Muscovy duck bites

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PADuckrunner, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. PADuckrunner

    PADuckrunner Out Of The Brooder

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    Our muskovy duck was hatched in my (PADuck...) hands, on May 24, 2013. She is a very loving duck, and thinks she is one of us. She tries to bark like one of our dogs, and loves to rock in my outside chair, it is so cute. She brings suck joy to our lives, until she started to bite daddy (my husband). Her duck family refuses to have her in the duck family, and her real duck daddy chases her as well, which causes her to be frightened. [​IMG] She lives on our front porch during the day, and sleeps in our mud room, in a huge tote at night, with a towel on the top of the tote. She is just becoming a mean little girl to my husband, and not only bites him, but makes a loud squeek, like her mother, when she is being chased by her mate. Oh, and our little girls name is Pippie. If I can get an answer from someone that is familiar with this behavior I will be so grateful and, daddy (my husband) would feel better, right now he is upset that she won't have anything to do with him. She has quite the bite power in her bill. Thank you in advance. [​IMG]
     
  2. Sphynxii

    Sphynxii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girl Lizzie she is always lovley until shes broody and then she gets really agreesive when you go to see the eggs under her she will bite and if that dosent make you go away she grabs hold and starts bashing her wing into you (its quite painful) so is she any where near or already is laying? This could be why, as for the duck family part i dont know sorry.
     
  3. PADuckrunner

    PADuckrunner Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your response. I don't think that is it. She isn't laying eggs, and she is almost 4 months old. Although, I did tell my husband that she acts as if she wants to be mated with a male. So, I took her to her daddy (duck) and put her down, but when Clem (daddy duck) came toward her, she squeeled and flew back to the front porch; where she spends her entire day. She has been with my husband and I since she was born, and doesn't have experience with other ducks as they have rejected her completely. She is so afraid of the other ducks. I was told the adult ducks will bop the young on their head with their bill if they bite them. So, I assume she is going through her adolecsent stage and is going through the pecking order, and attempting to dominate us. I did bop her on the head with my finger and tossed her in the pool (her bath tub), and she seemed to cool down, and did not bite after that. But, that was later this afternoon, before she went to bed. I don't know???? She may do it again tomorrow. I just hope this is a stage she is going through. Does anyone know how old a female is before they start laying eggs? This is my first time raising a duck from being hatched in my hand, and everywhere I go, she goes, up to and including travel with us in a car, while being in a carrier. Should I just take her to the back yard and force her to be with the adult ducks? If I do that will they hurt her? I am full of questions, and hope we can figure this out together. I promise to keep you updated as we go. Thanks again for your response. And I would appreciate suggestions from all who knows this type of behavior from a-almost 4 month old duck. [​IMG]
     
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  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Your on the right track, she is establishing a pecking order, they all do it.. i have a few "sub groups" here within my main flock of birds and you'll see the jabs and pokes. If she hasn't been raised with other ducks she will fear others and may lack some of the more standard behaviour making others think she's odd... you cannot force ducks to get along, they either do or don't, some will merely tolerate others in an opposite extreme they can harm ducks, especially those beneath them in pecking order.

    egg laying most commonly occurs between 5-6mths but i have had some lay at 4mths and even later isn't beyond the realm of possibility. Whether you want her to blend with the flock is up to you, i take the approach of new ducks can see/talk to the old flock but not touch, that way they can learn about each other without harming.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
    2 people like this.
  5. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    The problem is that your duck is imprinted on humans and all her social behaviour is now aimed at you. It is normal for muscovies to get into fights with each other - my muscovies like to gather in a crowd, start headbobbing and chirping at each other and sometimes bite each othernand even start "wrestling" before they become peaceful again. That is independend from age - the adults are actually more aggressive than their offspring when it comes to this.
    Your duck may never learn to recognize other muscovies as her conspecifcs and stay afraid of them while she never learned to be afraid of you so she has no scruples to aim her aggression at you.
    I would try to introduce her to the flock, because sometimes it seems to work and it would definetely be more natural for her if she could live a normal duck life with her conspecifics.

    I don't know whether you can pound her into submission permanently because I never had to do this. When my runners that I had raised as their "mother" started to bite my ancles, I did quite nothing to stop them and after a while they stopped by themselves. From what I have seen from my ducks, it takes weeks or even months before a duck accepts that is has no chance against another one and ceases fighting.
     
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  6. PADuckrunner

    PADuckrunner Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, thank you both for your insights, this is what has happened in the past couple of days, since posting here: The next day after posting the second time Pippie decided to jump at me, and grab onto my arm; leaving a huge hickie on my arm, then I threw her in the pool to cool her down. Once she swam, and ate foliage from the ground, she jumped back onto the porch, and took a huge chunk out of my arm (not literal) again. I took the magazine I was reading, rolled it up, and bopped her in the head. Since then she has been submissive to each of us. When she becomes angry, and her crown rises, I will get down to her level, and insist she cools down, then I grab her and throw her in the pool. She has stopped biting, and quite loving again. I think bopping her in the head the way I did, showed her that I had the pecking order, and she now looks to us to feed her flies for treats, and comes to me to sit on my lap again. I guess it took me to get angry and bop her a good one, for her to stop biting. We have all decided to stop playing with her, and we also stopped reaching down to pet her, as that seems to set her off. When we put her to bed, she usually eats and drinks during the night, and of course poops throughout the evening. This morning I got her up, and noticed she did not eat or poop in her bed. We were pretty worried about her, but today she ate like her daddy duck, and pooped up a storm. So, we are assuming that she didn't eat or poop because of the stressful day she had in the past couple days. When I put her in bed tonight, she immediately accepted a goodnight pet from me, and she went right to her water and food. So, I think she is back to normal again. I will keep you all up to date.

    As far as re-introducing her into the duck world, I have tried that a few times, in fact the day she was bopped in the head with my magazine, I actually took her to the back yard and dropped her off for the older ducks to take care of her, but that did not work out too well. She was so scared that she flew right back up to the front porch, and of course the daddy duck knows his limits, and would not cross those barriers. I don't think it would be a good idea to force her into a world she is not familiar with. We will keep her thinking she is a human, and allow her to grow old with us. Thank you again for your posts, and I appreciate the wisdom you have with ducks. I will keep you all updated once again. [​IMG]
     
  7. PADuckrunner

    PADuckrunner Out Of The Brooder

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    I also want to thank you for informing me of how old my duck will begin laying eggs, she will be for months on the 24th of this month. Your post is most helpful. Thanks so much
     

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