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Male to female duck ratio?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by renzizu, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. renzizu

    renzizu New Egg

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    Hey everyone I am wondering for ducks is 1;2 male female ratio okay? Or should I maybe get one or two more females? They are different kinds and ages I have two white pekins that are 3 months old (they are not in with the older ones yet but are outside) male and female. Than I just got 4 Indian runners that are 1-4 years old. I am thinking of putting one of the females in with the younger ones because she is smaller and blind in one eye so that way it is a 1;2 ratio but whats everyone's opinion? So far I cant find any females that are the same age as my pekins and I'm worried that once he matures my female pekin will be picked on too much... What works for your ratios? is 1;2 doable? The indian runners were in a 4;3 male female ratio before I got them here just yesterday. Thanks!
     
  2. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It will depend on your drake. Some people do fine with 1 male and 2 females. With my flock that would not work. I have 1:5. My girls are missing feathers on their backs from him but they don't seem to mind at all. He is also a young drake so I'm hoping next year will be better.
     
  3. Kathy farms

    Kathy farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ideally, I'll say that 1 male to 4 females irrespective of type of ducks you're raising. This helps relieve pressure off the females when they start mating.
     
  4. Debs Flock

    Debs Flock Birds on the brain Premium Member

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    So...if you have ducklings, the wait & see method is okay? I'm a new mom to 4 ducklings just a week old so I have no idea what sex they are. Is it likely that I'll have to make some changes later if I have all drakes or all ducks?
     
  5. Kathy farms

    Kathy farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If its all drakes and you're okay with that you keep them, likewise if it's all ducks and you do not intend them to breed then you keep them as such. However, if you want them to multiply then you have to check the ratio of the sexes as when there are more males they could over mate the females during the breeding season, and the aggression may also be overwhelming for all.
     
  6. Debs Flock

    Debs Flock Birds on the brain Premium Member

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    Thank you, Kathy! Hopefully, worst case, I'll just add some females. Fingers crossed!
     
  7. wallawu

    wallawu Out Of The Brooder

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    I figured I'd bump this one instead of starting a new post.

    Rundown:

    6 ducks, ~5 weeks old. 2 Welsh Harlequins (favorites), 2 Black Swedish (spastic, but 2nd favorite), and 2 Mallards (best looking right now by far, but one of them is a bully). I know I have 1 male WH and almost certain the other one was female (vet sexed). I believe we have 1 female BS because she's been quacking for almost two weeks now and the other one isn't and is the largest duck so I'm assuming male. I have no clue on the mallards because I can't even tell them apart. The house I'm building is 8ft x 4ft which is on the high end of sq ft per duck from what I've read on here. 14 or 15 ft x 8 or 10 ft run is in progress. They'll have time out in the whole yard when we're home to supervise.

    My mindset is if we have to get rid of any of them, it will be the mallards. Although my dad is a big time duck hunter and I'm used be seeing dead ducks and geese, I don't think I can in good conscience raise these ducks with a flock, separate them from that flock, and then let someone kill them. Just wouldn't feel right.

    I'm not getting rid of the male WH, and I'm pretty dead set on keeping the Black Swedish that I think is male.

    My questions:

    1. If the 2 mallards end up both being male or 1 male/1 female, am I pretty much forced to get rid of the male(s)?

    2. If the 2 mallards are females, will they be safe with 2 drakes and two other females of larger breeds?

    3. If I get rid of either or both mallards, do I need to order more female ducks? Or is there a chance that the remaining 2 drakes play nice with the 2-3 remaining females?

    4. Even if 1 is female, should I keep them together if they go to a place that doesn't have other ducks? I've read lone ducks aren't always happy.

    My first thought is that we send them out to her moms. 6 acres and a good sized pond. They have chickens and are planning on getting more. If we sent mallards out there, would we be adding a big workload on top of what they have? I'd think they could throw some food down by the water every day and be pretty set. They have an open barn that has coverage and we're in Arkansas where ducks come in the winter, so there's no chance of them freezing to death. They won't have much protection from flying predators, but the free range chickens haven't been picked off by them.

    They're only about 25 miles away. Is there a chance they know where they came from and fly back? That would be funny.

    Any answers or information is appreciated!
     
  8. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My experience is that bigger drakes are a problem, but not a big deal if all the females are larger. My drake had 5 females and tore the snot out 3 of them. So he had to go. 2 drakes to 3 females sounds like a really, really bad idea. 1 drake to 3 females is manageable if you have a nice drake so a lot depends on personality.

    Drakes and chickens don't generally mix either. If a drake tries to mate a chicken they are incompatible anatomically and a drake can seriously injure a chicken. A lot of how drakes act with chickens really depends on the flock dynamics so drakes can be with chickens but it isn't usually a good place to start. Do the chickens have a rooster to protect them? Will the drakes have their own females? Will they be housed together? All my chickens (females) have one house and all my ducks (females) have another house at night. I don't house them together because they would not get along in close quarters.

    Also ducks raised in captivity don't do well just being let loose on a pond and calling it a day. They don't know what will and won't eat them and while mallards can fly it still isn't a good idea to just plan on throwing out some food for them and letting them live free. They need housing and to be protected from other animals. I feel that it is your job to keep them safe or you need to process them for food. When getting straight run ducks you always take the chance of having too many males and it is your job to protect your females and to handle the over population of males.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. wallawu

    wallawu Out Of The Brooder

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    The Welsh Harlequin drake seems to be the nicest and most timid, but I understand that "puberty" can really change the personality. All I can really do is keep an eye on him and the Swedish to see how they interact with each other and the ladies.

    I didn't mean to make it sound like they'd just be thrown to the wild. They'd have housing that's separate from the chickens. I'm assuming that ducks will want to stay closer to the water, which is probably 60 yards from the house, and the chickens are kept on the opposite side of the house and generally hang out close to that, never venturing near the water, so we're talking 100+ yards of separation unless ducks are more attracted to chickens than they are water. There's not a rooster.

    If it's 2 drakes and 4 females is that bad news?

    It was also my understanding that drakes can be with drakes as long as there's no female to fight over. If I'm wrong, let me know.

    Where they go is really kind of a separate issue. I just really wanted to know IF I needed to make a plan to get rid of a certain amount and/or take on others. Like I said, I don't want to kill them and I won't put them in a situation where they will likely be killed. I just didn't know if we'd be loading them down with a lot more chores. I would think it would be less work for them compared to us because they have MUCH more space and a pond.
     
  10. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Drakes can be a happy flock by themselves. Especially those raised together.

    2:4 sounds like a bad idea. Like I said I had 1:5 and it didn't work out very well because he only mated with 3 of them. The more females the better, IMO.

    If they want the drakes and are able to take care of them then I don't see any issues. Just because they have a big pond doesn't mean it's easier though. How will they get them off the pond at night? Do they want ducks anyway? I rehomed my drake and he is kept as a pet. I don't want to sound like you have to kill them if you don't want to just understand that we have to protect the females in our flocks because they can't do it themselves.
     

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