Fighting Like Cats and Dogs...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hokankai, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in need of some advice. I am building up a breeding flock and introductions are NOT going as smoothly as I thought they would. I have my 4 original females, and I've added a drake/duck pair as well as an older trio(drake/2 ducks). I need some advice on how to go about introducing these guys. I have my 8x8 pen split down the middle currently.

    Right now the DRAKES are fine. No fighting in the boy side of things, unless one of their females is being attacked and then they'll go for the offending female. The male/female pair have successfully meshed with my 4 girls as has the drake from the trio, but it's the two older females that are disrupting everything.

    The females bite CONSTANTLY. During the day I have the 6 on one side, and the trio on the other. I only let everyone out together for about 2 hours in the morning before I go to work, and the whole time everyone is biting everyone. It's usually instigated by either of the older females, or two of my original girls (the other two are polite). I have one of my girls isolated right now, because she is SCRAPPY. She is very small, but very feisty and she won't leave one of the new girls alone. And if one of them bites her she will continue to bite and chase until I pick her up. She's like a ducky pitbull. Sooo she's going to be isolated for a couple days, and then I think I'll try putting in one of the new girls with her and see how they do. I also need to break up the two new girls because it's when they're together that fighting happens, so once my girl has simmered down I might isolate one of them as well (or do it at the same time if I can set up another pen in the other room). I've also found the older females will bite at the other drake, which I suppose is understandable...but I need them to breed as part of my project.


    Any other advice? How long does it take for things to settle down? It's only been a couple days, so I have hope, haha. Should I just keep the two females on the other side of the barrier for a week and try introducing then? This is my first year with ducks, and my first time adding new birds. I'm worried that if I leave everyone together they'll fight to exhaustion and/or seriously harm or kill one another. Yesterday I picked up one of the females and she was so tired from fighting she couldn't run away and water dribbled out of her mouth. HELP

    Here are some photos!

    The Devilish Delilah in her isolation pen

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    The new pair

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    The other drake

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    The naughty females

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  2. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I say 2 weeks should be sufficient for introductions. As a rule, I like to exclude any troublemakers. You might try separating off your drakes, since you say they're good together, then add 3 girls to that group for awhile (including your little pit bull duck). My guess is she's causing trouble for dominance. I'm sorry that I don't have an easy answer... I'm sure it is going to take time.
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    How quickly did you let everyone loose together? i always keep new birds separate for a few weeks, they can see the other birds but cannot physically touch, did you follow any quarantine period too?

    It's funny people always go on about drakes, frankly i find females to be far more "catty" lol i have some pretty full on ones here, mind you some fighting, picking, jabbing will be normal but you have to know when it's gone way to far.

    Duck flock dynamics are intense, it can be hard to know who is who till the situation arises, i have a few ladies i know will be a problem with a newbie whether added by hatching or bought as an older bird and keep a close eye.

    They are lovely ducks though!
     
  4. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No quarantine, it was shot when I took them home because I brought everyone back from a show and my birds were in the car too. However they are all from local people I know and trust so I'm not worried about it.

    Everyone accidentally got together just 24 hours after meeting, when the trio managed to get over the barrier I had in there. I brought everyone home on Sunday, so it's only been about 48 hours.

    I've realized that the birds that are getting along are the ones that rode in the car, so I might try loading all the girls into a large dog carrier and taking them for a ride this weekend. The two girls of mine that are having issues were the two that were left home...so I think the car ride might help. I am keeping the trio separated for now and will see how it goes.
     
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    That's fine i was just trying to get an idea on separations etc yeah, 24hrs is awfully close, my ducks don't even bring their ducklings out in the first 24hrs because they play guard dog against the flock with them. (my babies free range with mama and the flock so you know my dynamics)

    Honestly, way to soon, keep them penned so they can talk, do their communication head bobs, body language and so forth.. intro's need time, as i said mine got to know the new duck for 3wks before she stepped foot on their territory.
     
  6. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alrighty, thanks! I will keep doing what I'm doing then, and this weekend I'll take them all for a ride and see how they do
     

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