should I keep a WH drake?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by grainsmommy, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. grainsmommy

    grainsmommy New Egg

    Mar 15, 2009
    South DFW, TX
    Hey all, quick question and hoping for people who have raised Welsh Harlequins to help out especially...

    2 years ago we got two ducks from the feed store in town and they turned out to be 1 boy and 1 girl fawn runner. The boy got too aggressive and attacked the baby next door. We got rid of them because we have kids and I can't have aggressive animals around. I wanted to keep the female but was afraid she'd be too lonely. Now we're ready to get more and I decided on Welsh Harlequins. Originally I just wanted to keep 3 females, but the more I read on here and think about it, the more I'd love to keep 2 females and 1 male.

    So my questions are:
    1. Will the male WH be less aggressive in general since it's from such a calm species?
    2. Will he be less aggressive because he's got 2 ladies instead of just 1?

    We have a 12yo a 4.5yo and an 11mo. They'll be in the backyard with the ducks daily as we live in town, so I don't want them to be in danger. Thanks for all your help!


    ETA: I ordered 10 that will be here Wednesday. Since they can only be sexed by their beaks for a few days I need to pick out what I want right away. The others will be going to other homes.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
  3. cici_p

    cici_p Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2009
    I can't comment on WH specifically, but we accidentally ended up with a drake last time we ordered ducks. He turned out to be a rouen (we didn't order rouens, or drakes, but oh well). He had three females to court, and we had absolutely no aggression problems with him. He did do a lovely job keeping other animals away from the ducks (our dogs were terrified of him) but never was aggressive towards us or children. I would think esp if you raised a drake around children thereshouldn't be a problem. But hopefully some breed specific people can comment as well.
  4. KanakaNui

    KanakaNui Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2008
    N.Central FL
    The WH seem calmer in general than runners. But, I've never had a problem with aggressive drakes. They're only 6 lb birds. I'm 6' 1" and much heavier:D

    Teach your kids to raise their arms out to their sides like big wings, and to not back down from the drake and I'll bet they will be ok.

    a 12 and 4 1/2 yo should be fine around a WH if they don't get scared and run....a duck has a small dinosaur brain, the kids are mucher bigger,tougher birds.I think you'll be fine if the kids are used to the birds and vice-vesa.
  5. grainsmommy

    grainsmommy New Egg

    Mar 15, 2009
    South DFW, TX
    Thanks for the replies. I think I will keep one boy.

    I want to clarify, though, WE never had a problem with the male. He was never particularly friendly and he was very obviously agitated with us most of the time, but my then 3 year old would chase him around and when she could catch him, pick him up and carry him around and she never had one problem with him. He would peck toes if you were barefoot, but it didn't seem aggressive to me, just annoying. I never considered him to be a problem at all until he did that to the neighbor baby. Since I was new to ducks I probably gave up too quickly, but I panicked. I cried when we got rid of them and so I'm trying to weigh this very seriously, because I don't intend to get rid of anymore ducks!

    If anyone else has any input, please jump in! Thanks!!
  6. Duck Keeper

    Duck Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    Out in the Boonies
    If you were to raise them in your house for a couple weeks (beware of stink! but we did it successfully) and made sure to hold them and cuddle them (isn't hard to do!) a lot in their first weeks, they won't be mean at all. And the added benefit is that you can walk up to them and pick them up to inspect their feet or whatever easily. Or just snuggle! [​IMG]

    I wanted Welsh Harlequins (they're so beautiful!) but ended up with similar, but bigger, Silver Appleyards. They weren't raised by hand, so they're really skiddish and quack up a storm if I have to catch them for some reason. The females are coming around, one more than the other, but the male thinks he's going to be murdered if I get to him! Poor guy, his heart beats so loud and fast that I can hear it. o_O;
  7. grainsmommy

    grainsmommy New Egg

    Mar 15, 2009
    South DFW, TX
    Ahhh! DK, that is EXACTLY how my runners were, but we hand raised them and handled them A LOT! They were very skittish and I could hardly get a hand on them. Then again...they were chased frequently by a 3-year-old, so maybe that has something to do with it. [​IMG]

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