New Muscovy girls bullying Pekin drake

meyerc06

Chirping
May 25, 2020
59
62
71
Stillwater, New Jersey
We are the happy "parents" to 1 pekin drake and 2 pekin hens (about 22 weeks old), and a blue magpie drake and welsh harlequin hen (about 13 weeks old). In hopes of improving our ratio, we recently added 2 Muscovy hens that are about a year old. We kept them for a few days in a large dog crate inside the coop/run (fully enclosed, free access between the two areas) with the others, letting them out in the coop/run while the others were free ranging in the yard. We then let them all be together in the coop/run, still keeping them in while the others free-ranged for a couple of weeks (so they'd learn that it was their home and come back).

The Muscovies mostly hang out on top of a dog house that's in their run, and they sleep up there as well. However, when they jump down, they seem to target my male Pekin, cooing at him, chasing him, and biting and holding on to him. In turn, he sometimes runs after them and mounts them, though it doesn't really appear to be a sexual thing but more of an act of dominance. As soon as he gets off of them, they immediately run at him, grab onto him, and won't let go even as they run around the coop.

Has anyone had any experience with this? I thought the existing flock would be the aggressors, and that my big boy might be a problem. But it seems more that the Muscovies are the instigators. Any ideas on how I can remedy this situation? I want them all to get along, obviously, but I'm also afraid because when Gary mounts the Muscovies, he's pulling out feathers on their heads. I don't want anyone to get hurt.

Thanks in advance!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
May 3, 2009
109,934
276,786
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New Jersey
Muscovies and mallard derived breeds 'speak' a different language, and integration can be difficult. It will take time and generally works best in a free range situation. How much space do they have in the pen?
 

meyerc06

Chirping
May 25, 2020
59
62
71
Stillwater, New Jersey
Muscovies and mallard derived breeds 'speak' a different language, and integration can be difficult. It will take time and generally works best in a free range situation. How much space do they have in the pen?
I noticed that both groups seem to have a hard time understanding one another. I think that the Pekins et al. may be confusing the Muscovy greeting (neck outstretched, cooing) as a threatening stance, although also sometimes that may be exactly what it is. They have about 8ft x 16ft of enclosed space in the pen.
 

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