horror story turned out ok...still need advice....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lilmama, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been posting here a lot recently.
    Looong story short: I had 2 Pekin drakes and a Cayuga female and I needed to get rid of one drake-(two of them were" too much" with the female, if you know what I mean.) I found someone who would take him, but this person had no other ducks so I bought two adult female Khaki Campbells one for me to keep, and one for the people taking the drake.

    One the advice of the woman I bought the Khaki from, I let them loose in my yard while waiting for the people to pick up the drake and 1 Khaki. This was not good. The dominant drake charged the new Khaki's and -it seemed- nearly killed one of them. It was seriously violent and the female was SCREAMING. I put the drake in the coop. Then the other non- dominant drake did the same thing. He was put in the coop too. I couldn't imagine my female would dominate/attack other females, but she did. Seriously attacked them. I put her in the coop.

    By this time the new females were a mess. They looked as if they had developed "tics" like mentally insane people have. Repeatedly bowing the head off to one side in a crazy way. I felt so bad for them.

    When the people came to pick up the drake and one Khaki, I gave them instead my two Pekins and my black Cuyuga. I kept both the new female Khaki's.

    I hope they will be ok. Is it alright for hens to go thru so much stress? What can I do to help them adjust? My husband and I finally got them in the coop. Tomorrow I think I'll put a kiddie pool in there and let them be confined for a few days without free ranging. I feel I will never win them over now.... [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    This has been so very stressful for me.
     
  2. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    I'm sure they will get over it. I had a Pekin Drake attacked by one of my roosters once and almost the whole entire scalp was peeled back and I cleaned it up and left it open (cleaned it multiple times a day) and had him in his own cage. He healed in a few weeks. Ducks are quick healers. [​IMG]
     
  3. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww, I wouldn't have given them the cayuga because you could have introduced her to the khakis gradually and they may have all gotten along. It's not abnormal what happened. Now the new owner has the same problem you had with two drakes and one hen.

    I'm sure your new ducks will be OK, eventually. Give them treats every day and they'll warm up to you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  4. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes, the new owners are getting more ducks- they have a lot of space- and so I wasn't worried about giving them my old flock...
     
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's good to know. Sounds like it worked out well for everyone.
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Yup, you got some pretty bad advice from the original khaki owners. Your ducks were simply defending their territory against intruders. There are better ways to introduce new ducks, but now you just need to figure out how to win over the khakis. It shouldn't be too tough. [​IMG]

    First off, they WILL recover. That sideways head-bobbing thing they were doing is a submissive gesture and was their way of saying, "We're not a threat to you, we won't hurt you, please don't hurt us." Ducks are incredibly resilient plus, they have short memory spans, lol.

    Keep them penned up for a few days so they get to know their new territory. Don't mess with them too much, but be sure they see that you are the one bringing food and fresh water. After a few days, start offering treats out of your hands. Or leave them without food for a few hours (I only feed mine once a day--this is standard practice among many duck owners, and encourages them to eat a healthier foraged diet--if they are penned up, they should be fed at least twice a day) and then offer the food out of your hand before giving them the rest in their feeder. Once they seem to recognize that you are not going to attack them, you can probably let them free range a bit, under supervision, until you're comfortable that they won't wander off.

    It will work out, it will just take time. Sorry about your horror story. It could have been so much easier on everyone, but this is how we learn. At least no one was seriously injured, and you now have two girl ducks to make friends with. [​IMG] Enjoy!
     
  7. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh thank you iamcuriositycat.
    your post was exactly what I needed and what was hoping and waiting for. I am happy to know what the head gesture is.
    I put a small pool in their coop with plenty of food and I will keep them in there several days.
    They are very very loud whenever I go over there. Will that subdue a little as they get more comfortable with their new surroundings?
    I knew females were loud, but this is VERY loud.

    p.s. they each laid an egg this morning! very exciting!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  8. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The head bobbing is normal, as mentioned. Mine do it all the time to me and to the drakes and they are happy girls. You've gotten good advice regarding how to deal with your girls. By nature Khakis do tend to be a bit more flighty than some, but they will calm down pretty quickly. As they are already bonded to each other, that will work in your favor in getting them to settle in.

    As for eggs, you will get eggs for a day or two (they were in the pipeline so to speak) and then they will probably quit laying for a while due to the stress of moving. Don't worry about it, they will be fine.

    I guess my ducks are more accepting of new flock members because they are used to having new ducklings every year and being moved around and having their "cliques" broken up every so often. I have enough ducks that I change how they are grouped ever so often and they have to all get along and seem to pretty quickly make new friends. I keep them penned near the new ducks for a couple of weeks, then they all go out together in the large yard to forage and things seem to go quite smoothly. Sometimes it takes a while before a new duck is fully integrated, but they get along pretty well. At most I see some feather pulling and chest pushing to establish who is boss.
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem. [​IMG]

    Like many animals, ducks are loudest when they are stressed and unhappy (you'd understand this if you ever heard my kids when they're unhappy, lol). They should calm down considerably once they settle in and become familiar with the territory. Moving is stressful, and especially for prey animals. But they will recover. [​IMG]
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It's all about the pecking order and territoriality-- this is why all new birds must be gradually introduced after PROPER QUARANTINING! Hopefully the Cayuga hen will not be killed by the two drakes.
     

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