Male Ducks Seem Depressed


In the Brooder
Jul 29, 2016
Hello, I just started this account to ask this question, but have been getting most of my info from BYC for awhile, just never got around to making an account. Until now, when I ran into a problem I didn't find previously answered on here. We have 5 egg laying chicken as well as 7 pekin ducks (4 hens, 3 drakes). We plan on only keeping one drake and eating the other two though. We use to have 5 drakes though, and have been trying to deal with a serious predator problem in our backyard. The first one we lost to we believe a fox. So we fixed the problems with their pen to make it more predator proof. All our animals free range during the day and they have been so happy lately. Then, just yesterday, I went outside in the afternoon to check on them and could instantly tell there was something off in the dynamic of the flock. I counted them and realized we were missing another pekin drake. I think it was from a hawk this time though. As far as I know, there's not much you can do to prevent hawk attacks other than not allowing them to free rang anymore which I'd like to not have to do. Any suggestions to fix this?

The real problem though, is that now the remain 3 drakes seem very depressed by this loss. The females don't seem to care as much though which I thought was a little odd. The males won't come running for food anymore when I go up there and throw corn on the ground. They just will lay around, which is also strange because they usually at least stand up and start quacking when I go up there. They aren't as excited about going in there pool anymore. They will also sometimes lay spread out a fair distance away from the flock, all by theirself, when they use to all want to lay close together. All 3 of them are also walking around without their necks extended, like they're hunched over keeping them close to their body. They just seem very sad and depressed. Do you think they are? If anything, I thought the females would be more upset about losing a drake than the males would? They still drink water and I assume they're eating at night when I feed them but am not entirely sure since they won't eat corn during the day. I don't know what I can do to help them? Are they sad? Sick? From what and why only the males? How can I make them happy again? It breaks my heart to see them like this :/ I can post some photos if needed to explain what I mean by their odd behavior, if necessary. Let me know what you think, thank you!
It sounds as if they are scared. A pekin drake is too large for a hawk to carry away. My gut says that the fox has returned, and the birds are aware of that fact.
Why would only the drakes be affected though? The females are fine and happy. We also have 5 anconas and 2 mallards that are all acting normal as well. I wouldn't think being scared would cause them to not want to eat as much or be less social? I'd think they'd want to be more protective of their females instead of turning submissive? The drake went missing during the day too and I had scared off a hawk a few days prior which is why I assumed a hawk. I'd hate to have to keep them penned up all day. We don't have enough money to get a fence right now..
Ducks are very emotional animals. They also can be quite bonded to their flock, or other ducks within a flock. It's not odd for the male ducks to be bonded to other male ducks. I find that if they see one of their friends get attacked, ducks are very bothered by it and need time to get over it. Sounds like the females could be indifferent because they weren't paired off?

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