Outcast.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Free Feather, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have two age groups of ducks. The oldest group of five are three black Swedish hens, a Black Swedish drake (Accolon), and a Blue Swedish drake (Gareth), all March babies. The second group was born in June and consists of five hens- a Khaki Campbell, a Cayuga, and three Welsh Harlequin; and two Welsh Harlequin drakes. The two older boys get along perfectly. They never spat and act as a unit, patrolling and protecting the girls. They never really mate the girls, but it is off-season. The two younger boys got along until just recently. Now, the deeper colored Welsh Harlequin drake I call Amoroc is rivaling with the head hens and giving the two older boys a wary gaze. He chases off the lighter colored Welsh Harlequin boy, Lamorak. The rest of the ducks seem to not care. They form a silent ring around Amoroc when he rivals the head hen and chases girls around, and chases off Lamorak. He grabs the other ducks by the scruff of where their neck meets their back. Initially I thought they he was trying to mate them, but he does it to Lamorak and never does more than just grab them. I think he is trying to be head drake, and is starting with dominating the older girls. But Accolon and Gareth just watch, sitting side-by-side, like they are giving him a chance.
    Tonight was the fifth time I went out to close everyone up to find Lamorak sleeping outside by himself, kicked out of the group. I pick him up and carry him into the coop, and the rest of the ducks just quietly watch him. I feel bad for him. I know if I separate him with his own two girls they will probably not like him because they know he is a "loser". Ducks are just like that, not like chickens. They would not be happy either because the duck flock is really tight knit.
    I wonder, does the deepness of the drake's color correlate with their testosterone development, and that is why Amoroc is so dark? What do I do with Lamorak? The only answer I could think of would be to give him to someone who could make him happy. No one wants boys, though, and I typically refuse to give them away because of this. I have already had to give ducks away, and I do not want to get rid of anymore, especially since I would feel obligated to give him away with two girls to sweeten the deal. Has anyone had an outcast situation like this before? Does segregation work, or is their some special trick I can do with the dominant male to make him "nice" or to get everyone to accept Lamorak? Help!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I would separate them in different ways over the next couple of weeks, it seems that doing that can reset the dynamic. But you need to keep a close eye and make sure everyone is safe.
     
  3. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, I think that is what I will do. No one has gotten hurt, but this situation is definitely potentially explosive. First I am going to try moving the really dominant one with his own girls. Sound good?
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    My one dominant drake got demoted this past summer by his son, his girls and him stayed inside a small fenced in area for his own protection his girls could have gone into the much larger area if they had wanted to I let just enough gap in the gate so the girls and chickens to come and go but the larger drakes and geese couldn't get through. His girls stayed with him even though he was no longer the head drake. So if you decide to put your drake with his girls in a separate area they should be fine.
     
  5. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is good to hear. I was afraid they would know he was inferior and shun him. They have been acting very weird lately...
    Could they be figuring out the hierarchy in preparation for Spring?
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Last summer when my 2 yr old drake took over as dominant drake his son who was 1yr old at the time had to concede his position as low man on totem pole, his 2 girls mostly hung around with the dominant drake during the day along with Dom drakes 2 girls but the low man did mange to get with some of his girls and the doms girls when dom was preoccupied with another girl. And of an evening they would separate and go into their own space with their own girls. they seem to figure it all out. I'm sure they are working things out now because even though my one drake that was demoted can be with the other drakes right now, ol dom doesn't let him for a sec forget where his place is. Family dynamics at their best. Even the girls have had some spats too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  7. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Watching ducks, you see they figure things out and have positions WAY different than chickens. I guess that comes from always being so close to each other.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Maybe so but it sure is interesting to say the least.
     

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