ducks killing laying hens

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ducks rule, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. ducks rule

    ducks rule In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2012
    hey one day iwas going to look at my poultry then one of my chickens were dead at my ducks feet with feathers every where

  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    Interspecies fights are common in shared farmyards. Ducks are pretty notorious for being not the best mixers with other stock from what I've heard and read. I've never owned ducks but a few people I know have gotten rid of ducks because of their antisocial behavior, and people frequently post about issues with their ducks and other animals.

    However, plenty of people also have ducks that get along fine with other animals.

    Bullies are able to be bred out or culled out. If you won't cull it out, then you might need to separately cage and yard them, or undertake other means of control. But first you need to find out what's actually going on.

    Do you know for sure that the duck killed the hen? Could have been a hawk attack, and the duck chased the hawk off, for all we know. Or some other predator attack.

    Another theory is that the duck and hen fought and the hen was killed. But ducks can also kill them while trying to mate with them. Either way you can't do anything to correct the situation unless you know what the situation actually is.

    Best wishes.
    1 person likes this.
  3. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Songster

    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    Wow that's a distressing image. I only have ducks but they are very social and peaceful creatures. They do walk toward my very skittish barn cat, out of curiosity I think, but not aggression. Plus ducks do not have teeth or claws, so I think that limits the damage they can do. Not that they cannot do damage, but before I attributed a death to a duck, I would evaluate the observable injuries on the deceased. Also, the injuries that I have seen inflicted by ducks generally start out small, with potential to get worse. Meaning two things: 1) takes time, and 2) therefore, I as the operator of this farm have the opportunity to get in there and intervene and stop the situation from escalating and injuries getting worse.
    And I agree absolutely than mean and/or aggressive has no place in the peaceful flock.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    Quote: I used to think so too, but I've seen how much damage peckings, kickings and wing-flailings can do, across several species, they certainly don't need teeth or claws to kill quickly. Although most duck killings of poultry I have heard of involved deliberate drownings of chickens, the most common, or death by mating, the second most common. And sometimes outright battery.

    Best wishes.

  5. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Songster

    Feb 20, 2013
    Colorado Springs, CO
    It seems unlikely that a duck would attack a chicken so violently that feathers ended up "everywhere".

    They can and will bite off feathers but I've never seen a prolonged attack that would make such a big mess. Now if you saw primarily neck/head feathers missing then I'd say it was a drake that did it. Basically mated the chicken to death.

    This brings up alot of questions:

    1. Do you have a drake? Or more than one? How many ducks are there to those males? You want at least two female ducks per drake to keep them busy.

    2. Are they kept in a confined space together? My chickens would not be caught out in the open by my ducks. They're simply too fast and fly better than my khakis. Keeping them all cooped up together, however, can cause problems like aggression.

    3. Is there any blood? Can you see any wounds? I'd investigate to see if there are bite marks. There are limits to what a duck can do with their bill.

    4. Do you have raccoons in your area? Most places do and they're murderous ********. They leave quite the mess behind and don't always take their prey. What about hawks? Foxes? Dogs? Etc.

    You probably ought to do a little forensics to either identify that a duck did it or rule them out. If you think a duck did it you'll probably want to separate them from now on.
    1 person likes this.

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