Musky smell & Drake problems

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Just_Ducky_In_NH, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Just_Ducky_In_NH

    Just_Ducky_In_NH Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 16, 2010
    Northern New Hampshire
    I have three male - three female, Khaki Campbell Ducks, one year old this month.

    do they give off a musky order when in Springtime mode?

    We are smelling something musky around the coop. It is protected with electrical wire zapper. we have not seen any predators or evidence of such.

    Still in the 30's...can you believe it? and still some snow on the ground.

    The boys are going crazy....seem to prefer one female so much that we had to bring her in the house to protect her and let her get some rest.

    For some odd reason they are not as enamored with the other two girls.

    I think we have to get rid of one aggressive Drake Charlie, aka "Drako" who from the time he was a duckling would chase Hugo around and away from the females...but now he's getting just plain mean with the girls as well. Hugo..used to be so sweet but now he is acting out a little bit on Duck Jack...who doesn't have an agressive bone in his body.

    They are are bright eyes and happy and get a long for the most part very sweetly. For now we put the girl back and put up a day fence between boys and girls.

    The girls are in serious foraging mode and we wonder if their is a nutrition deficiency. We feed them Mazuri waterfowl maintenance and crush their egg shells in a coffee grinder and sprinkle it on their food. We did not want to give them laying mix as we have heard that compels them to mate and lay...but is it a nutrition thing since they are laying?
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    It's impossible to even guess without smelling the smell, but a couple of possibilities:

    You've had a skunk or a mink some where in the area.

    You've had some feed get damp and spoil, maybe in a crack or under something where it isn't obvious to see.
     
  3. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    In answer to your musky smell, I have found that a combination of ducks, pine shavings and their feed can create a musky smell so I am very careful to watch for mold because a lot of it is toxic.
    My drakes are being real horse's behinds right now as well-it's breeding season so they are at their most aggressive.
     
  4. cheyfrie26

    cheyfrie26 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2011
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    Ohhh man! In my case, the musky smell was a mink that ate 10-12 of my chickens. Set traps for it if there is one. Protect your ducks with VERY good cages. I hope you don't have mink. Those are evil!
     
  5. Just_Ducky_In_NH

    Just_Ducky_In_NH Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 16, 2010
    Northern New Hampshire
    Thank you...

    So I guess that is a NO...ducks don't let off a mating smell.

    We did one day put a little food in the shed for Katie when she had prolapse. Quickly figured out to bring her in for a few days and she healed up all by herself. Otherwise the food is very far from the shed and we do use pine shavings and have a cedar floor in there underneath the pine.

    We do have minks as we are on a stream...but there is no way they can get near the duck area as we have an electrical fence...nor Frodo the neighborhood raccoon or Rusty the fox.

    MY vote is for the shed needing cleaning after winter...maybe some of the duck poop that has escaped the rake is thawing.....we have had such awful weather .....we'll have to try and get the shed cleaned for sure. It faces the sun so usually we open the doors and let the sun do it...but not much sun lately.

    Does anyone know when the Drakes calm down? It is heartbreaking to see these three brothers fighting...such gently silly guys normally....and why is Katie the most alluring? The other two are blonds after all.
     
  6. calgal98

    calgal98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm a chicken person, but my roos all had one hen they would torment to pieces. I figured I had too many roos so all of them went to roo-heaven (the stew pot). Sure ended the problem at my house. Sorry can't help witht the *fragrance* issue.
     
  7. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    Quote:Hopefully your boys will go back to being their normal, jovial selves after breeding season-I'm not sure when your breeding season ends up there, though.
     
  8. Just_Ducky_In_NH

    Just_Ducky_In_NH Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 16, 2010
    Northern New Hampshire
    Just reporting back about the boys.....whew...what a summer! We separated them with a light weight fence down the center of the pen and into the shed. They adapted to the new arrangement but Charlie hurt himself poking through the fence to fight with the gentle male we left in with the girls. Once a week or so we'd let them all run around the yard together and then they'd get really bad..bad bad ducks! All was forgiven when Charlie was injured. The other ducks were amazing and sat with him and Hugo kept trying to get him to go play...they were all suddenly very gentle...until he got better and then they were all crazy again. It is August 26th and we removed the fence last week. They are playing and cute and funny...not fighting. Sure was a long mating season. Happy to see them all getting along again. Thanks for all the advice and help.
     
  9. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

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    Illinois
    Quote:It might not be an actual "mating smell", but I have to say that I personally feel that drakes have a much stronger scent to them than the hens. I'm a person who is very sensitive to smell, though, and I personally don't like the smell of any birds...yeah, I know, I'm in the wrong hobbies to be feeling that way! But I find it's a stronger incentive to keep their living quarters clean...I don't like going into my barn or a pen and smelling ducks. I have also noticed that my Amazon parrot has a much stronger scent, probably due to her feather oil, than my powdery African Gray.
     
  10. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    Our drakes have just been awful this week. We finally got some warm weather, and it's like someone gave them all a shot of testosterone. First they started in on one hen. We separated the hens into different pen last night. This morning I caught all three of them piled on top of each other in the water dish.....honestly. There is no stopping them. Short of getting rid of them. The drakes were my favorites personality wise, but their personalities that were so appealing disappeared with the warm weather![​IMG]

    I swore I wouldn't get rid of any of my ducks, but......now I am wondering. Just being nasty. To the hens, each other, and me!
     

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