Mean Ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CandQ, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. CandQ

    CandQ Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2013
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Can anyone PLEASE tell me why my two Indian Runner boys - a year old at the end of March - have suddenly become mean?? In the past week and a half, they suddenly have started attacking me or anyone else who enters their pond area. My one guy who used to be such a momma's boy is the biggest aggressor now! I don't know what's going on and it's breaking my heart to think I might have to get rid of them ... But their pecks are actually starting to hurt! :( Please clue me in on anything I can do! It's so appreciated - thank you.
     
  2. CandQ

    CandQ Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2013
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Could they be missing my husband, who is away on business? Could they be sensing the fact that I'm newly pregnant? I'm really just trying to figure this out. It's heartbreaking to think they aren't a good fit for our home anymore ... :(
     
  3. Peeko

    Peeko Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2012
    Northern California
    Drakes can be real punks when they reach maturity. If you're seen as part of the flock, they will try to dominate you and establish a new pecking order with them on top. In their eyes, every time you come around is a new opportunity to move up in the pecking order and put you beneath them.
    Having a way of subduing the more dominant drake (or both of them) and establishing that you are top dog will usually teach them not to mess with you but you usually have to repeat the lesson. It shouldn't be mean but has to be done first thing when you come outside/are seen by them. Some dominance techniques are gently holding the drake to the ground with your hands on its back for a few minutes, picking him up and holding him, or simply herding him around for a minute. Our drake responds to verbal reprimands- sometimes, more now that I've been focusing on exact words and tones.
    Do you have just the two boys or some girls as well? Sometimes a bad male to female ratio will result in overly-aggressive behavior.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Finny

    Finny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 5, 2014
    I have an all drake flock of 4 that are about 20 weeks old. Will they definitely become mean or is it just a maybe? It breaks my heart to think they would turn like that:( They are really attached to me and i am really attached to them
     
  5. Peeko

    Peeko Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2012
    Northern California
    I wish I could say how things will turn out for you. I would trade 3 of the drakes for 3 girls, but I know you're attached and that makes it a harder decision to make.

    I can imagine a group of all drakes can be intimidating and they seem to sense fear. I'd recommend never turning your back on any of them, it invites attack. When you go by the pond and they start to chase, try cutting off the attack by walking up and herding them. They won't want to budge and may initially just yell at you, even attack a shoe lace or pant leg (wear loose, thick pants). Some may run for the water (which is an easy victory for you), but get the others on the move and you'll quickly see a point when they break and accept that you are steering the flock, you're in charge.

    When you leave, the pecking order shifts again and you're back to the beginning. That's why establishing verbal cues is important, so you don't have to herd them around every time you want to go by the pond. Treats when you come by the pond would be a great misdirection tool. It's not easy to defend your pond from someone giving you food.
     
  6. RouenDuck

    RouenDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My drake used to attack me. I grabbed his bill and held it for a bit every time he did, and now he's one of my most friendly ducks.
     
  7. olijo123

    olijo123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2013
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    I have experienced the same thing. Usually this happens when they are reaching maturity. It should go away soon! [​IMG]
     
  8. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is a phase hand-raised ducks imprinted on humans often go through - there are dozens of posts about this issue on this forum.
    I had this too, and it went away after a while - the fowl, duck and drake, bit my ankles aggressively and I just let them, maybe moved my foot now and then to shoo them off when it hurt too much, but they stopped eventually.
    They are aggressive towards you because they have never learned distance to human beings and thus view as a sort of conspecific they try to subdue.
    Just give the drakes some time, it is not as dramatic as it seems [​IMG]
     
  9. taylordsharp

    taylordsharp Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2014
    Oklahoma
    My two cayugas are complete opposites. One is very sweet and loving and the other has recently started pecking her feathers out!!! He bit me so hard in the face the other day I **** near cried!! He has been awful lately. He tears apart anything he can and constantly pecks. He is obsessed with tearing the girls feathers out and it hurts her! I feel so bad I don't know what to do!
     
  10. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Seperate him from the female so he can't hurt her. Maybe he will get back to normal with time. Aggression between siblings can happen now and then, my muscovy duck used to chase around her drake when both were young and she still does when he is molting, but the level of aggression your drake is displaying is unusual.
    He may just go through a phase and may get back to normal with time. Molting season with a low level of testosteron might help here. If he doesn't, you should house him seperated from the duck permanently and give him a pen of his own and introduce a new mate to the female.
     

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