Over aggressive Mallard hurting other ducklings

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


9 Years
Aug 20, 2010
Cascade Foothills, WA
My older Mallard (supposedly female), is the most feathered out of my little flock of 3 Mallads and 1 Rouen, all 4 and 5 weeks old. She's half the size of the Rouen, also 5 weeks old, but not that much larger than the 4 week old Mallards. She has become very aggressive to the rest of them. I have 3 water and 2 feeding stations set up, all quite far apart and she literally chases them off of any station they go to with a good butt/nip in the side with her bill. The little ones are constantly squealing from her poking at them, and the Rouen even gives a good, I call it a bark, every now and then. It's too early to sex them, I know, but even if she is a he, (the mallards are supposed to be females, we don't know about the Rouen), is this normal behaviour? I know about the pecking order, but this seems a little extreme. She's even yanked a feather or two out of one of them.

They were in the bathtub until 2 days ago and I gave them the run of the whole bathroom yesterday because I thought being too crowded might have been causing the behaviour. But she's just as bad, except now she has more space to chase them! She was a lone duck for about 5 days until we got the Rouen and then the younger one's came a long a week later and we put them all together about 5 days after that. They were all fine until about 3 days ago and now the behaviour is almost constant, except when they are sleeping, when they are cuddled up together. It's about 74F in the bathroom and I still have the red heat light on. Is it time to turn it off and get them use to a regular night and day schedule. Becuz the young one's are a week behind, I haven't wanted to push it.

I am all for letting nature takes it's course, but she's starting to tick me off!!!!

Someone on the duck thread suggested removing the red heat lamp. Done and gave them a night-light at night. She is being even more aggressive today it seems.

Now Ms. B****y is blocking the others from getting at food and water which is in the shower stall....she just sits at the entrance. She grabs the younger mallards by the wings and holds on while they are trying to run away and they are screeching....it's not even by the feathers, she is actually grabbing the wing in her bill. I am truly at a loss here. I know it's my first time raising ducks, but this behavior seems extreme and damaging. It's not like they haven't been living together for the past 3 weeks with the young ones and she's been with the Rouen since they were 4 days old and are 5 weeks now.

I would really appreciate some wisdom from you veteran duck lovers. I have separated them in the bathroom with hardware cloth so they can see each other, but she can't physically attack the others. (I am assuming it's a her, as I ordered females). I really don't want to do this, but I am truly concerned about the welfare of the other ducklings!

Oh my goodness, you still have yours in your bathroom? i finally got mine out into our shed in a huge plastic dog carrier. But they are even outgrowing that! Searching for kennels on craigslist as i think my kids may need to be living outside on the patio pronto.

i'm new a raising ducks, also. But what i've done with chickens is to remove the aggressor and make them spend some time alone, to ponder their evil ways. i try to wait until they are super lonely, then try reintroducing them to the flock. If they are still being aggressive, i may put them with a stronger group of chickens until they end up being low man on the totem pole. There are some birds that are just too pushy if they know they can intimidate another. Although this tactic won't work for you if those are your only ducks.

Sometimes you just get a mean bird, and were it me, i would rehome them for the good of the flock. It just isn't worth the aggravation, nor injury to the others, to keep a bird like that around. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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