HELP! Why are my Muscovies chasing the ducklings, trying to kill them?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by seabreeze, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. seabreeze

    seabreeze Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have three Muscovy drakes, two are juniors and one is a proven senior producer. We also have four proven brooders. Yesterday we noticed all three drakes and a couple of the younger Muscovy hens chasing the ducklings around, trying to smash them. We had to rescue them and cannot figure out what is going on. Thanks for your help.

    Kristi
     
  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Pretty normal, and yes drakes will kill ducklings. You basically have to wait until the ducklings are 12 weeks old before you put them together.
     
  3. Caprice_Acres

    Caprice_Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My muscovy drakes do not do this, so I don't speak from experience. However, the times I've heard of similar aggression happening on this forum, it was generally due to poor nutrition. What is your bird's diet? If they're lacking in protein or other nutrients, they are more prone to killing other animals to make up for their deficiency. In rare cases, it can even be their own offspring.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    [​IMG] seabreeze!
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I separate out mamas with babies. It's safer for them that way. As for the nutrition issue, I doubt that plays a part in many cases. It is more a dominance thing.
     
  6. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

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    Keep them separate. Some males will try and succeed in killing young ducklings. I don't think it is a nutritional thing either.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  7. ilovemuscovy

    ilovemuscovy Out Of The Brooder

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    some aggressive drakes will try to kill them
    also, hens other than the mom will get jealous and try and strangle them
    separate them if you haven't already
     
  8. ilovemuscovy

    ilovemuscovy Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:although i do think 12 weeks is a little long
    they'll be fine after a month or two depending on how fast they grow
     
  9. Caprice_Acres

    Caprice_Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't see why this behavior would be considered 'normal', unless they're penned up and the babies can't get away from agressive adults. Why would any animal 'normally' want to kill it's offspring? It doesn't make any sense. I would look to overcrowding, and then nutrition. (I assumed they were free range, but that may not be the case) If it IS the drakes, I'd cull them if they were mine. Sure, drakes will nip at ducklings as will other hens to 'put babies in their place' in the pecking order, but killing them should not be an acceptable 'normal' behavior for breeding stock of ANY species. Especially not muscovies which are less changed from their wild counterparts than, say, mallard derivatives.
     
  10. seabreeze

    seabreeze Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. We only managed to save two ducklings from the killer drakes who will now find their way to freezer heaven! I have given up trying to hatch out the duck eggs, I am obviously doing something wrong. But I appreciate everyone's input.

    PS...these are free ranging drakes and hens and they get a 26% protein feed as well as lots of bugs, guts and other stuff full of protein, lots of water for them to dig through the mud for crawlers and worms.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

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