New ducks gang war

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mariehanson, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. mariehanson

    mariehanson In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2013
    Northern England, UK
    Hi everyone, could really do with some tips to help resolve a conflict between my ducks. I have 3 campbells (2 white and 1 khaki) roughly about 1 year old who have been introduced to the family at different stages. I have never had a problem introducing a new duck to the group and after 10 minutes of quacking and flapping everyone gets along fine and it is nice and peaceful.

    I have just taking in 2 new khaki campbells ducks also about 1 year old from someone who desperately needed to rehome them due to personal health reasons. So my usual tactic of just letting them integrate together didn't seem to work. One of the new khakis keeps attacking my original khaki (who must have been the runt as she is tiny) and in defence, one of my white ducks keeps attacking both new ducks. The attacking duck runs head down and beak open to the victim and if the victim doesn't get out of the way fast enough then there is pecking and feather pulling. I've tried peas and mealworms to try and calm them down but with no luck. It was getting quite bad so I locked up the newbies in the pen for the night and let my girls have the garden in the hopes that a good night's sleep would fix things. Same problems if not worse the next morning and no treats would fix the situation, again the newbies got locked up while I went to work.

    Our new solution was to use some fibre mesh and poles to fence off part of the garden so everyone can see each other without anyone getting hurt. I put their food and water trays next to each other on opposite sides of the fence and gave treats again, everything seemed good for 5 minutes. Then the attacking started again, they try to run at each other through the fence, it's obviously just a scare tactic as they cannot get to each other but it just won't stop! Oh and from last night we discovered that one of the newbies can fly, not just a good jump with a flap, it cleared the 2 foot mesh fence with plenty of clearance. So not only do I now have to try and make the fence larger, I'm going to have to clip their wings as I cannot have any escapes from the main fenced area.

    I'm at my wit's end, the fighting won't stop and treats don't work. Do you think introducing adult birds together is a mistake and perhaps only younger ducks would integrate better? Also, how long do you think this could go on for? It has only been 3 days and I'm willing to give it a couple of weeks but if they don't get along then the newbies are going to have to go. What should I do?

    This is a picture of the mesh fence to keep them separated.

  2. laughingdog

    laughingdog Songster

    Feb 16, 2011
    Newport Tennessee
    Introduce just the calmer new one and let them hash out for month maybe first. could do for week if isolating mean duck so cannot see preferably even hear. having were maybe females without males or one female or two males, acing as dominant males. had happen with huge male seemingly for sure muscovy got with female assured was female (i wanted a black drack anyway for fresh blood), that kept attacking males enough to make bleed etc, then she would attack females after n act as male etc. course muscovy are calmer friendlier perching/tree/wood duck blend seeming species blend breed, than mallard species breeds.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Breathe. With some ducks it does take weeks. Our first integration of adults worked within two days. Our second, that coincidentally included a drake, has required some flock management changes. I am, however, happy with all the ducks and once I figured out what works for all of us, I would not let go of our new ducks.

    Some ducks have a harder time adjusting. So I would get some three-foot chicken wire or similar, and some posts and split the space. Don't even try to let them together for several days. You are doing the right things. Maybe have a chat with them. Seriously. If nothing else it may help you sort out something else to try.

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