Fighting Females

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Ravenstar21, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Ravenstar21

    Ravenstar21 Hatching

    Sep 23, 2013
    Hi everyone ,

    I'm new here - just signed up!

    I am hoping someone will be able to give me some advice on my Muscovy Ducks. I'll try to give as much info as possible.

    I live in Australia , Brisbane & new to owning Ducks.

    I have two sisters who are 10months old Kabar & Beretta. At the start they were inseperable, loved each other and were very social & inquisitive duckies.
    When they hit 6 months old they started laying (in winter) for about a month and then stopped. They haven't laid since.

    After they stopped laying they got into a huge fights, sometimes in the water one would try to drown the other or sometimes hissing and chasing each other and pulling on feathers. It seemed one would be dominant one week and then the other the next.
    Soon it became apparent that Kabar was the dominant one and Beretta got kicked out of the coop. so we made Beretta her own little coop.
    Beretta hardly ever leaves her coop and has become very antisocial!! She is still eating, drinking and pooping but she will not come out into the back yard to socialise and she has started biting. She does not seem very happy at all. Also she has started to hoard her food bowls - she collects & sits on them!!

    Kabar will socialise of an afternoon but does spend most of her time in her coop nesting as well.

    This has been going on for months. They both get fresh water and food everyday and a bathtub of water to swim in that gets changed regularily in their pen. They have plenty of shade and sunshine and of an afternoon get full run of the backyard.

    My boss says they are brooding and need a Drake. Would this be the case??

    I really don't want to re-home Beretta but she is not happy :-( and I may have to.

    Any advice would be much appreciated

    chickens really likes this.
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I have muscovy too, but I haven't had them for very long, so am very new to the entire thing.

    Try reposting your question on the Muscovy thread,

    Try either or both:

    Good luck!

    I had other ducks in the past, and really didn't like them. The muscovy are so dfferent from 'regular' ducks, and so very wonderful! I adore the noises that they make, as well as their tail wagging!
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Sounds a bit like broody behaviour, however whether you add a drake or not is up to you, that choice changes the entire dynamic of a flock. Now i will admit because i started with a straight run i have only had a mixed sex flock of Muscovy but still, having drakes is a different element.

    The fighting between females is normal, and something not mentioned often, people tend to focus on drakes lol I keep 19 in my big flock(only 2 are non Muscovy) so i get to see the pecking orders and the way several ages of Muscovy behave, they can be something else at times.

    I have had various amounts of scovies too, i started with a base of 4(ended up with a 50/50 for sexes) and the it has gone up/down since then as they have bred, we've sold and added. Personally, i have found Muscovy do better in larger flocks, that doesn't mean they all love one another, i see sub flock here based on age/sex etc BUT they seem to function better with a larger base, i house most of my females together, there is not some magic harmony but for the most part, they don't harm each other, definite pecking order and i can clearly see who is best buds and who is a pot stirrer.

    Frankly, where you go from here is up to you, having a few options, you could add some more females, as two really is not a flock and being ducks are flock animals, at least 4 IMO/IME is a better base to create and allow the flock instinct, behaviours to play out. drakes? hmm as i said i have never not had them but they can be a pain, and do require at least 2-3 females per plus you will have to watch for nests, Muscovy will breed like rabbits, so you do have to keep that under control.

    I don't have any problems with my drakes coming after me or some other scenarios that you hear but you must keep a firm line drawn with drakes, you have to be top dog, top duck however you word it, otherwise they try to take you in as a flock member and behaviours can get problematic and even unsafe due to Muscovies large size and claws.

    I'm sure others will chime in on their experiences but that is mine, good luck! we'd love to see your birds as already posted we have a thread dedicated to the sharing of pictures.
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    I would honestly add more ducks, as GQ says they are flock animals and they really need each other, ducks are hormonal and Muscovy's are the leader of the broodies in the duck world, I have 3 sisters who are broody right now and have been most of the summer[by the way they aren't even sitting on eggs] but they will not let one of their sisters in the same stall with them, 2 of them brooding side by side sister has to be out side of the stall, I mean they will beat the tar out of her is she even tries to come in. So you are seeing typical broody behavior, I get frustrated with my drakes when breeding season is in full swing because they will fight. but I know the girls do love their drakes so I will always have them, and to me they are so personable much more sweet natured than even the girls. As long as you let them know their place, but if you get an adult drake you most likely won't have a problem with him anyway, it's the lil ones who get hand raised that forget their place. So after saying all of this I hope you don't get rid of one of your girls it will make for a very un happy duck to be alone even if at the moment they are getting along so well.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  5. Ravenstar21

    Ravenstar21 Hatching

    Sep 23, 2013
    Thankyou everyone for your knowledge and advice!! it is very much appreciated. [​IMG]

    My boss has offered to look for a Drake for me this weekend - and will see how it goes!! Then might look at adding some more.

    I will let you know what happens/ if it changes anything.

    I will post some pictures of my little angels on the other thread :)
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Great news, now remember to introduce slowly so the drake doesn't over whelm the girls or vise versa. Look forward to seeing pics.
  7. Freebird farm

    Freebird farm In the Brooder

    May 25, 2017
    Hi! What if you have only females and after a year and a half they start bullying one of them? I have 8 ducks that were raised together since they hatched and arrived in the mail. 3 Welsh, 4 Swedish and 1 Runner. One of the Swedes has been blind from birth but has managed quite well until recently. The others always waited for her etc. They recently started molting..the blind one first. Two days ago I noticed one of the Welsh chasing Trooper ( blind duck) away from the water and food. We isolated the Welsh for a night in hopes it would disrupt the behavior. She was welcomed back by the other ducks in the morning but she immediately started the same behavior. I am familiar with female pretend breeding in the pool but this is quite different. Everyone seemed to be moving closer to their food when I noticed that Trooper was actually going around and bullying the other ducks by pushing and billing. They stared chasing her away with the Welsh in the lead and clearly in charge. It's breaking our hearts to see them picking on the blind duck but at the same time she seems to be the instigator. We can isolate her at night but they are keeping her from her food and water during the day. They have a large house at night and free range in a very large pen during the day with 3 kiddie pools, two drinking water triuoghs and a supply of layer feed. We are getting no eggs which I assumed was the molting but maybe it's stress? Help!
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Do you have more than one feeder out? that may help. Maybe put Trooper in her own space like you have been doing and add the other females to her side and see what happens. To break up a dominant ducks behavior you need to knock her down a peg and sometimes taking them out of their comfort zone will do it.
  9. Freebird farm

    Freebird farm In the Brooder

    May 25, 2017
    Thank you! Well give that a try! Well let you know how it goes!
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Maybe switch them on one side one day the other next just to keep things up in the air for a few days.

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