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muscovy duck question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tangerino, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. tangerino

    tangerino Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2008
    I have four muscovy ducks including one drake, "Lucky". They are young: around 9 months old and are mating.

    I also have two old chicken hens. Yesterday I came home to a dead hen, apparently killed by an attack to her neck. My remaining hen was totally freaked out; running and squaking. I believe my drake is the culprit.

    I allow my birds to wander around my well-fenced backyard during the day, and put them in a wire "yard" and house during the night.

    Do you have any suggestions about how to keep both ducks and chickens peaceably? Or has Lucky become Not So Lucky?
     
  2. backyardchickenfarmer

    backyardchickenfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2009
    Toms river, New jersey
    i have scovies to and ive heard of males being very aggressive they say they may kill baby ducklings, ive never expierence this but ive heard of it.but once they attact i think he will do it again. so i would keep them seperated or watch them very closing if they are together.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  3. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    Could it have been he was trying to breed her and accidently got to rough? The only way to keep it from happening is seperate them.
     
  4. tangerino

    tangerino Out Of The Brooder

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    Now that I read the predator postings, I am wondering if it was the drake after all. I wasn't here when it happened, so I have to try to figure it out in other ways. Since it was done in broad daylight, I might be able to rule out nocturnal hunters like raccoons and owls.

    If Lucky killed the hen it was probably not due to being aggressive since they have "hung out" together since I got the ducks several months ago and they haven't had a problem at all during all this time. Most likely, Lucky --- a first time, inept lover -- was trying to breed (i.e, immobilize by biting neck feathers and standing on top of) the hen and the hen struggle to get away, etc.
     
  5. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:I will never buy that a drake killed chicken hen "by attack to her neck". I raised muscovy ducks and drakes with Pekin ducks and about 20 chicken and other poultry all running together.

    My drakes never showed trace of aggresion to any other birds. small or large.
    They were busy going after duck hens and breeding them.
     
  6. tangerino

    tangerino Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Pascopol,
    This is my first attempt at raising ducks, so I'm trying to figure this out. I find it hard to believe Lucky killed the hen, but even if he didn't, I have a problem.

    Today I separated him from all of the others and at about 4:30 pm, I let him join the others and observe the hen's reaction. Well, she isn't freaking out like she was yesterday and this morning, but the drake is clearly warning / chasing her away... NOT trying to mate with her.

    The hen -- being a chicken -- runs away but eventually wanders back to where the others (all ducks) are. That's where the water is and the shelter of some large rhododendron bushes. Also, now she is the only hen left, and I think she would naturally seek a group to feel safer.... but she is getting chased away... perhaps making her more vulnerable to a hawk or other predator. Anyway, do you think this protective behavior, on the part of the drake, is typical during mating? I guess it's surprising to think that a lone, very old hen would pose a threat.
     
  7. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    It is indeed very possible that your drake killed your hen.
    Some Muscovy drakes are psycho rapists. Breeding anything they can grab and they do grab them by the head and neck.
    I sadly had a similar situation with an overly aggressive gander who killed a goose (a favorite of course) from excessive aggressive breeding one night.
    I found her in the morning. Her head and neck was all chewed up and most likely he squashed her by standing on her to show domination to a neighboring gander. I later saw him doing this with one of my Muscovy girls. He was standing full on her in a pool of water. With that 2nd act he was promptly given a new home in the freezer.
    Ideally waterfowl and chickens should have their own pens.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  8. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mid west Michigan
    "I find it hard to believe Lucky killed the hen"

    Maybe Lucky was previously nice because it wasn't the breeding season, or maybe Lucky was too young but once the breeding season kicks in, hormones take over and many drakes can become totally different in their behavior toward their pen mates. Muscovies drakes are notorious fighters and will fight just about non-stop if penned with other drakes and they can really do each other some damage. Even the females will fight to establish domination.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  9. ShadyGlade

    ShadyGlade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not all Muskovy drakes are aggressive psychos. I have eighteen Muskovies in my winter pen, five of which are breeding age males. At the moment five bantams are living in there too (momma decided that was an excellent place to hide and hatch a clutch late last fall). [​IMG]
     
  10. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    I didn't say all Musc. drakes were psychos...I said "some" but the behavior I decribed is typical of the breed.
     

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