Cayuga. I bring her home perfectly aware that I may need to pen her away from the ducklings but I want to see if she does well with them so I release her into their run . . . what happened next was a complete shock! One of the ducklings is a cayuga as well. As soon as she came out this duck who has never shown ANY aggression runs up to the new comer and bites her in the back of the neck. He holds on and won't let go! She nips at him but he does it over and over and over. She finally submits and sits down and he then kinda looks at her like now what am I supposed to do? And walks off. I watch this cycle repeat it's self over the course of two hours two more times. Once the older duck goes after him at first but he gets the better of her.

    What is going on?! The other ducklings seem to care less. It's literally just the two cayugas. The attack duckling I had yet to positively 100% identify sex as it's really quiet but I'm pretty sure it's a male. Is this mating behavior? Dominance display? Why do the other ducklings care less? I though I was going to have to pen the big hen up to protect the ducklings but it looks like it might be the other way around??? Nature is weird!
     
  2. jwoo

    jwoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2011
    United States
    No one have any ideas? It seems to have calmed down today with all four ducklings letting the duck roam around the run with them and get in the pool with them. Been watching for that weird behavior but haven't seen it again.
     
  3. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    It's probably dominance behavior as he's a little young to be hormonal. He's probably top dog in the duckling flock and wants the new girl to know it. I don't know about ducks, but a lone chicken introduced into a new flock is always at a disadvantage and way more willing to put up with nonsense than a pair of new birds. She's probably feeling insecure so she's letting him put her in her place. As long as he isn't hurting her, I wouldn't worry about it. He's pretty brave, though!
     
  4. jwoo

    jwoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2011
    United States
    Well crap. So after going out today and watching them I think that the full grown hen may be a boy [​IMG] I bought this specifically because I was told it was a hen. When we went to pick it up the thing wouldn't make a noise but didn't seem to have any drake feathers, so I brought it home. I'm new to this voice sexing thing so I was wondering if you can help me out? I took a video and uploaded it here: Its a cayuga and I know they are pretty quiet - my other one doesn't seem to make any loud noises either but I think maybe to young still to voice sex. This one being four months old should be easier. . . I've listened to other duck sounds online and it seems I may have gotten the wrong sex . . . she had several hens and two males. Am I just really unlucky? I hope she'll take him back . . . I really don't need any more boys.

    Sorry for the shaky cam - he/she would NOT stand still.
     
  5. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Uh-oh. I think I'd call and ask for a replacement. That sounds an awful lot like a boy to me.
     

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