Stupid runners!!!

chasing ducks

9 Years
Mar 30, 2010
New Hampshire
I just need to vent about my nasty, nasty, NASTY ducks!!! I have many different breeds of duck, all living together (they're too young to mate). They do great together. I have added babies before with few issues, generally dominance is asserted and that is that. I got 11 4 day old ducklings today so I decided to move my 3 week old buff geese, 4 week old muscovies and my 3 week old rouens in with the big guys to make room in the brooder. It's plenty warm enough, and they're good as a group so no problem right? WRONG! Now I admit, I have babied my geese to an extent, their my only birds that were not bought with the purpose of reselling, eating or as layers. My geese are just because I want them and I have heard they are useful at protecting a flock. They are a male female pair and are sweet as anything. They love to snuggle and talk to me. I figured that they are as big as the runners I have so it should be no issue to move them with the ducks. I watched them for about 20 minutes and they seemed to do fine (my geese and younger ducks) with the older ducks. I left for an hour. I came back to check on things and my rouens, muscovies and geese were all huddled into a corner, trembling. You could see they had gotten beat on. As I stood there trying to figure out exactly what happened, 3 of my fawn and white runners ganged up and attacked the babies!!! What the heck!
My husband and I gathered up the poor babies and moved them back to the brooder, it's a little crowded but I don't know what else to do.
I am SOOOOO mad at the runners!!!! I have chocolate and black runners too and they weren't bugging the babies, just the fawn and white runners. I understand pecking order but what they were doing was all out assault! My poor female goose cried for a long time after she went back in the brooder, she didn't calm down till I sat down and held her. I did the introduction the same way I have always done it in the past. I spend about a week taking the little guys down to the big guys area and sitting there with them for about an hour or so each day. Then on moving day I bring them down and sit for a little while, then I leave and check on them later. Never been any issues. Today probably would have been fine if it hadn't been for those darn runners. Anybody have any idea what was up with them? I have to figure it out because I have 21 ducklings that will have to move down there in a few weeks, plus the 2 geese. I don't get it, I have HUGE pekins in there, no issue, my hybrids tend to be a bit nasty, no real issue, but the darn little fawn and white runners all of a sudden have a gang mentality??? I'm tempted to just round up the trouble makers and sell them off, I can't have that kind of behavior.
They weren't raised with them so they are different to them. Whenever I let my little wood ducklings out in a pen with my bigger runners, they go over and lay their necks over the ducklings backs, its a dominance thing. Maybe try putting the ones you are trying to incorporate into a pen where the others can see them and get close to them without actually getting to them?

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