Trouble within the Flock, Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by emmyeggplant, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. emmyeggplant

    emmyeggplant Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Ohio
    I have a small flock of 4 anconas and a pekin. The pekin was rescued and I bought the anconas as ducklings so that she would not be lonely. She immediately took to the anconas and they all got along well. Once the anconas were a couple months old I finally found someone who was hatching welsh harlequin ducks (a breed I have been very interested in raisng). I got a pair, a hen that I named Lana and drake named Archer. I kept them sepearated since they were just hatchlings.

    As they got bigger I tried slowly integrating them in with the rest of my ducks. I started out by allowing them to be in a seperate part of the pen where everyone could see eachother for a couple weeks. Whenever I tried putting them all together, the other ducks would gang up on two harlequins pecking at them brutally. I decided that they just wern't old enough and kept doing what I had before.

    I eventually found a blue swedish hen and drake pair that were around the same age as my pekin and anconas. I brought them home and introduced them to the flock and they were immediately accepted by my ducks. At this same time the two harlequins were the same size as all of my other ducks and I have tried introducing them again. My pekin and blue swedish hen are ok with them, but the anconas still don't like them very much. As long as they stay around 3 ft away they're fine. Archer and Lana have accepted that and are just happy to be together. It's the drake that I am worried about. He won't leave either of the two herlequins alone. He tore out all of the feathers on Lana's neck and keeps mounting Archer who stays as far away from him as possible. Archer and Lana just want to be together, Whenever they get sperated the other one cries and is not happy until they're side by side. All of the other ducks seem ok with this except for that drake. I have him seperated him from the rest of my ducks right now and things seem to be ok.

    Why does it seem everyone is against Archer and Lana and why can't that drake just leave them alone. He has 6 other hens. Any insight / suggestions would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Behaviors like this are just tough to figure out. You do need to protect the others, and I feel that if it's the one drake, I would keep him in time out, perhaps rehome him, longer term.

    Sometimes folks are successful shaking up the dynamics in the flock by separating out different subgroups. But it is hit and miss - and really up to the ducks.

    Most of the year we run two flocks, because of a complicated dynamic. I have one duck Romy, a buff female. The runner flock wants to claim her as their own, and the Buff drake wants Romy to be one of his girls. This leads to a bunch of duck-on-duck kerfuffle. sigh.

    When the hormones fade, I can run them as one flock. That's only about 4 months of the year. But hope springs eternal. Some day they may be able to work it out.
     
  3. emmyeggplant

    emmyeggplant Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Ohio
    Something very interesting happened yesterday. I separated the blue Swedish drake, Stan, from the flock for a couple of days. That left all of my girls and the young harlequin drake, Archer, with my other older drake, Howard. Howard is pretty good with all of the girls and doesn't mind Archer very much because he's usually just with Lana. This dynamic worked well while Stan was in time out. Before reintroducing Stan I showed him who was boss by holding him in a submissive position. Howard saw this and something must have clicked, because it seems like he realized he and the other ducks don't have to be pushed around by Stan. Ever since reintroducing Stan, Howard has stepped up and makes sure Stan behaves. Howard doesn't try to attack Stan, he just chases him away whenever he steps out of line. It's actually quite comical to watch. Even though Stan was mean, if hate to see him secluded from the flock. I have a neighbor whose interested in my two blue Swedish. I think I may just let her take them and someday we can trade Swedish ducklings for harlequins.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    So very pleased you found something that improved the dynamic! Yay!
     

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