My ducks have gone crazy!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tink0602, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. tink0602

    tink0602 Chillin' With My Peeps

    119
    0
    99
    May 7, 2011
    For the past several days, I guess the hormones are kicking in for my Muscovies. They are going nuts! We hatched 7 ducks in the second week of June, and 6 of them turned out to be drakes! I only have one poor little female. She used to be the "boss" of the bunch (I think she was taking over as the mama), but now it seems as if the hormones are kicking in and the males are taking over. They are brothers and sister. One of the males seems to be trying to show he is boss now. I even saw him climb up on one of his brothers today like they were mating! For the past few days, they have been chasing after us and the kids. One came flying at me today, and another was chasing a woman down the street as she was jogging. I did a search, and I guess it is just their normal behavior since there are WAY too many males - but I don't know what to do?? Should I try to pen the female up by herself? There is no way I can get enough females to keep all of them happy. They free-range, and we were keeping them in a duck house at night to protect from predators, but for the last few weeks they have gone on strike. They were sleeping on the roof of our house, and tonight I saw most of them way up high in a big tree in a neighbor's yard behind our house.
    I don't want to fear for my children to go outside. They were so sweet! We held them and fed them and watched them hatch, and now it seems like they are turning on us. I read some posts about showing them we are dominant by holding them down, but what should I do about my wacked out duck ratio?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    7,176
    10
    241
    Apr 28, 2011
    TN
    I would pen up the female and one of the males in a differnt pen. If you dont they could/will kill her.
     
  3. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

    851
    9
    136
    Jul 1, 2009
    Southern Maryland
    Quote:2X!! Oh my, what a terrible ratio of drakes/ducks. I would start thinking about harvesting the extra drakes ASAP. Mine are 12lbs in 12 weeks (but they're a large strain) so I could easily harvest at 8 weeks and get a good sized bird for the freezer. Keep the sweetest drake for your pair and if you let the girl do as she pleases you'll have more babies next spring - I'm crossing my fingers for a better ratio for you!

    ETA: Oh, they're brother & sister, right. Hmmm... typically breeding siblings is a bad practice (although parent to child is ok in poultry). Are you thinking you might want to try to hatch more before the weather turns cold?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,300
    7,807
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Separate the female and cull/kill/rehome all but one of the drakes before the female is injured or killed.
     
  5. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    923
    4
    131
    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Jesus Crackers! Save the Hen! ..... and ONE drake.
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    181
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Get those ducks penned up. You say one was chasing a jogger down the street. Keep those ducks on your own property, because you are liable if your ducks hurt anyone. You could get sued and lose everything you've got.

    They could trip someone, cause a car accident, attack a child and injure it's face or eyes. You can get sued if all they do is frighten someone and traumatize them. It doesn't matter whether you think that is fair or not. You can still get sued, and you don't get any public defender when you get sued. You have to pay for a lawyer.
     
  7. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    623
    3
    121
    Jul 9, 2011
    Northern Wisconsin
    I would totally seperate the female with one of the drakes for now. it is possible to have a group of bachelors, but you can't have any hens around to keep them from hurting each other. And to me what's the point they don't lay eggs, they just eat a lot of food haha!

    I know its hard to let go of your ducks, but why not try to rehome the males? And maybe keep one drake and the hen and go get some females that are not related to the drake?
     
  8. tink0602

    tink0602 Chillin' With My Peeps

    119
    0
    99
    May 7, 2011
    Thank you all for your replies. We have been trying to keep her separate as much as possible. Tonight she is in the duck house by herself. My husband and I have to hold the most aggressive drakes down a few times a day, so they know they are not in charge. The female was out today, and one of them almost drowned her in the pool trying to get on top of her. She has been locked up ever since. I am going to work on making some kind of pen to keep her in tomorrow.
    As far as the rest of them, I just don't know what the right thing is to do. We adopted these ducks when they were eggs. The mother was a wild Muscovy who we fed periodically. She always laid eggs in our pony stable in the Spring, and this year she was killed by a raccoon in front of her nest. We were devastated and decided to help the eggs. 10 went into the incubator, 8 were fertilized, and 7 hatched. We converted the pony stable into a duck house, so that they would have a safe place at night and they could do as they pleased during the day. We didn't clip their wings, because we felt like by helping them hatch we were just assisting nature. We still wanted them to have the freedom that the other wild Musovies around here enjoyed and still be able to fly away from predators. In the last two months, however, all of the other wild muscovies have disappeared!! We have lived here for almost 2 years, and there have always been Muscovies that shared yards with us and a few neighbors who enjoyed them. I don't know if raccoons got them or someone decided to eat them or they just flew away?? The only ones left are the ones we helped hatch. I wish I could give some of them away, but other than our neighbors most people in the city where I live see Muscovies as a nuisance. [​IMG] We know of someone who will probably take some of them to eat, but I can't imagine giving them up to be eaten...I just don't know what to do. I wanted them to be able to wander around here and play and eat just like all of the other Muscovies did, but now we have this horribly skewed male/female ratio that is making them crazy and making us sad. [​IMG] I do not regret hatching them...it was a miracle to see them being born, and they were so sweet when they were little. We still love them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  9. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,479
    60
    233
    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Maybe you can find some feral females somewhere else that you can relocate to your area. But, I would find out why the others disappeared before doing that. You don't want to put any new ducks in harms way. It's possible that your local animal control or fish and game may have removed the other ones as they have been cracking down on feral Muscovies in some states, such as Florida.
     
  10. quesodano

    quesodano Out Of The Brooder

    get out the cook book [​IMG] ...out of control, sharp clawed muscovies are not a good idea.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by