Pilgrim gander intent on killing drake

Discussion in 'Geese' started by rodandstafffarm, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. rodandstafffarm

    rodandstafffarm In the Brooder

    Feb 20, 2011
    About a month ago my pilgrim gander nearly killed my cayuga drake. He put a silver dollar sized hole in his back. The drake, gander, goose and 5 other cayuga ducks all arrived together from the hatchery and have been raised together. They shared a 12 x 12 horse stall at night and had access to over an acre pasture during the day. We pulled out the drake and let him heal until we could come up with a plan. A few days ago, my husband fenced off a small separate area with a solid gate and wall for the geese pair to have a new home. We thought perhaps the issue was sharing the same living space. The ducks and drake would have their own entryway onto the same pasture. Within an hour the gander had squeezed (and I mean squeezed) into the duck area through a tiny door and attacked the drake. I was right there and broke it up. I closed up the duck door until we could again make some decisions.

    About an hour ago; despite checking all day (I had checked moments before) I looked out to see the gander on top of the drake. Somehow the drake and three ducks had squeezed through a 4" gap at the base of the barrier wall into the main pasture. The gander was covered in blood and the drake a bloody wreck, but he was still walking. I had to kick the gander off him as he would not separate.

    Right now the ducks and drake are all safely in their stall. I don't know if the drake will make it this time or not.

    Does anyone know of this happening, ever? Is there something I could have done differently? Should I have raised them separately? I know the gander couldn't give a fig about the guinea fowl, roosters or hens wandering into his pasture during the day, eating his food and even hanging out in his stall. He pays no attention to anyone else.

    Obviously my only option is to either get rid of the geese or the ducks or house the geese outside the pasture in their own enclosure (which we would have to build). I was going to get a few khaki campbells for duck eggs this year but I am afraid to introduce anyone new around this gander. He is not aggressive to us, I actually had to pick him up the other day to move him to the new area. The ducks have to stay, we are gluten free by necessity and their eggs make all the difference in how my baked goods rise.


  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I had this problem when my gander became of breeding age, my drake was older by about 3 years and he was head dude till my gander became of age then all broke out, they had a few pretty bloody fights, I have a big Muscovy so he held his own pretty good against my Emden gander, they both ended up pretty beat up so I had to separate and also had to keep them from seeing each other for one whole summer. yuck was it a pain, If they could see each other through the fence they would fight through the fence and end up bloody, at the end of breeding season I once again started letting them be in the same area, things started to settle down, but my drake would keep his distance from the gander and since then which has been about 4 years now the gander is still King of the barnyard, the drake keeps out of his way. So maybe your drake will stay far away from your gander eventually, or do you think your gander will go after him anyway? I hope he makes a full recovery, have you cleaned up his wounds? Now I have a very young Muscovy drake that is going to have to learn this lesson it looks like.
  3. rodandstafffarm

    rodandstafffarm In the Brooder

    Feb 20, 2011
    Thanks for letting me know that at least I'm not alone! I haven't done anything for the drake other than kept him comfortable. He healed well the last time without intervention. He absolutely hates contact and it seems to cause him more stress to be handled. He just flips out. Why he was so daft as to go out there again after the last time i don't know. I gave him immune boosters in his water last time and plenty of rest seemed to help. It's been cold enough that there aren't any biting or blood attracted insects so he did okay. I do think the gander will finish him off if he gets the chance. I had all I could do to get him off of him today. :( I'm going to sleep on it tonight and make a decision as to what to do tomorrow.
  4. Rosebud 18

    Rosebud 18 Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    middle Tn
    I have a toulouse gander and a pekin drake like that. I have to keep them seperated or they will kill each other. In their night pen I had to put a piece of plywood up because they will fight between the wire fence. They don't fight any of the other drakes or gander. They were all raised together. I'm hoping they will settle down once breeding season is over with.

  5. mominoz

    mominoz Songster

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    It is breeding season, and last year my geese started going after the ducks in the fall or near 'their pen", so the territorial thing must kick in about this time of year. But the rest of the year, they all ate together outside. Fortunately , runners,and hookbills are alot faster than geese.
    Now I had a young Hookbill drake (8 months) decide about a month ago, he was in love with a Saxony Duck and started attacking the large Saxony drake. Needless to say they got put in separate pens. The Hookbill still "lingers " in the morning as I let out their group first, while looking for weakness in the wire in the Saxonys next door. I have to chase him to their daypen. Yet the 5 male hookbills are fine with the young shetland gandars....(for now). I think you just have to be ready when they "mature' and in early spring. I have 2 goose houses almost done, as I need a 'bachelor pad' for extra drakes and the ganders....
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    In my experience, ganders will hold a grudge forever. An elephant has got nothing on a gander for long memory.

    My ganders were all fine with ducks until the ducks "kidnapped" a hatch of goslings. The goslings got through the gate of the duck run and started crying. The ducks didn't get anywhere near the goslings, but they were there in the pen and they got the blame. That gander will still not allow a duck withing visual distance of the nest or the goslings. He considers the ducks to be a real danger to his brood.

    I suspect that your drake did something to offend your gander. The gander will remember it forever.

    I suggest some better fencing and gates.

    Not all ganders are bad with ducks. My 6 year old pom gander has no problem with ducks. Except the ducks are clowns and the gander is extremely dignified and I can tell he finds the ducks to be ignorant and ill bred. He doesn't bother them, though.

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