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Thinning out my flock, what to do?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cdnley, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. cdnley

    cdnley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a small flock, 2 drakes, 2 ducks, 2 ganders, 2 geese. All except the 2 adult geese females I raised from hatch. I picked up the geese as adults as company for my ganders. The one gander began fighting the other gander and took the 2 females as his own. Things were rough and not improving. Then the female geese bagan biting and chasing the ducks/drakes all around the pen. They were yanking feathers out and being very agressive. It got to the point where I had to put a fence across inside the pen so they could be seperate. My tufted goose and ducks/drakes on one side and the male gander and 2 females on the other.

    I have to downsize the flock because a) everyone is fighting b) I can't clean and care for them all alone. I put an ad up and have recieved many responses. I will only sell them for pets. So what do I do?

    I would like to keep my one male tufted buff gander. He is gentle and sweet and doesn't bite like my grouchy embden (who bit my daughter). I picked him up and carried him many a time without so much as a struggle, he just enjoyed the ride. My one duck, Daisy, has a crooked neck and she is my sweet girl whom I hatched myself. I would like to keep her as well. I do love the others but those 2 are my favorites and are on my keep list.

    How do I thin it out? The Embden and 2 females are on the sell list. Who else? I would love to keep them all but I must downsize. What to do? Pro's and cons of the list would help me greatly.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MotherGoose 777

    MotherGoose 777 Out Of The Brooder

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    If you're going to get rid of the other geese and keep your buff, and you want to keep one duck ... you're really looking at two drakes and one more duck in consideration to get rid of. I'd look at first picking one of the drakes to get rid of. You don't want to end up with too many males.

    If you decide to end up with 1 goose (the buff) and 2 ducks, I would probably keep the other (female) duck, and get rid of the 2nd drake as well. That would probably make for a more peaceful setup. You're going to have to watch how your gander gets on with the ducks after that, but it very possibly can be fine.

    Or if you want to try the goose (buff) and the two (female) ducks and one drake, that may work, but may lead to more conflict, just depending how the ducks/geese interact.

    I'd really put at least one of the drakes on the "go" list next though. And possibly the other one as well.
     
  3. cdnley

    cdnley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks MotherGoose. The thing is most people don't want drakes. Hopefully mine would be a easy and desirable sell because of their uniqueness. Blue Swedish and Welsh harlequin. The Blue Swedish is big and the Welsh harlequin is small.
    The geese are amazing, my Embden is huge and swims like a swan. He may be grouchy but there is no denying he is beautiful. The chinese females used to be scraggly and skinny and their beaks are not smooth and orange. Now since I have owned them have grown fat and healthy looking.

    It is a hard decision as they are all my pets. :*(
     
  4. MotherGoose 777

    MotherGoose 777 Out Of The Brooder

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    You're welcome.

    I know it's hard to rehome animals, especially those you consider to be pets. I had to give away/sell my entire flock of ducks, geese, and chickens when I moved out of state once. :(

    You can always try telling people the (true) point that drakes are much quieter than ducks. I've had a few ducks that yelled so loud, they annoyed me AND my neighbors (and the neighbors weren't that close). Drakes are fun to watch, make nice lawn ornaments, and are quiet. Hopefully you can find a good home for them, if that's what you choose.

    If you aren't in a hurry, maybe you can rehome the geese that are causing a problem, and see if you can maintain the others? Taking care of 3 ducks isn't that much harder than taking care of 1. It's the number of different species that cause me work, more so than the numbers of each (and I have something like 40+ rabbits, 10 goats, a llama, around 50 chickens, over a dozen geese, 5 muscovies with hopefully a couple dozen due to hatch soon, and 6 ducks setting on two clutches). If things settle down and there is less fighting, and especially if you CAN maintain them in one pen, it would be much easier for you?

    Good luck to you, whatever you decide.
     
  5. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    They are fighting because it is breeding season and you have forced them to live together in confined quarters expecting them to get along.

    Geese can pair up, but you need to provide seperate housing for the pairs as well as water and grazing area.

    Geese will defend what they feel is their home and nesting area from other animals and geese, so the ducks are their targets.

    A 1-1 ratio of drakes to ducks is also a bad set up as a single drake with both ducks would be much better. They would also need a seperate housing situation from both pairs of geese for at night.

    We have ducks who free range all day in and around geese with no issues. However they all have their own night houses they goto. Pairs and trios of geese all have seperate houses. Duck flocks for us can consist of 1 drake to 4/5 ducks most of the time.

    Think of your drakes and ganders as 14 year old teenage boys as far as hormone levels go. This mind set makes dealing with them so much easier.

    Good luck with rehoming. Remember the more conditions of sale you make the less likely you are to sell them.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    A selling point for drakes, aside from being quiet, is that they eat bugs, slugs and weeds, and make fertilizer. And just drakes with no ducks generally get along pretty well. This time of year sets many of our teeth on edge, because hormones are a-ragin'.
     
  7. ChicagoDucks

    ChicagoDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another voice in support of drakes! Mine patrol our fence line zealously! If anyone walks by our yard, our drakes rush to investigate. In good weather with the windows open, I can rely on the "watch ducks" to let me know if someone is getting close to the yard. If only our dog were this diligent!

     

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