Pekin Ducks Chasing each other, pulling out neck feathers - normal?

tayjamieson

Songster
Jan 11, 2019
102
146
106
Mount Vernon, Washington
Hello!
So I have a total of 12 pekin ducks, 5 of them are males. One of the males named Angel (named Angel because he unfortunately developed a mild case of angel wing & we did try wrapping but the other ducks always found a way to remove it for him, little stinkers). Angel chases the other ducks around and is really rough, pulls out their neck feathers and pins them down. He does this multiple times a day so I have a few male and female ducks with raw necks. All of the ducks kind of play chase but Angel seems to be the one who gets a little aggressive about it. Yesterday I found chunks of feathers with skin/blood on them so I think it's time I step in and see what I can do to fix this. I notice aggressive behaviors amongst a lot of them when I put them in their coop at night.

Also, one of my sweet small male ducks named Blue also has been "alienated" it seems from the rest of the pack and I think Angel is the one who is keeping him away from everyone. A couple months ago he had a ankle/leg injury, it was super swollen and he had a bad limp so he laid down a lot while the others foraged, but thankfully it seems to finally have healed but he definitely lost a bit of weight from it (epsom salt baths worked so well for treating his injury). Perhaps the time period he was disabled caused the other ducks to alienate him? I'm not sure if that is a thing but it's worth noting. I'm worried that Blue is, or is going to, get depressed since ducks really need companionship. He will lay in the grass alone a short distance from the others and if he goes near the others I see angel chasing him quite a bit.

What should I do? Can I fix Angel's behavior or do I have to re-home him? I'm sad that he has grown into this aggressive behavior. They were all raised together so I hoped they would all get along. I hatched and raised them myself and it was a pretty emotional process so I can't help but have this motherly protective love for them and my boyfriend doesn't seem to understand how I feel about it. He wants to cut down our duck flock because he thinks the issue is too many ducks and too many males, he thinks we should only have 1 male otherwise the aggressive behavior will just be passed on to the next male after one leaves. He prefers chickens because they earn their keep by producing eggs we eat and sell (we don't eat our duck eggs - usually cook them up and feed them once a week as a treat to everyone).

Sorry for the long post - I love hearing from you guys and getting opinions from fellow duck and chicken lovers like myself. Thank You for your time!
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,148
18,077
622
South Park, Colorado, USA
this is how ducks mate and is normal behavior for a drake, they will grab a female by the back of the neck and she will lay down (or he will pin her down) and climb on her back while still holding onto neck feathers until done...

this will behavior will continue. if you have 5 males and they are still young, you will eventually have all of them doing this as they mature
 

DuckyDonna

Free Ranging
Aug 26, 2018
3,928
14,332
706
Dallas, Georgia
granted I don't have pekins but I'd say that you have 3 too many drakes. You need to pick 2 nice ones and rehome the other 3. You still might have problems but probably not like you have now. The only other option is to segregate all the drakes from the girls.
 

tayjamieson

Songster
Jan 11, 2019
102
146
106
Mount Vernon, Washington
this is how ducks mate and is normal behavior for a drake, they will grab a female by the back of the neck and she will lay down (or he will pin her down) and climb on her back while still holding onto neck feathers until done...

this will behavior will continue. if you have 5 males and they are still young, you will eventually have all of them doing this as they mature
I'm familiar with their mating practices and I know they can be rough but this particular drake is chasing everyone, pinning their necks down, and pulling out feathers and skin. He isn't mating with them when he does this.
 

tayjamieson

Songster
Jan 11, 2019
102
146
106
Mount Vernon, Washington
granted I don't have pekins but I'd say that you have 3 too many drakes. You need to pick 2 nice ones and rehome the other 3. You still might have problems but probably not like you have now. The only other option is to segregate all the drakes from the girls.
I think you are right, I just can't have this many boys. It wasn't by choice - it's what hatched for me and it's hard because I do love all of them. I hope I can find good people to re-home them to who want them as pets but in my experience most people want females.
 
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