**Update** Injured Dominant Drake

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by spinn, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. spinn

    spinn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2010
    Hi Everyone,

    Today our dominant-drake duck tripped a bit as everyone was running out of the night pen...and he ended up being sort of "run over" by the other ducks as they were exiting the pen. He has a slight limp...but, is "fine". However, our other two drake ducks IMMEDIATELY sensed his potential weakness, and the fighting has been RELENTLESS all day. Our dominant drake is extra "puffed up" and is the aggressor, ruthlessly lowering his head, chasing and bullying the other two. Normally, there is very little confrontation. A sideways glance from the head drake to the other two typically found them submitting, and stepping aside. But, not today. Today has been non-stop, full-on, aggressive fighting.

    They are currently separated completely from one another.

    We realize having 3 drakes is potentially a problem. (We have 3 drakes, and 4 hens) They have survived very peacefully until today. All of the ducks are approximately 6 months old...within a few weeks of each other in age. The drakes have not been overly sexing the hens. In fact, usually the boys spend so much time in a little huddle, puffing, shaking, head-jetting and "talking smack" to impress one another...that our poor girls feel denied! The girls endlessly tip their head to the side, and "chuckle" and chase the boys begging for attention. They flatten out on the water...on the ground...and typically are ignored.

    We had hoped to survive the winter as we are, and then re-home one of our drakes and hens together as a pair in the spring.

    Here is what we'd love to ask all of you on the forum. We want to know if once the lead drake's leg is better, things are likely to become a more peaceful pecking order again? Or, is it likely that once fighting like this starts...our "three musketards", as we lovingly call them, will continue to battle?

    Anyone had a similar experience?

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    As you said, they are aware of his vulnerability and are trying to take advantage of him. Hard to predict how they will react when allowed together again. My gut says they will resume the power struggle. When you reintroduce them, do so one at a time. If the fighting is too intense for you to deal with, permanent seperation may be necessary. Good luck resolving this.
     
  3. spinn

    spinn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2010
    Thank you for the response! Today, the dominant drake is barely limping. Only one of the two drakes is challenging him now. Dominant drake still chases the submissive one away from the flock constantly. But, they are not aggressively fighting, so I'm letting them work it out.

    The problem between the dominant drake and the one that won't submit is still very active! They are obsessed with pacing and staring each other down. If let even close to one another, it is an instant battle. I'm half tempted to just let them "go for it"...and try to get the thing worked out. I don't want them to seriously hurt each other though.

    Any advice? Is there a reasonable length of time to just let the two try to "duke things out"...and see if it calms down or not?
     
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I don't think it will get better, because there are just not enough hens around. I had 8 girls and 5 drakes and it slowly started at 7 weeks of age because one was a month older. I rehomed the 4 younger ones and the hole dynamic changed. He had no more competition and started to relax and became really nice with the girls. The girls were also less tense. I still have 8 girls and one boy and they are as happy as they can be. Best is to have 3-9 girls per drake. The more girls the better.
     
  5. spinn

    spinn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2010
    Day 3...

    The "Three Musk-etards" are "homies" again.

    Everyone is happy and calm. Nobody is chasing or biting at anyone.

    I will never understand ducks! They are the craziest little critters...

    I sure love them though [​IMG]

    Thanks again for the forum support. This place is wonderful.

    spinn
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    As I type this, they are biding their time and plotting the next attack. It isn't over.[​IMG]
     
  7. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    I have two drakes and five females- and I think I would like to add two more girls to the flock. Right now, my dominant drake hangs out with the mature female- they are a pair, and the submissive boy is always with the four females that arent yet laying...and he is silently growing and gaining weight and biding his time, lol...I know come Spring, I will have some issues.
    Hopefully by Spring, I will have added a couple girls and it wont be so bad.

    Of course, I have no idea what I will do with all the babies that will result from Muscovyville..
     

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