Problem with multiple drakes together- advise please

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cherub78, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. cherub78

    cherub78 Songster

    Aug 5, 2008
    Central NY
    I started having problems a couple weeks ago. My questions are at the end, but this takes a little explaining.

    My poultry/waterfowl are separated into three groupings (three pens in the house each opening into a pen outside) so they all get along and this WAS working.

    A few weeks ago, the 5 drakes (who have always had raging hormones-they often chased each other around) "went after" the goose (whose sex is not known yet- it is abt 8 mth old and really large). I came home from work to find the goose with feathers missing from its neck, and one eye badly damaged and the other eye didn't look great either. I know it was the drakes that did it because they were still going after the goose when I arrived. The goose is so much bigger than them I was surprised this happened and it didn't seem to defend itself at all. I removed the goose to a cage in the garage to heal a bit, kept its eyes clean and used an antibiotic ointment for animal eyes. It is recovering nicely so far.

    Then, we decided to "rearrange" because of what happened, so the 5 drakes went to a pen with just 6 large breed chickens. That WAS working for abt 2 weeks. Then this morning I went out to find one of them dead. It was half out of its pen inside their house through a seam in the chicken wire. I think (now in hindsight) that the other drakes "went after" it, but I am not sure. It was missing neck feathers and looked a lot like the goose did after they got after it. But it could have been from being stuck maybe.

    Now tonight one of the drakes wouldn't go in the house. Every time we tried to get it to go in, the other drakes "went after" it. Finally we had to take a cage out to keep it safe from the other drakes for tonight. But tomorrow I need to build it a pen, as the cage is only big enough for a temporary solution.

    I can't put it in any of the other two areas due to compatibility issues. I doubt this is a pecking order issue, as that would have been worked out by now (they have been together 8 mths) and not so violent. All I can come up with is that it has started because they are reaching sexual maturity, and probably won't get along anymore.

    I thought (perhaps wrongly) that as long as there was no female in the equation, there would be no problem. Do drakes fight like that if there isn't a female to fight over? Ideas? Anyone have any insight about this kind of behavior? I would really appreciate any info you might be able to offer. I just want to know for future reference so I know how to group them.

  2. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    They need some ladies to keep them busy
  3. fowlmood

    fowlmood Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    northern Michigan
    If you have too many drakes yes they will fight. If you have five drakes and no hens for any of them to mate with, talk about hormone overload!!! Those are some frustrated birds you got there.
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    You are going to have to separate them more, get them girls or rehome some. They are hormonal and hypersexual...they will go after other species and etc as well as each other.
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I have muscovies and yes the drakes will kill each other we found out the hard way. With this species I don't think it would matter if there was females or not because we have females and the one drake is top duck and doesn't want any of the others around his [girls] and theres 7 girls and 3 drakes. so good luck we haven't found a solution yet. When these boys go to big barnyard in the sky it's all girls here. lol

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