My once-friendly male runner ducks are biting me - help plz.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jennytg3, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. jennytg3

    jennytg3 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 1, 2010
    I have two males and one female runner duck (not on purpose, I was hoping to get three females). I fell in love w/all of them so decided to keep the males. Up until 2 weeks ago they were lovely pets, I held them every day and interacted with all of them a lot - definitely pets as opposed to livestock.

    It appears the female is getting ready to lay - she's started having sex w/the two males and supposedly she's old enough to lay - I think she's 22 weeks now. About 2 weeks ago, the male ducks started to chase after me and bite me really hard. I tried to train them out of it, first w/a water gun, then a water hose, and then putting them in their cage, but nothing seems to work. They are getting worse and worse and I can't hardly even go into my backyard without being chased around and bit very very hard.

    Is this a phase until she lays an egg? Will this go away? I love them but they are really being mean and it's not fun to interact with them anymore. I'm disappointed as I was SO good about holding and playing with them every single day without fail so they'd be tame. I can get through it if it's a phase - if it's permanent I'm going to have to figure something else out.

    The female is still nice and friendly. She does 'present' herself when I come around so maybe the ducks see me as another duck and threatening their female territory? They used to follow me everywhere.

    Any suggestions? I've tried tapping their beaks, everything I can think of. It's getting to be a little dangerous too as each one will grab one of my legs and hold on to my clothes so it's hard for me not to accidentally step on them.

    Thank you in advance for your advice - I really am at my wit's end.
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    They think you are hot. [​IMG]

    Has nothing to do with the female laying or not. They will lay without being mated.

    The drakes think of you as part of their flock.
    I recommend getting a couple more females to occupy themselves with. Your lone female will also be grateful as she can be injured by overmating.
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    My boy was overwhelmed today. All of his 8 girls wanted his service right then and not later. Poor boy he did his best. The pool got more and more empty as he rendered his services.

    You boys may be defending their girl against you. Have you tried capturing one and carrying it around for 5 minutes just to show you are boss? Or pinning one down for 5 minutes. Worse a try.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Their hormones are raging, and they are so socialized that you look "good" to them. Convince them that this is unacceptable behavior or get more females. This behavior will not go away by itself.
  5. poultrykeeper08

    poultrykeeper08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2008
    Agawam , Ma
    I have the same thing 2 males 1 female
    The males were super freindly starting fallowing me everywhere then they started to sit about a foot away and peck the ground then it progressed to infront of mh toes and now they attach the crap out of me biting my toes , legs , shoes , they will fly after my feet if I try to run and no matter how u try and diciplin them they don't learn !!
  6. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Not to make light of your thread, but this is really funny to read. Your ducks think you're another duck, either competition or a prospective mate, I think.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  7. jennytg3

    jennytg3 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 1, 2010
    Thanks so much for replying so fast! I appreciate your insight.

    A couple of clarifications in the hopes it might nail down the problem:

    1. I'm only allowed three ducks in the city limits of Portland, Oregon without a permit, so unless I get rid of one or more of the males I'm kind of stuck with the 2 male/1 female ratio.

    2. The female seems to be calling the shots with the sex and they only seem to be hopping on her a couple of times a day (that I can see.) so she doesn't seem to be overworked.

    3. I know I don't need a male for laying - the reason I mentioned that she's getting ready to lay is because that's when their agressive behavior started.

    4. It doesn't seem like they think I'm hot - they seem very intent on trying to chase me out of the yard and bite me very hard, so maybe they are just being protective of the female?

    So, how do I get them to stop? Is this a phase?

    Thank you!
  8. ejctm

    ejctm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2009
    Could it be that having 2 males they are even more hormonal and aggressive because they have to compete with each other? You know the way men get all macho in front of the ladies if there are other guys there, posturing, strutting, etc. I am talking about humans by the way, lol. Get one guy on his own with the girl, and he will be as sweet as pie just trying to get her affections rather than show he is the most manly in the room (sorry, yard,lol).

    In short, I think that replacing one of your guys with a gal might solve your problem. Perhaps a swap with another duck-keeper? You could try an ad on CL?

    I will most likely be faced with the same dilemma in a few weeks. I have 2 boys and 2 girls, and that is not a good ratio. They are still young, and I am dreading the hormones kicking in. All that back-chatting, door-slamming, moodiness, etc. And then you just worry about them getting a girl pregnant, drinking, tattoos, etc. Ooops sorry, here I am talking about human teenagers [​IMG]

    When the time comes, I think I will try and do a swap. But how do I choose between my boys? so hard, but I think I'll go on personality rather than colouring. Perhaps you could rehome the one that is worse than the other, if there is one?

    Good luck whatever you decide. [​IMG]
  9. kylee2katie

    kylee2katie Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2010
    Stuttgart, Arkansas
    Quote:I have a male runner who did the same thing - thanks to someone on BYC - when he would run up to bite me, I would pick him up, turn him on his back and carry him around for a few minutes then put him down. we had to repeat this two or three times but now he doesn't bite me any more - he will put his head down and charge at me then he stops short. You just need to show who's boss
  10. maggiemmm

    maggiemmm Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 26, 2010
    Kewadin area
    Another knowledgeable person on BYC said if you grab the male and sit on him for 5 minutes holding his neck down he will get the idea that you are the alpha duck. I actually tried that with my male Muskovy "Flipper" .. I will be darned if it did not work like a charm... he still hisses at me a lot but no more biting or grabbing my slacks and pulling me like a dog with a rag. She knows what she is talking about . Katharinad - If you see that she has posted - look at her posts - one smart lady!! I have learned a lot by just reading the posts. Now if I can get Flipper and Darkwing to accept the two new females I just got... we will see. They are hiding out in their own little ducky house right now..They are eating and drinking ( lots of water and food in the house) plus I got an egg from one of them already YAY! A tincture of time my Dad always said....

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