How to (and should I) introduce 1 new drake to established flock of 10 lady ducks

Dooks and Geebs

Chirping
Aug 9, 2020
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My ten duck flock consists of 1 khaki, 1 golden 300, 2 welsh harlequins, 2 white layers, 2 pekins, and 2 blue runners. My pekins and runners are 2-3 years old, all my other girls are close to 6 years old now. A friend is looking to rehome her one khaki campbell drake, who is living with her chickens (hens) now but they have no other ducks for him, and the chicken hens hate him...
I would like to try taking him, he is about 2 years old.,, I don't know if 10 ladies is too much for 1 drake and if my old ladies will be very upset about it?
If I try taking him, how should I go about introducing him?
 

Quatie

Crowing
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I would introduce him the same way you introduce any new duck. Start with the look but not touch for a week or two. I would make sure he has an enclosure he can't jump out of. After your flock starts to lay down near the border, they can share the area but still have separation in the coop. Do this for another week or two and then let them all together in the coop. It may take less or more time depending on the ducks. Some will also say to quarantine the drake for a month before starting integration, but that is up to you.

You can't have too many ladies for a drake, only too few. It sounds like you haven't had a drake before. Some can be complete jerks and will yank feathers out from females. It is possible that this could become a very stressful time for your females when he is introduced and establishing his dominance in the flock. Each drake is different, but I want to make sure you are aware of some of the potential outcomes. I have a unusually nice drake, and I even need to seperate him from the flock sometimes.

The drake definitely needs to be rehomed. He can injure or even kill the chickens because he has a penis and roosters don't.

I really hope he works out for you.
 

Dooks and Geebs

Chirping
Aug 9, 2020
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Thank you, sounds right...!! So I would have to build secure enclosure separations before taking him, got it. actually when I first got ducks , I had a straight run of 10 khaki's, and ended up with 7 drakes :rolleyes: I was able to sell 6 of them , and kept 1 but ended up rehoming him too because my daughter was freaking out screaming every time she saw them mating ("Mommy!! he is killing her!!") Well that daughter is grown up now and moved away, so I can have a drake if I want to :)
 

Quatie

Crowing
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Thank you, sounds right...!! So I would have to build secure enclosure separations before taking him, got it. actually when I first got ducks , I had a straight run of 10 khaki's, and ended up with 7 drakes :rolleyes: I was able to sell 6 of them , and kept 1 but ended up rehoming him too because my daughter was freaking out screaming every time she saw them mating ("Mommy!! he is killing her!!") Well that daughter is grown up now and moved away, so I can have a drake if I want to :)
It seems like everyone always starts with a straight run and ends up with way more drakes than females 😆. That is great that he will be able to have a home with you.
 

Dooks and Geebs

Chirping
Aug 9, 2020
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Update: & new question<<<
My new 2 yo KC drake, "Pappy" was in separated pen for a week, and has been out with the ladies for a couple days now, (but I have him separated inside their coop with them at night)
First he had a few battles with the leading lady (I call her General Flower) and she put up a great fight but got tired of it and has pretty much accepted him now, yay. However, her 2nd in command (Colonel Perdy) keeps talking smack and trying to get Flower to keep fighting. Perdy is a limpy Harlequin who worked very hard all her life to rise up to her position in the flock, and she doesnt want to relinquish it to a punk drake, lol.
I feel bad for her because every time she tries to shun Pappy, he attacks her and she run'limps away and falls down. so I put her in another pen, and added a couple of the mild mannered oldest ladies in with her. Yesterday the 3 old ladies were so happy to be separate!
I am wondering if it is a good idea to keep them separate for a while or will they be shunned more harshly when they return to the flock?
I can't keep them separate forever, although it seems they would like that. I had to move my geese out of that space and will need it back soon.
should I keep them all together and just hope that Perdy doesnt get so worn out that she dies from the stress? I keep telling her that if she will just submit to the drake, he will stop being mean to her. (and I hope that is true)
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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I'd be worried about your drake wearing her down with stress. Why is she limping? Are the girls you separated close where all the ducks can still see each other? If everyone is close so they can still interact then most likely they will be accepted back.
Love the names.
 

Dooks and Geebs

Chirping
Aug 9, 2020
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Its not a huge limp, she limps slightly from an old toe infection that was cleared up by my vet 4 years ago , but left her less than 100% and she has always been big and very waddley , so she doesn't run well. and
the other pen is close, not attached but a gap of maybe 10 feet away, so yes they can see each others <3
and thanks...
<3
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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I have 4 Muscovy ducks that are up in age. One will be 14 this coming spring. I usually have to start separating them from my Runners and geese in Feb. Mainly because my Runner drake likes to run the females down. Which isn't so good for my oldest since her legs are showing weakness now. AND my Muscovy drake and gander will get into a humdoozies of fights. SO I use a dog x pen to close off part of the front yard to give the Muscovy their own space but yet everyone can still see each other. Works well for keeping my girls safe and keeping the fighting down.
 

Quatie

Crowing
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I don't know what it is about Welsh harlequin, but drakes seem to want to go after them and they get picked on more than others. I have had it in my flock and read about it in others. Eventually the drake and her should work things out. But until they do, it will not be fun for her at all. I am not sure how true it is with ducks compared to other animals, but often with pecking order, if you stop it from being established, they have to start establishing it all over again. But I totally get needing to protect your older gal. You might want to have them share a fence line. That way they can squabble at the fence line with no consequences.

Depending on how long they are separated from the flock, can affect the flock. I was treating my pekin for bumblefoot for a couple months. Her pen was in the area with the other ducks, but she is no longer the top female.
 

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