Integrating new duck to a flock of 2

Mudbillkisses

Chirping
Feb 21, 2016
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42
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I have read other threads and know the advice is generally to have the new duck in a separated area close enough to the others to see/hear each other as they're getting used to the change. We are doing that over night but I could use some feedback on our situation.

We have two female backyard ducks we've raised from ducklings (1 is imprinted). A week ago today, we rescued a male cayuga from a local pond where he had been dumped and left to fend for himself. Getting to be winter here, and knowing he wouldn't survive, we brought him home. He was terrified- had not been integrated with a flock at the pond either. When first introduced to our girls he made some posturing moves out of fear but nothing aggressive- my muscovy hen wouldn't stand for any of it and chased him around pecking at him. I figure this was normal to establish some pecking order being their turf. Since that day, he has backed off anytime they determine he's too close and he isn't AT ALL aggressive. We have had 4ish days of him in a large carrier in the coop at night with them and that seems to have helped his comfort with the them (but not so much changed how the girls react). He now wants to be apart of the flock during the day- and tries to forage with them. My other two will not allow this and shoo him away anytime he's within 5 feet of them. I feel bad for him, he doesn't seem to forage much at all during the day. It's like if he is rejected from foraging with them he doesn't do it much at all.

So I am not sure if there's more I can do to help things? They have free reign in our fenced in yard during the day- he either hangs out in the pool, tries to be reasonably close to them or just stands in the middle of the yard looking lost. Is it just a matter of more time? I am just hoping our two accept him at some point. They just don't let him in and make that very clear they don't want him around. I'm not sure how long others in similar situations have waited before seeing a switch or if it's possible they might never accept him?

Thanks so much for any thoughts or insights!
 
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CrystaBub

Crowing
Mar 17, 2018
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:frowBeen there! Except I added a female to a bonded male/female pair. Eventually they do figure it out. It's probably going to take some time - for me it took months. But you've done such a wonderful thing rescuing him - you're very kind! Don't give up - just let them figure it out - Winter is a great time too since he won't be as, um, aggressive sexually LOL. @Miss Lydia offered lots of suggestions that helped - such as giving them play time together with treats (meal worms worked for me). Maybe she has some other suggestions as well as others here on BYC. Good luck!!!
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
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You’ve been there and have given great advise @CrystaBub It will take time and if he’s a young drake that may also play into the fact the girls can boss him around now. They will probably be all over him come spring lol. I do think I’d clip one wing just in case he tried flying and he is lost again with no family. My Muscovy girls will jump on the Runner drake if he tries to make any moves on them. It’s quiet hilarious. Just give it time I think it will be okay.
 

Mudbillkisses

Chirping
Feb 21, 2016
115
42
96
:frowBeen there! Except I added a female to a bonded male/female pair. Eventually they do figure it out. It's probably going to take some time - for me it took months. But you've done such a wonderful thing rescuing him - you're very kind! Don't give up - just let them figure it out - Winter is a great time too since he won't be as, um, aggressive sexually LOL. @Miss Lydia offered lots of suggestions that helped - such as giving them play time together with treats (meal worms worked for me). Maybe she has some other suggestions as well as others here on BYC. Good luck!!!

Thank you! It's good for me to hear it took months for yours to acclimate to each other. True that now is a decent time to introduce when hormones aren't really a factor. It also means they'll be in closer quarters soon (they stay close to the coop in winter when there is snow on the ground). They'll have to share more whether they're over it yet or not ; ) Oddly enough- this poor duck doesn't like meal worms (yet)! He was only fed cracked corn on occasion from people at the park but he's getting there. Play time consists of my imprinted ancona duck being up in my business wanting me to herself- scaring him away (somebody wants to make sure he doesn't get any preferential treatment ha). Who said ducks are simple animals?

When do you think I should do away with the carrier in the coop and have them all together overnight? I tried it once and there was chasinghim around and some bullying.
 

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