Very Strange Hen Behavior

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Zombified, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Zombified

    Zombified Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, well, as my ducks mature, they've started to do their head-bobbing and their other mating behaviors. I don't expect any eggs for a couple weeks anyways, but I was still pretty excited at the prospect of little ducklings. A winter hatch wouldn't be ideal, obviously, but hey, if one of my hens go broody, I wouldn't mind going the extra length to keep those eggs nice and warm.

    However, no breeding as occured. Both Erebus and Nyx have clearly been acting like they want it, with Nyx even lying down for Erebus. But then... Thoth comes in and chases Erebus away and acts very possessively over the other hens. Thoth is a hen that we originally thought was a drake. My dad joked that perhaps she's a lesbian duck, lol. She behaves really in every other way like a drake, so who knows?

    Anyway, I was wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else? Any advice? So far, the advice I've been given is to separate Thoth from the others, but the only way for me to do that is to bring Thoth indoors in a cage, and I'd rather not do that for a long. I am going to see if bringing her inside over night changes her attitude, though.

    If nothing changes, I think I'm going to have to sell her or do a swap. ): I don't want to get rid of her because we've been through so much, but I can't have her keeping my other ducks from breeding.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I have that problem with a few of my runners who decided - after three weeks of them mating - that Bean was not allowed on top of Romy.

    egad.

    I have kept the Coffee Buffs (Bean, Hazel and Carmella) side by side but separate from the runners for months now.

    Romy is broody, so while she's sitting on the nest, I have reintegrated the rest into one flock (more or less). Very peaceful.

    At night, Romy has her own space, the runners theirs, the coffees theirs. My goal is to reintegrate everybody. It is a learning experience.

    That's what I can offer right now. Duck social behavior is much more complex and sophisticated than I was led to believe.

    And I do not want to let Romy go, either. So we will just keep trying, though I need to have divider fence in place. I pray we can do away with that eventually.
     
  3. Zombified

    Zombified Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright. I read about a poultry divider or something similar to that in another thread, so I'll see about hopefully buying that if her attitude doesn't change. It wouldn't happen for a couple of weeks, though.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I made a divider using some chicken wire and cup hooks and duck tape and baling twine.

    I cut a length of chicken wire, covered the ends with duck tape. I screwed cup hooks into a divider and attached one end there, then the other end is up against a bit of fencing so I just threaded some baling twine and "sewed" the end of the chicken wire to the fence. Not pretty, but it gives her room for a small water bowl and feed bowl, and keeps the others a foot or two away from her.
     
  5. Zombified

    Zombified Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I'll keep that in mind. Do you have any pictures you could show me? I learn better when I can see exactly what it looks like.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Later in the day I will see if I can get a photo. It's not a pretty sight, but it works (c:
     
  7. Zombified

    Zombified Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha, there's a big reason why I don't show pictures of our duck run. It's hideous. There are two big holes. One is for the pond, the other is for dirty water to drain into from the pool we have for them now. Without that hole, the water would flood our neighbor's yard. x:
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I have a hole like that in the forest garden. It is really good fertilizer, so I dig it out and put it in the garden beds or mix it with potting soil.

    Saves a few bucks.
     
  9. Zombified

    Zombified Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha, we use the extra dirt to level the area we plan on putting their coop. But using it as fertilizer isn't something I'd thought of. Will definitely be talking to my grandma - she's the gardner, lol.
     
  10. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's just a bully...that's not strange behavior....

    Clint
     

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