Help, will these boys ever get along (small flock)?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cheezenkwackers, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. cheezenkwackers

    cheezenkwackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About this time last year, I read an article about keeping garden ducks and wanted some. It took a while to convince my DH but he finally agreed. In March, I purchased two Khaki Campbell ducklings from the local feed store. The turned out to be one male (Cheeze) and one female (Kwackers). So after, I discovered this forum and started worrying that one girl wasn't enough. In August, I found a local source for eggs and tried hatching 7 eggs. My plan was to keep one or two additional girls. Only three ducklings hatched, two Khaki girls (Chip and Dip) and one 1/2 Khaki 1/2 Appleyard boy (Salsa). To my husbands dismay, I decided to keep them all. From the first time the two groups met, Kwackers has gotten along with the others but Cheeze has not. He clearly wants to be top duck and is a bully to the younger three. I kept him separated from the other four, with a fence, for a couple of months with a few hours spent with Kwackers every day. At night he slept alone in a dog crate in the enclosed duck run with the others. In the mornings. I would let him loose with the others for breakfast and then quickly separate him (so I could go to work) or he would start his bullying. A couple weeks before Christmas, it got cold (low 20s F), and Cheeze became extremely difficult to get away from the others. I decided to let them try being together. It was a Christmas miracle -everyone was getting along. Cheeze was nice to the girls (who are now 4 months old) and tolerated Salsa, although he chased him away occasionally. A week later, we went out of town for Christmas. When we returned (five days later), all was well but the balance of power had shifted, Salsa was now the boss. This lasted for one day and the two have been battling it out ever since. Salsa has had his eyes bloodied and both have missing and bent feathers but neither will quit. Cheeze is meaner but Salsa is heavier so they are pretty evenly matched. I have them separated and they try to fight through the fence. Is there any chance that they will ever get along? Should I let them fight it out? Has spring come really early? DH does not want more ducks so the only option would be to get rid of one or two of them. They have only ever had pools and are very tame, so finding a good home will be difficult. Of course, Cheeze is DH's favorite and Salsa is mine. Any ideas or opinions would be appreciated!
    [​IMG]
    Now, trying to fight through the fence! Salsa in the front. Cheeze behind the fence.
    [​IMG]
    Before Christmas when everyone was getting along.
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like they may never, but probably not.

    I have literally never heard, nor seen a duck fight end that bad, nor with blood shed?

    Honestly I would not let them together till your there to spend a days worth time with them and watch the fighting. At one point I had two Pekin drakes who would fight everyday just about, but it never,eevr really ended with blood, period.Maybe a few feathers pulled, and tons of wing slapping, but that's about it, and of course they bit, and tugged each other skin.
     
  3. cheezenkwackers

    cheezenkwackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, that is what I figured. They don't really bleed but Salsa's eyelids and the tissue around his eyes get's scratched and swollen.
    [​IMG]
    Did yours ever end up getting along?
     
  4. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, some just don't,I thought I had enough hens, that wasn't the key,they had plenty of space and food, but still fought.

    Some drakes fight because they can, or maybe the pecking order was just unable to be figured out, I have searched and asked, but no one else really knew......
     
  5. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think yours may just be doing a normal pecking order fight.

    I have read before that by the drakes third spring, they usually are less aggressive, so I will test that, although I'm pretty for sure my drakes over 3 years.

    I actually ended up giving the younger pekin drake away, and now my Ancona drake and gigantic pekin drake get along just fine.
     
  6. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They were even when there were two other drakes existing.

    also, are sure you don't have any extra males?

    At one point I had 3 extra boys that we just took in that caused tons of comp between them, and my two pekin drakes. They were pretty much their own clique and had no real place in the flock, and on occasion, the pekins would fight them.

    they were very aggressive and would always rape our females duck, and the pekin boys would just have to either run away or watch, it was actually a terrible time for everyone.3 to 2 was just going to be unfair, and those drakes were all brutal strength.

    I did notice though that when you separated the 3,and point one, they were nearly as tough as they were as a flock, and my drakes new it and would take immediate advantage.
     
  7. cheezenkwackers

    cheezenkwackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope it is just a pecking order thing. I wonder if I make it worse by letting Salsa stay with the three girls (and yes, I am sure they are all girls, the whole neighborhood can hear them quack). I let him stay with them because he is nice to Kwackers, Cheezes mate, while Cheeze just tolerates the other two girls (Salsa's girls). I am a teacher so I have been off for Christmas break so I have been watching them closely. The fighting actually got worse when I let them free range in the yard. It was as if they were better in a smaller space. Strange?!
    So, I am thinking that I will keep them separated for the week to let Salsa heal and try again next weekend. There is a chance of our first snow Friday so maybe they will be distracted. Otherwise, someone going to need a new home :(. Does that sound, wise?
     
  8. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have 2 males and 3 females. The ratio will not be good come spring.
    If you are going to keep the 2 males separate, I'd give Cheezes his original mate back as company.

    When I add new members to the flock, they slowly integrate, but they'd much rather keep to their original groups.
     
  9. cheezenkwackers

    cheezenkwackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your right, I was just hoping! They seem to think it is spring already - quite a wild party in the pools today. Maybe it was because it was 60 degrees today? Hopefully they will let up when we are back to freezing temperatures at the end of the week. [​IMG]
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    The reason they are fighting is Hormones.....Both young Drakes.....You have Hens so they both possibly like the same hen...?


    You keep separating them and then putting them together...That only causes confusion in the flock.....He becomes pushy and the other gets aggressive.....They both like the Hens......My Ducks are breeding and laying eggs here like wildfire and have been since before Christmas....I have two Drakes...They figured it out and chose their own Hens and again their is harmony in my flock......


    Cheers!
     

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