tips on introducing a drake to the flock?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AceWeasel, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. AceWeasel

    AceWeasel Out Of The Brooder

    46
    7
    24
    May 15, 2015
    we have two rouens we got back on April 11 that we're positive are hens (both have made loud quacks and quack or honk when they get chatty and neither are getting any hint of starting to get drake coloring) and we're planning on getting a drake soon since we were hoping they'd be a male and a female. we just got an offer from someone who has some extra young cayuga/khaki campbell cross drakes (only slightly older than my two ducks) they need to get rid of so we're probably getting the drake soon so I'd like a few tips on introducing him to the girls. I have done some googling on this, but it never hurts to ask for more input on things like this if you don't have any experience of your own with it. is there any issues to especially keep an eye out for, and if so how do I deal with them?
     
  2. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

    869
    75
    116
    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    Are you sure you will want non-pure offspring? Purebreds are important in maintaining breeds and selling them is much easier with more demand.
    Just keep him seperated for a day (get him in the morning) and the next morning let him out. There will be some fighting as they sort out dominance, but that's normal. Just watch and make sure he doesn't cause anyone to bleed or start bullying after a few days.
     
  3. AceWeasel

    AceWeasel Out Of The Brooder

    46
    7
    24
    May 15, 2015
    we're okay with it, we're keeping them as pets and partially for eggs (just like the small chicken flock we have) and my family has pretty much always had better luck with mixed flocks than with single breed flocks, at least when it comes to chickens. plus they're coming from a flock where the family keeps them to be pets as well as an egg source and they want to make sure their extra drakes from this year's hatching go to a home where they won't wind up getting butchered.

    we also haven't found anyone locally willing to part with a single rouen drake, we found one person who wanted to sell two together without splitting them up and I've heard having a 1:1 ratio of drakes to hens often only works well when all you have is a single pair. there were also several selling rouens that were only offering to sell multiple birds at a time and we just want to keep the flock down to three ducks at most for now. we've got a coop expansion project planned, but that's not starting until next spring, this year's project will be moving the chicken's coop back by the duck's coop and connecting them now that the girls are getting along okay with the chickens. (which was more a case of the chickens getting use to the girls since they're very friendly and easygoing. they love hanging out with our young silkie-sebright crosses.) that's a little ways off tho since the fence has to be fixed up a bit in that corner before we can complete that.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,976
    1,947
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    From my experience with Bean, I'd go a little more slowly.

    First have him side by side with the ducks so they can see each other. When they seem kinda bored with the new situation, then I would let them into the same pen, but keep an eye on them. If there is any more than some chasing and poking, I would separate again and try again later.

    While mating often seems a bit rough, there is a line that I don't want any drake to cross. It is my responsibility to keep all flock members safe and healthy. When Bean started picking on Romy, and just not letting up, I separated him (with the two girls he came with). For a while, things were working out. Then he started picking on Romy again.

    As things are now, I have two groups, because he behaves himself unless he is in a flock with Romy. sheesh.

    Most of the time, things work out fine. But it always comes down to protecting every member of the flock.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. AceWeasel

    AceWeasel Out Of The Brooder

    46
    7
    24
    May 15, 2015
    it looks like there's a slight chance we can get a slightly younger mixed drake from them, but we're still waiting for an email confirming when we can pick them up and where to go pick them up at.

    we do free range our birds most of the day. my dad was thinking maybe putting the new male in the duck coop while the girls free range with the chickens and if it looks like he's going to be calm enough after an initial period in the kennel letting him out to free range too. the yard is big enough the girls can put some distance between them if they feel they need it. but considering how they treated the wild mallards that visited a few times I don't expect any issues on their end. (the wild mallards stopped coming after a while because the girls were trying to socialize with them in a way they found far too pushy. they were like that with a young rabbit in the yard too, but now that the rabbit is use to them when it's in the yard they just browse together in the same area, occasionally with the rabbit browsing right alongside them.)

    we've got some spare old chicken wire too, so if we have to corral him in the yard for a bit we can. we also have a separate place we can put him to sleep at night, still inside the duck coop, but the girls have their own box inside they sleep in that we close up at night for extra protection for them. this second box should be just as secure as that and work for a duck the size he should be (if not we have materials to make one that's taller in no time or an old pet carrier that should work, we got it YEARS back when we had a Maine Coon mix that was so timid when we took him to the vet we had to bring our other cat along with him even if that cat didn't have to go so it's big enough for a large and average size cat to be in it together).
     
  6. AceWeasel

    AceWeasel Out Of The Brooder

    46
    7
    24
    May 15, 2015
    if anyone wants an update, we didn't get the cross because they were significantly further away than they first gave the impression they were and their story about why they wanted to sell the drake was kind of shifting enough between those two things we passed on it. but we got a free Khaki Campbell from someone else closer by who was originally going to butcher any extra drakes but then got way too attached to both of them and wanted to rehome one instead so they'd still be in a loving home. she actually has emailed for updates on how he's fitting in with our two Rouen girls.

    he's getting along great with our Big Duck (we're still trying to find a better name for her, I'm kind of leaning towards Ronnie Bell right now after a video game character who is known for her size but me, my dad, and my niece all have to agree on a name and he's not sure yet), but our little Cinnamon Roll is a little jealous. so long as she gets extra lap snuggles she just rushes at him now and then to show she's the boss when they're out free ranging, but they're doing well enough they were all about a foot away from each other while they had a little siesta under our trumpet vine with the chickens today. once she's satisfied she'll still be getting all the affection she's been getting and that he knows she's the boss he's going to have no trouble.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by