Flock dynamics… after an attack… with geese.

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
477
818
161
Douglasville, GA
So a dog got into my pen about 4 days ago and had a great time terrorizing my birds (I have a separate post with the story) now that the shock has worn off the ducks are back out free ranging and I’ve gotten a better chance to see how the dynamics have changed.

There were originally 3 separate flocks who were housed in separate coops but they all went in the same yard during the day and each kept to themselves. The “meat” bird flock consisted of 3 Jumbo Pekins and a white layer (who was supposed to be a JP). 2 drakes and 2 hens who were going through their first molt and I was preparing to process them. They were the oldest. Then there are two pilgrim geese (m&f) which I hatched about 5 days after the pekins arrived from metzer and are 8 weeks old as of tomorrow. Then we have a flock of 15 Welsh harlequins (I think 6 hens 9 drakes) who are about 6 weeks old. Like I said each flock kept to themselves and the geese ruled the yard.

The dog killed the 3 Jumbo Pekins and the lead drake of the WH flock. 4 WH drakes had to be separated to heal (the dog bit their bums pretty good, took out feathers and three of these had punctures going into the muscle) it could have been much much worse for sure. They were having trouble walking but they are now up and moving around in their small pen. My white layer didn’t have a scratch on her but it looks like her wing joint is dislocated at her pinion and she refuses to either allow me to wrap it or allow the wrap to stay on (I think the geese are accomplices).

When I came home after/during the attack, the male pilgrim had all the welsh harlequins in their coop and was standing in the doorway and the female pilgrim was guarding my white layer in a stand of trees.

Now to the new dynamics… the geese are VERY protective of the babies. They’re not at all aggressive with me but the female doesnt like being More than 15-20ft from the welshies. But they are TERRIFIED of her and her large majestic goose-ness. Lol it’s actually kind of funny but I feel bad for them. Pinkie, the white layer, has become friends with the geese but has joined the WH flock so she’s kind of like a go-between. even though she has trouble keeping up with them (I’m thinking of getting some more heavy weight birds for her to be friends with… open to suggestions).

Do you guys think that the WH will ever calm down about the geese? They don’t like being within 5 ft of them but whenever they forage too far away the geese have a full goose meltdown and run after them squawking and flapping… then they stop and start eating grass when they’re close enough but it scares the crap out of the babies.

I have a couple ideas but I’d be open to thoughts and anecdotes from yall about flock dynamics after an attack.
 

Blue Raptor

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Feb 20, 2021
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My Coop
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So a dog got into my pen about 4 days ago and had a great time terrorizing my birds (I have a separate post with the story) now that the shock has worn off the ducks are back out free ranging and I’ve gotten a better chance to see how the dynamics have changed.

There were originally 3 separate flocks who were housed in separate coops but they all went in the same yard during the day and each kept to themselves. The “meat” bird flock consisted of 3 Jumbo Pekins and a white layer (who was supposed to be a JP). 2 drakes and 2 hens who were going through their first molt and I was preparing to process them. They were the oldest. Then there are two pilgrim geese (m&f) which I hatched about 5 days after the pekins arrived from metzer and are 8 weeks old as of tomorrow. Then we have a flock of 15 Welsh harlequins (I think 6 hens 9 drakes) who are about 6 weeks old. Like I said each flock kept to themselves and the geese ruled the yard.

The dog killed the 3 Jumbo Pekins and the lead drake of the WH flock. 4 WH drakes had to be separated to heal (the dog bit their bums pretty good, took out feathers and three of these had punctures going into the muscle) it could have been much much worse for sure. They were having trouble walking but they are now up and moving around in their small pen. My white layer didn’t have a scratch on her but it looks like her wing joint is dislocated at her pinion and she refuses to either allow me to wrap it or allow the wrap to stay on (I think the geese are accomplices).

When I came home after/during the attack, the male pilgrim had all the welsh harlequins in their coop and was standing in the doorway and the female pilgrim was guarding my white layer in a stand of trees.

Now to the new dynamics… the geese are VERY protective of the babies. They’re not at all aggressive with me but the female doesnt like being More than 15-20ft from the welshies. But they are TERRIFIED of her and her large majestic goose-ness. Lol it’s actually kind of funny but I feel bad for them. Pinkie, the white layer, has become friends with the geese but has joined the WH flock so she’s kind of like a go-between. even though she has trouble keeping up with them (I’m thinking of getting some more heavy weight birds for her to be friends with… open to suggestions).

Do you guys think that the WH will ever calm down about the geese? They don’t like being within 5 ft of them but whenever they forage too far away the geese have a full goose meltdown and run after them squawking and flapping… then they stop and start eating grass when they’re close enough but it scares the crap out of the babies.

I have a couple ideas but I’d be open to thoughts and anecdotes from yall about flock dynamics after an attack.
How long have they been scared of her since?
 

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
477
818
161
Douglasville, GA
How long have they been scared of her since?
They were scared of her before but the geese mostly kept to themselves.. Now they are scared of the geese but the geese won't let them stray too far from them. I like that they are protective so I have been leaving them all alone but I dont want the ducks to be too stressed out.
 

Blue Raptor

Dragon🐉Artist
Premium Feather Member
Feb 20, 2021
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13,658
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Deutschland 🇩🇪
My Coop
My Coop
They were scared of her before but the geese mostly kept to themselves.. Now they are scared of the geese but the geese won't let them stray too far from them. I like that they are protective so I have been leaving them all alone but I dont want the ducks to be too stressed out.
They might settle down, so give it a couple more days.
 

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
477
818
161
Douglasville, GA
Lol my trail cams caught some evidence of Pinkie's relationship with Pebbles (BFFs). I put up one after I saw that the hole I buried the ducks in had turned back into a hole.. Only to find two coyotes that night so I freaked out and put more trail cams around the coops. Haven't caught any predators on those but did get some adorable footage of my flock in their natural habitat. There is a building on the right (a cute little greenhouse/potting shed) on the other side of that is their main area that they hunt on but every couple of days they come back to this area like they just rediscovered it.

Video 1
Video 2

EDIT: Im curious about the posturing behavior that Pinkie does in the first video at about 1:00. She's been doing that alot -- puffing herself up and quacking her way up to Pebbles and then the two just hang out. Ive found them chilling in the pool by themselves and everyone else is off on their own, including the male Pilgrim lol.
 

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
477
818
161
Douglasville, GA
It’s very interesting watching it all isn’t it?
I absolutely love it. Its so fulfilling! And even after the loss with the dog (and a recent loss of a dog), my favorite thing has quickly become just sitting out there with the docks and creeping on them. Im insanely allergic to mosquito bites and I come back inside covered in them.. the mister thinks im crazy but it would take more than mosquitoes and midges to stop me. Ticks might do it lol but I haven't gotten any ticks from being in their area. Everywhere else in the yard, yes. But the flock keeps the ticks under control it would seem. Were going to put up a privacy fence in the backyard soon (we moved in in mid-May and lumber prices were well.. you know and the fencing guy said it would take 6 weeks for a quote and then min. 8 weeks to start). I can't see them from the house right now but I can't wait to be able to watch them from my window when they get access to the full acre. Not to mention let them loose on my (now established) garden that is being RAVAGED by the bad worms.
 

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