Help me decide what to do with my drakes

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Adalida, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    I've got eight ducks; two drakes and six hens. The drakes are Indian Runners, and the hens are Runners, Rouens and a Muscovy. Everybody has been together for at least a year, and always gotten along well with no drama. I've always liked the drakes because they were nice to the girls. The drakes weren't overly persistent in mating the girls, and the girls have never been harmed by the drakes. That's changed in the past week.

    I heard a loud, distressed quacking from a Rouen and went outside to find both drakes on top of her. They had obviously been there for awhile, I chased them off and there were feathers everywhere. Not just little feathers- all her big flight feathers, with the quill attached. I picked up FIFTY large feathers. Her wings look like they got chopped off, her tail is almost gone, and many feathers are missing on her back, besides having a large bald spot on her head. She was in pretty sorry shape. I checked on the other hens, and found that the Muscovy had a big cut on her lower eyelid and the entire back of her neck and head were plucked bald and raw. I immediately separated the drakes completely from the hens. The Rouen is doing better now, but she was obviously very hurt. Instead of playing in her pool and roaming the property, she's been hunkered down and not moving much.

    So here's where I need help and opinions on what to do with the drakes. At a minimum, the big drake has to go. He's the dominant drake and plus his size gives him an advantage over the hens. The smaller drake is pretty submissive and kind of a scaredy-cat. BUT, if I get rid of the big drake, will the small one then feel empowered and take over being the boss? I'm so torn on what to do. I don't want to doom the little drake, but I also don't want any more hens getting hurt. I should also add that this is very very hard for me, I get very attached to my animals, and honestly it would be easier for me to get rid of them both together, than to get rid of one, and then have to go through it again with the other.

    What do I do? Get rid of both to make sure no hens get hurt? Or give the little drake a second chance?
     
  2. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2016
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    If you want fertile eggs, keep the kinder drake. Without the other male, he won't feel threatened and compelled to be so bossy and rough.
    Otherwise, if you want to just give the girls a stress free life, rehome them both.
     
  3. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    Cherib603, thanks for your input. I hadn't considered that the little drake may be better on his own, I kind of assumed that as a lone drake the power might go to his head and he'd get more aggressive. Flock dynamics are confusing at times!
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    It really wont matter in the long run....Keep which ever Drake you like best...?
    Drakes are Drakes...They get very hormonal when breeding..Fights are terrible amongst Drakes. Lots of hens have been killed by being attacked by two Drakes....
    If you dont plan on breeding ducks at all...Get rid of the problem and enjoy the hens. I have a commitment to breed Ducks so need my Drake...Other than that, he would be gone too. After breeding season next year I will only have hens.

    Keep the Drakes away from the hens and I feel sick hearing she got so attacked by them...Poor girl.

    Best of luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  5. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    Chickens really, thank you for your advice. I don't want to breed ducks so maybe it would be best to get rid of both. The drakes are currently completely separated from the flock but I don't have high hopes of rehoming them...they'll likely go to someone who will eat them. That makes me sad but I'm trying to be rational and I don't want my poor Rouen (or any of the others) to get hurt like that ever again.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    My two drakes are going to a home with lots of Ducks...A large pond and more Drakes....I am sick to my stomach getting rid of the one Drake as he is imprinted on me....D.W. follows me around and if I CALL he comes running.....Not easy doing what is in the best interest of the rest of the Ducks......

    Never feel bad, always do what needs to be done.....

    Best of luck
     
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