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Question about adding ducks to existing flock

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PBGGG, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. PBGGG

    PBGGG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It has been 4 days since I got 2 beautiful gray/blue colored Swedes to round out the numbers in my flock of Swede/Runner mix. I now have 3 drakes and 3 hens. The problem is that 2 of my boys are just mean with the new gals. They chase and nip and I have seen a few of the girls' feathers on the ground. In spite of this, the new gals want to be as close to the old gang as they can. The 2 mean boys fought each other a little when the girls first got here, but I think they worked that out by the second night. Is the meanness something else that they will work out? Or is it just me overcomplicating duck behavior? I'm not sure if age matters, but my old flock is about 6 months old and the new gals are 8 or 10 months, so I was told. Thanks in advance for any advice from experienced duck folks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Duck flock dynamics are a real challenge many times. Introducktions take time and flexibility.

    Off the bat, and not to discourage you because we don't really know yet, you may still have too many drakes. A rule of thumb is one drake to three ducks.

    That said, some folks manage with more drakes, but it is really the drakes' behavior that you must watch, and the ducks' lives depend on you paying attention.

    I start new ducks side by side with the existing flock, separated by fence. I give treats at the same time, and allow limited contact at first. Then they get supervised time together. Once that has gone well several times, short unsupervised together time until things seem to progress to a comfortable level.

    Last spring, we were back to square one . . . long story on another thread (Welcome to the Flock, Carmella, Bean and Hazel https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/712646/welcome-to-the-flock-carmella-bean-and-hazel-d )

    But in the last few weeks, we have been able to be one flock again. And we only have one drake. He wasn't actually the problem, it was my runners' reaction to him.
     
  3. shannondee12

    shannondee12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the how to. I will be adding 2 more to my original 3 in a few weeks. I was wondering how to do this to have as little resistance as possible.
     
  4. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's really tough to generalize, each flock is so different! Amiga's got a good protocol. I agree with her, you've got too many drakes. Right now I have too many drakes too... I have 4 drakes and 8 ducks. Plus I have juveniles too from the last hatch. When my flock was at its most peaceful, I had just one drake, and I think 8 females. LOL I will add that in my experience, it has been much easier for the flock to accept those that were hatched here, versus adopting other adults. But, it must be said that eventually we must deal with extra drakes-- ignoring the problem will not make it go away.
     
  5. PBGGG

    PBGGG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the responses. As far as having "too many drakes" parting with any of the 3 boys is not an option for me. I love them all, even the mean ones. And when I say mean, I have only seen it 2 or 3 times in the last 6 days they have been together. The new girls aren't staying away from them. The duck world seems split on the issue, I've noticed. Half of the sites I found said if you have less than 10 ducks, then pairs can work well. For now, since no one is hurt I will just continue keeping watch over them ( I like to do that anyway) and if anything changes then I will somehow divide them and have 2 separate duck towns in my yard. LOL right now they are all sleeping in the sun in a big pile together. Maybe there is hope.
     
  6. PBGGG

    PBGGG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just wanted to update my situation. One of the "new girls" is now the leader apparent of the flock. Everyone follows her around now. She leads them out in the morning, and back to their house in the evening. All 6 ducks now seem like they've been together all along. I do realize that when mating season returns, that could change, but my initial post on this thread was about integrating the new gals.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Hooray!

    Thanks so much for the follow up post. Really helps.
    [​IMG]
     

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