Ducks depression?

AMaggio

Chirping
Jun 21, 2019
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44
54
Hey everyone, I have chickens and ducks but just yesterday one of my drakes, a Runner, who is coming into adulthood, has challenged the head drake, a Pekin. The Pekin doesn't want to fight and ran away and all day yesterday the Runner would not let him back into the flock. We were able to get them all back into their coop that night without incident but the Pekin is acting depressed and won't join the flock's movements. I can understand him giving the Runner a wide berth but even when the Pekin's group (The Runner and Pekin were raised in different groups and while they both got along they still kind of had these two flocks) comes to check on him he won't join them for very long before going back into their old coop and sitting down in a corner. I'm not sure what to do, this is a first for me. I have 2.5 females to a male, which is not ideal in terms of ratios I know but it's never been a problem before.
 

DuckyDonna

Free Ranging
Aug 26, 2018
3,475
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Dallas, Georgia
I think that is probably pretty common. I've got 2 sets of runners, 7 older ones that include 1 drake and the 4 young ones which includes 2 drakes. They will all mingle but they still hang out in the 2 groups. The young drakes are actually kinda nasty to the older ducks and I keep hoping that one of them will just kick their butts but I just let them be since nobody is actually getting hurt.

Maybe give it a couple of days and then if nothing changes possibly separate the 2 groups so Pekin drake will be happy? I'm sure someone else will have an idea about what is best to do.
 

Miss Lydia

Drakes are Awesome
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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Is there a possibility your Pekin is sick. Birds also pick up on sickness or injury too. And can drive out one because of it. Might want to give your Pekin a few days of some extra TLC with his own feed and water and watch him close just to be sure. Keep him where everyone can see each other though. Then if he isn't sick try giving each drake his own females separately I am just not sure who should get the half? explain how you come up with 2.5 per drake? Or do you have 5 females and one is the floater. lol
 

AMaggio

Chirping
Jun 21, 2019
51
44
54
I know he's not sick or injured and the 2.5 is just me averaging the totals. There are four males total and eleven females. They've been together for five months without issue then this happens. I've checked him for injuries and his original group keeps trying to stay around him but then the Runner drake comes over abs chases him away. I wondered if he's hit a level of puberty and just wants to increase his flock. I wondered if solitary confinement between the runner and pekin would force them to be friends.
 

Miss Lydia

Drakes are Awesome
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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Mountains of Western N.C.
This is something I may dealing with too although a bit different where I have 1 Runner drake with 6 females all adults then this summer I hatched 3 females 1 drake (runners) which are all together for now but I know eventually I may have to separate the 2 drakes and their females when hormones get high again. It’s just something we may have to do to keep the peace. Some keep drakes pens and keep drake or drakes separated during breeding season when the boys get to rough on the girls. If mine I’d give the 2 boys with trouble their own space divide the females up between them and leave the others with the rest of the girls. Or separate the Runner out with his females and let the other 3 drakes be with the remaining females it’s going to be a juggling act to keep that many drakes over breeding season with out rehoming or separating.
 

DuckyDonna

Free Ranging
Aug 26, 2018
3,475
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Dallas, Georgia
I'm going to run into problems in the spring too with my 3 drakes to 8 girls. My 2 young drakes are not very nice to..........anyone but their sisters. I was thinking, when the time comes, putting all the drakes together and all the girls together and then alternating who gets to be with the girls every day. Has anyone done that?
 

Miss Lydia

Drakes are Awesome
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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Mountains of Western N.C.
Nope! lol I kept my Muscovy and Runner drake separated when Snoop was in his first year of craziness because he would chase the scovy girls. Last year he left them alone. I have no idea what is going to happen this coming spring with a newbie drake with hormonal craziness. Thank goodness my Muscovy is only interested in his own females. It can defiantly be a challenge once spring gets here.
 

Texag87

Crowing
Sep 22, 2018
1,262
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Aggieland
I cannot picture a Pekin drake being dominated by a Runner. Before we rehomed 3 drakes from our original brood the Pekin dominated everyone. The only one that could challenge him was the Rouen. The K/C , and the Runner we eventually kept, would just hide when the Pekin would throw his weight around.
 

AMaggio

Chirping
Jun 21, 2019
51
44
54
Lol, your Pekin was a bully. Mine is a gentle giant and has a little routine with two of my other drakes, a Pekin/Mallard mix and what I think is a Golden 300. If one of the girls wanders away, let's say to get a drink, the three males will all form a line with the mix usually walking with the girl, the 300 between those two and the main group, and the Pekin staying near the others girls. It's like they escort them. They do it all the time. Need to lay an egg in the coop alone? Sure we'll take you there and stand guard outside. Want to dig for insects while everyone else is under the trees? Okay, we'll get you there and back safely. In comparison my Runner is usually in the middle of his girls and they all move as a group while he keep watch in middle. It's interesting to see the difference in the breeds and kind of how they work.

On a good note: My Pekin is back to his normal chatty self. It took the better part of four days but after that first day the Runner was not chasing him as much and now they don't have any issues at all. Everything is back to normal. I'm not sure what happened though... I guess I'll chalk it up to hormones. I'm getting more duck eggs right now so I'm guessing the Runners are hitting a new plateau into adulthood. All's well that ends well I suppose.
 
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