Suddenly aggressive female khaki campbell


In the Brooder
Aug 6, 2016
We had two female khaki Campbell ducks. At about one year old, one of our ducks was taken by a hawk. We added a female indian runner. They get along wonderfully, and did immediately. What has changed is the aggressiveness of our original khaki Campbell, and it seems to only be with my 9 year old daughter. She charges her, pecks her, etc. Does anybody have an idea about why this is happening and how to stop it? It really upsets my little girl.
Thanks so much!
Awwww, isn't that the pits! My 3 mo old Cayuga has, on occasion, been doing this to my 9 yr and 7yr old daughters. The great thing is that my daughters do not understand that this is aggressive/dominant behavior so the laugh and say she's trying to run into their laps, etc. What I have noticed is that bc they DONT know this I an ugly behavior, they aren't scared or upset by it and stand their ground....if anything, pet her more. This seems to be good bc the duck instantly stops, I believe understanding that she lost the challenge.....kind of like geese. You don't stand your ground, they not only keep up the challenges but often escalate them. Is it possible to explain this to your daughter, and while you're with her and the ducks, help her get a laugh out of the silly duck being a butt and "win" the challenge? Pecking, never ok, if your daughter is comfortable doing it I would let her hold the duck's bill for a few seconds and say firmly "no". My ducks don't often peck but when they do, this is how we handle it and the ducks don't care for it one bit and go sulk away from their intended victim. Good luck! Heartbreaking when the kiddos feel rejected or harassed by their beloved critters.
Thank you for the tips. I will start incorporating some silliness into it so she doesn't feel bad. And she's not timid, so standing her ground won't be a problem. We are all confused by this sudden change in behavior.
I can't say for certain why this change happened but I can tell you that the Cayuga is the dominant in our pair of duck hens. She protects their turf, charging our other pets when they come by the pen, etc. She does so many dominant behaviors that I was worried about her being a drake for a spell there....very much like protecting a mate. This is total speculation but I wonder if your original is the dominant/leader of the pair, and if she witnessed the hawk attack, protecting her new buddy would make a lot of sense. Ducks have emotion based memory, why when someone has to cull a flock member it's done away from the flock.

I think on a whole kids are much more unpredictable in animal's eyes....more of a "potential threat" than the adults who do most of the day to day care fault at all of the child. I think if you can explain that she's challenging her, your daughter sounds like she'll understand and put her in her place. I like adding the humor bc it doesn't vilify the duck for being a duck. The girls call our Cayuga "the diva duck" and they call her antics diva moments and love her just as much as they always have. Please update on how it all goes!
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She is the dominant duck. She has been with both ducks. She has had a definite personality change since her sister was taken. My daughter went to let them out of the coop this morning and held the "diva duck" for a bit.

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