How do ducklings find their place in the flock hierarchy?

Sep 2, 2018
7,889
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1,347
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
Hi Friends!

About two weeks ago my Indian Runner Duck Katharina, hatched out a total of seven ducklings and since three days they are running around with the rest of the flock. No serious attacks from the other ducks or my two drakes have happened so far, which makes me wonder how do those ducklings find their place within the flock hierarchy?
If you introduce a new duck to your flock, it usually starts out as the lowest ranking bird and has to, literally, fight its way up.
Katharina Duck is one of the higher ranking females in my flock, if not the alpha, even the drakes respect her and i have noticed that her rank seems to have an influence on the ducklings ranks. Most other ducks treat the ducklings respectfully, the White Layers (three times larger!) even bop their heads and take great care not to step on them.
Mom's two sister ducks, also high in rank, behave different: Nona Duck feels motherly towards the little ones too, is defending them, whereas Curiosity Duck pushes them away without being attacked by mama duck.
The other ducks just simply try to stay away from the ducklings as they are being chased away and bitten by mom every time a distress-peep leaves a small bill.
What are your experiences with ducklings, hatched and raised in your flocks?
 

Flyinbolts

Songster
Aug 20, 2019
208
329
111
West Michigan
Can't say for hatched but definitely see some lowest rank incoming going on with hand raised ducklings that are being added in. The drake always warns them away and the alpha of the ducklings (female cayuga) has a hissy with him. Then the alpha female of the original flock and the alpha of the ducklings seem to have a spat and everyone just watches everyone else. It's been getting better over time.
 
Sep 2, 2018
7,889
30,449
1,347
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
Can't say for hatched but definitely see some lowest rank incoming going on with hand raised ducklings that are being added in. The drake always warns them away and the alpha of the ducklings (female cayuga) has a hissy with him. Then the alpha female of the original flock and the alpha of the ducklings seem to have a spat and everyone just watches everyone else. It's been getting better over time.
:gig- First one to blink lost!
 

Gooseopolis

Chirping
Jun 14, 2018
25
54
65
North Carolina
Hi! I have four runner ducks and one jumbo Pekin. They are all drakes. I bought the Pekin and my first runner at the feed store in the assorted duck corral. I had zero idea what kind of ducks I was getting since it was “assorted”. The runner Duck was TINY and I fell in love with him/her. Then my eye was caught by a very chunky, beautiful duck who looked like he was smiling at me. He turned out to be a jumbo Pekin and is best buds with the runner Duck that I bought with him. A few months later I bought three more runner babies ( the three headed duck lol) and they were all drakes. The Pekin “The Donster Monster” aka Donny Brassduck RUNS the group. His right hand man is “Turbo” the fawn runner he grew up with. The three other runners stick so close together and are black,blue and chocolate that they look like a three headed duck lol. At first The Donster Monster was snappy and mean around food/water/treats. Now all five live together in pretty much harmony, and follow the alpha drakes lead. No one has ever gotten in a serious fight. I love my boys!
 
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