having a hard time introducing new ducks

Meeps Mom

In the Brooder
Aug 8, 2019
5
5
12
I'm writing this cause I'm at my wits end, and can't think of anything else to try. I have 2 Welsh Harlequins, one female and 1 male,( Nina & Max ), over the summer, Nina went broody, her eggs didn't hatch and, still she sat. I tried locking her out of the house but, as soon as I opened it, she was right back in there. Long story short, she was losing a lot of weight, not looking well at all, she had been at this, for 6 weeks at this point. So I read somewhere, to get a couple of chicks and, while she was out bathing, sneak and put them in there, to make her think they were her's. To sum up that fiasco, it didn't work. She was not pleased at all! So we took the ducklings in with us and, I take them out everyday, and sit out there with all of them. If Nina & Max, weren't ignoring them then, they were running at the tote, trying to peck and bite them. It's been 4 months now, and we've since built the babies a pen on the side of Max & Nina's pen. They share a common fence wall, so they can see one another, and Max & Nina, even run at the fence, to scare them away! During the day, I sit in the yard and, let all 4 out to free range. Yet still, if their not ignoring them, they are trying to attack them. A lot of times, the babies will be lying down, trying to sleep when they try to attack them! I've yelled, I've locked them in solitary, for doing it, I've tried, to let them, just sort it out themselves and, that's when the female baby, (B.B.), got hurt. Nina was going after her and, she got hung up on a trash bag in the yard and, must have sprained/twisted her foot. She's limping pretty good on it. But there are no cuts, or sores on it. That's why I said twist or sprained.
I thought, ducks were always accepting of new ducks, eventually, but that, does not seem to be my case! They are just as aggressive, if not more so, than the first day they set eyes on them.
Can anybody, tell me what else I can try or, what I should do, to make it where, they at least tolerate each other. The babies love them, they are always trying to get close to them and, they won't stand up for themselves. It is very sad to watch and, it breaks my heart, that these 2 babies, want so bad to be friends, yet no matter what, Nina & Max just want to attack them.
I can't give them up, I've already fallen in love with them too, so I really need help, in figuring out how to make it a flock of 4, instead of a flock of 2 & 2! Nina & max, are both 2 years old, they are a week apart in age. Max is older,we hatched them ourselves, the babies, were 1 day old when we brought them home, the female is a peking & the male is a Crested Rouen. Who, seems to be the runt, he is very small, much smaller than all the other ducks and, he's got angle wing. The babies are now 98 day's old. Please, somebody tell me, how to bring these 4 together. I feel so bad for the babies. Oh, and the boy baby, his name is Winston.
Now, I know what y'all are going to say, about 4 females to every drake, but I guess, my ducks are an anomaly in more ways than one! Cause Max, has never been over aggressive with Nina, in fact, I've seen Nina get mad and attack Max, cause he wouldn't give her any! And Winston, seems to be the same way. Neither male, is going after the opposite female, they are both, sticking with the ones they've got. So, I've basically got 2 couples on the yard, that I need to come together as friends, and not mortal enemies! Please, any suggestions, will be greatly appreciated. I'm at a loss and, don't know what else to do!!!!
And this being my luck, I can't find an article on the web, that is about having trouble, introducing new ducks to old!!
 

Quatie

Crowing
Oct 16, 2020
2,368
11,655
441
Northern California
When you introduce new ducks they go through establishing a new pecking order. They will pin the other one down and peck at them. Unless blood is drawn, you have to let it play out. You have done the first steps correctly. I would put all in the coop together at night where they can see each other but can't attack one another. Do that for a week or so, then put them in the coop together with no barriers. After a night or two like the that things will usually settle down some more. They won't always full accept each other for a while. It can take up to a year before they fully integrate. You may have problems with the males when they both mature and start breeding in the spring. Max will also likely accept the other female when she comes of age. Hormones and all. My male didn't fully accept my new females till they were of breeding of age.
 

Meeps Mom

In the Brooder
Aug 8, 2019
5
5
12
Thanks for your quick reply, I'll have to get my husband to sit out there and watch that pecking order thing, I couldn't do it. But, I will try putting them together at night, with a barrier like you suggested, haven't tried that yet. Thanks again!
 

Quatie

Crowing
Oct 16, 2020
2,368
11,655
441
Northern California
Thanks for your quick reply, I'll have to get my husband to sit out there and watch that pecking order thing, I couldn't do it. But, I will try putting them together at night, with a barrier like you suggested, haven't tried that yet. Thanks again!
I understand, it can be a bit difficult to watch. I would also provide multiple water and food areas, so one group cant control it all.
 

Meeps Mom

In the Brooder
Aug 8, 2019
5
5
12
yes I've done that and 2 seperate houses but I guess I'm going to have to remedy that with a divider as you stated in your last reply. Currently trying to figure that out. Thanks again for your reply it really helps!
 

Quatie

Crowing
Oct 16, 2020
2,368
11,655
441
Northern California
yes I've done that and 2 seperate houses but I guess I'm going to have to remedy that with a divider as you stated in your last reply. Currently trying to figure that out. Thanks again for your reply it really helps!
You can use some chicken wire across the coop area with hooks or screws to hold it. Then you can unhook it in the morning. Best of luck. Let us know how it works out.
 

Meeps Mom

In the Brooder
Aug 8, 2019
5
5
12
I definitely will. Thank you so much, for all your help and suggestions. You Rock!!!!!
 

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