Reintroducing Duck to Flock

cfong12000

In the Brooder
Mar 25, 2019
7
9
11
Hello, everyone! I am new to raising ducks and I have a question... I am sorry this is so long, but here it goes:
I have 8 "ducklings" that are 11 weeks old - all hatched together. One of them got her leg/ankle hurt a little over a week ago. We kept her isolated in a crate inside the duck run, as she was really stressed about being alone. She is about 85 - 90% better now - still a little swelling and her balance is off when she balances on one leg preening. She's also not yet graceful getting in and out of the kiddie pool. We did a test reintroduction a few days ago as she seemed really good at first. A couple started picking on her whenever she stumbled, but then they all settled down and let her eat with them. Then, as the day wore on, they would kick her out of the shade. She would not go to any of the other shaded areas and would sit next to them in the sun. At that point, we separated her again as the sun and heat were too much plus we felt she needed to really rest her leg as you could tell she was getting tired and gimpier. Since then, we have really restricted her time with the flock, letting her be with them only once. They quickly started attacking her again and ganged up on her. Since then, we decided to make sure she is 100% before she is allowed real time with them.

My question though is: Am I possibly setting up a dynamic where she will always be teamed up against? Today she was in her carrier while they were roaming and the entire flock gathered around her. I couldn't tell if it was aggressive or inclusive. My husband thought they wanted to sleep near her. She is still kept in the run with them and is making serious noises that she wants to join them, but I am worried that we either rushed it before - or that things have been set up where we will need to rehome her if she will ever find a flock for her again. ANY advice would be most appreciated!! Thank you!!
 

cfong12000

In the Brooder
Mar 25, 2019
7
9
11
I would try separating another duck with her so she’s not alone and then reintroduce them both at night. That’s how I do it with chickens. Can’t be too much different. Good luck, hope it works out. Birds can be such bullies.

I never thought of that! Thank you for the suggestion!
 

Miss Lydia

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I am thinking it’s because she stumbles and acts off. Okay they see it as giving the flock vulnerability for a predator when one is sick or weak. So they want to get rid of her. She should be able to walk and not show any signs of distress before you put her back. Keep her where they can all see each other but give her more time before putting her back again like you said 100%. I like the idea of putting one of your more laid back females in with her for company though.Divide you pen so she has more room.
 
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DuckyDonna

Crossing the Road
Aug 26, 2018
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I would try separating another duck with her so she’s not alone and then reintroduce them both at night. That’s how I do it with chickens. Can’t be too much different. Good luck, hope it works out. Birds can be such bullies.
Yes, I even did that with one of my drakes when he was tearing up everyone's necks except his one favorite girl/buddy. I felt so bad when he was all by himself but once I put his friend in there with him he was so much better and I felt less guilt!
 

cfong12000

In the Brooder
Mar 25, 2019
7
9
11
Thank you, everyone!! I am so encouraged by your responses! If I don’t see any stumbling this morning (I am in Hawaii so it’s early for me), I will let her have a controlled visit with the others. She has been improving every day, but gets tired after a bit and starts to stumble more. I think she doesn’t get enough exercise in the carrier even though we let her free range for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. It’s just not enough. If everything works out, I will be SUPER happy! Otherwise, I am already getting a smaller run made next to the big run so she can walk around more - and have company with a friend, if need be.

I think I have to also check myself when they start testing her. It’s really the ganging up that upses me and that’s when I feel it gets out of hand. Birds...
 

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