Need help- ducks are attacking each other

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kmurdough5, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. kmurdough5

    kmurdough5 New Egg

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    Hello all, I'm new to this forum and am reaching out for any ideas on how I can help my poor ducks. I've had four blue Swedish together since hatching for almost three years now- one male and three females. They've all been great together and have gotten along just fine, but just today they started attacking each other. They have targeted one poor girl in particular (Darkwing), and she now has a raw spot on the back of her neck and looks as if she'd been molting when really they've yanked her feathers out. My male and one female have also started pulling at the other girl (Dotty) so I don't know what is going on. I was going to put the two girls getting picked on in a separate house together, but then Dotty attacks Darkwing. I now have Darkwing in her own house for the night, and the other three in their regular house. I'm hoping they leave Dotty alone now that they're settled for the night, but any advice as to why this could be happening or what I can do would be greatly appreciated. These guys are my babies so it really upsets me to see them like this :(
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I remember the first time seeing my Runners behave rudely. Not as extreme as this, but it was heartbreaking.

    My first thought is, is Darkwing under the weather and they know it but you have not seen symptoms? Ducks can hide illness, sometimes till they pass away. Not to scare you but it is a question and a possibility.

    Another is, hormones cause unexplainable behaviors. And they fluctuate. Ducks will seem to take a dislike to each other. Our flock was getting along pretty well, then suddenly we had issues, and now three Buffs are their own flock, and the other ten get along fine.

    Forum members have often found that separating the ducks temporarily shifts the social dynamic and things may calm down. It will all be an experiment, be patient with yourself and with them.

    So, separating Darkwing is good, try also splitting the drake away from the other ducks with a temporary fence so they can see each other but not touch each other.

    Take a good look at Darkwing - if you can, perhaps a vet visit. She may have an infection or virus that is not readily apparent. She may be getting ready to lay sooner than the others (hormones).
     
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  3. Fun Farmer

    Fun Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, no idea. I have 4 ducks living together and never had a problem and they arent all the same breed. Maybe someone with more experience can help you out.
     
  4. Kvetgirl393

    Kvetgirl393 New Egg

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    I am experiencing the same problem! Just started earlier this week. The weather here suddenly got warmer like it is Spring time again. Not sure if that has to do with it or not. I have a male Pekin who is a little over a year old. I also have a male Mallard and a female Khaki Campbell who are both 9 months old. They have all gotten along just fine until now. Now my two males are trying to attack each other constantly. I have them separated currently but I don't know what to do long-term. Any advice?? [​IMG]
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Hormones!!!

    Separation is the best thing I can think of. Occasionally, a pair - one female, one male - get along fine, but often enough that it concerns me, fewer than 3 or 4 females per drake during mating season can mean life-threatening injuries from over-mating. And even then sometimes drakes will pick a favorite duck and just, well, abuse her.

    If you have the room, you could bring in several more females. Otherwise, separate them. And also, drakes behave better when there is no female nearby. They have been known to beat each other up just because a female is near. Ducks vary in their behaviors. I can only tell you what I have seen and read. You may see something different.

    I like to remind people that their female ducks' lives depend on them - so please don't turn a blind eye.
     
  6. solarpup

    solarpup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hormones. Our happy drake threesome flipped to a two on one situation literally in an afternoon. Over a year later, I still can't let them be caged together. Roaming the yard with room, they're OK together. They still need to sleep next to each other, so they have two coops with a mesh in between. And their runs are joined separated by a mesh.

    About all you can do is keep them separated, and hope it calms down.
     
  7. kmurdough5

    kmurdough5 New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2015
    Thanks all. We have Darkwing on her own because she's in the worst shape and hopefully will mend soon. Dotty still keeps trying to stay with the other two even though they're pulling on her now. She's going to get her own place for the night as well. We also haven't gotten any eggs in quite some time, when last winter we got at least one a day still. I just feel bad for the two girls having to bw on their own. They usually all sleep together to stay warm. Looks like my project for the weekend is to somehow build some new pens in the snowstorm we're going to get...
     
  8. Kvetgirl393

    Kvetgirl393 New Egg

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    Since I currently have two males and only one female, I would really like to add another female to the group. I have a small farm and only room for one more. Problem is I can not find a way to acquire a single, adult duck. Everywhere I find only sells in pairs and as ducklings. Anyone able to offer advice on this?
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    There are rescue organizations and shelters. Sometimes veterinarians will be a good source of information for people who want a good home for a duck.
     
  10. kmurdough5

    kmurdough5 New Egg

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    [​IMG]
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    This is my poor Darkwing right now. The sore in the back of her neck and the feather loss is worrying me. I saw some posts about the effects of mites, but it seems weird that only two of the four ducks would have them. And the pen/houses are cleaned regularly, though they don't get to swim as much as they do in the summer. Now trying to get ahold of a vet that treats poultry...not many I can find in my area :(
     

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