My wacky ducks won't sleep with each other, nor without each other anymore ...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by solarpup, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. solarpup

    solarpup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2013
    Massachusetts
    Our three mallard drakes – Scaramanga, Le Chiffre, and Blofeld – as of two weeks ago (and overnight) decided that the three of them will no longer get along. It was pretty much right as they turned 24 weeks old. Scaramanga and Le Chiffre would prefer to be by themselves, and they will chase Blofeld away if he gets too close. This is not such a big problem when we let them free range, since we've got a big yard. And for putting them away in safety, we've got two separate coops and two separate runs, and we have the coops facing each other with their runs attached separated by a screen. We didn't want Blofeld to be lonely, but we can't trust Scaramanga and LeChiffre not to attack him and rip feathers from his neck, so they got the separate quarters.

    Here's the thing, prior to them having their little hormonal fit, each night they would put themselves to bed in their coop together. As of two weeks ago, all three won't go into the same run or coop. If left to their own devices, and with all the doors open, Scaramanga and LeChiffre will chase Blofeld into the other run.

    Now here's the wacky part. Blofeld has now taken to sleeping outside in the run, next to the other run. OK, I get that. He still wants to be part of the group and he keeps trying to rejoin the other two, and they won't let him. But the other two have taken to sleeping outside right next to him! They no longer want to go into their coop! They won't let Blofeld near them, but if they have a screen in between, they don't want to sleep away from him either!

    And it's really, really cold tonight. 20 F with a very stiff breeze. They've got plenty of straw, and a blanket and the coops blocking some of the wind, but they don't want to leave each other's side. They don't want to be together in the same run or coop, but put a screen between them, and they don't want to be parted. As I said, wacky.

    We've yet to find an arrangement where they'll part ways for the evening. Scaramanga is clearly the alpha duck. He's the one the other two will go following. Blofeld is clearly the low drake on the totem pole. (He's also clearly the smartest – best at navigating around the yard and foraging and figuring his way around obstacles.) Can't live with each other, can't live without each other!

    We're still trying to figure out a long term strategy. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    Well.

    Most of what I can offer you is empathy. I have had to establish some intricate living arrangements the past year, with a sub group of Buffs and then a sub group of broodies. I was setting up temporary fence right and left, and nabbing all the extra feed and water bowls I could . . . . .

    And it worked out, eventually, things settled down. I just kept an eye on everyone and did what I could to keep the peace within the ducks' limitations. I could not ask anyone to help with the ducks, much, because I did not want the ducks together at the wrong time in the wrong place.

    Go with your instincts, and if this is similar to what we have gone through, it will change and get a little easier.
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    On, Canada
    So there are two drakes? is their a duck(female?) sexual maturity brings forth all sorts of "fun" ducks can flat out be annoying sometimes, i had awhile where i had to separate 3 of the females because they were molting and the older ducks were picking on them, so i fenced them off in the main barn lol It's stopped now, their all feathered in and back in the main barn together.

    All i can say adjustments sometimes have to be made, i run a pretty decent flock together but do separate my drakes at night and leave my most docile with the bulk of my females... but every now & then as i said an adjustment needs to be made or as i like to put it the stupid stops. [​IMG]

    GL!
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  4. solarpup

    solarpup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2013
    Massachusetts
    Actually, it's three drakes. The smallest lately has been doing a better job of defending himself and keeping the other two off of him. I've since added a screen door between their two runs. It stays open when they're behaving, and gets closed when they're not. And with two coops, there's space for them to retreat to separate corners. But they definitely want to keep close to each other, but not too close. Detente is slowly being achieved.
     

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