When to get rid of the drakes?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by srpaint, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. srpaint

    srpaint Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my first time owning ducks. I have 3 mallards. 1 hen and 2 drakes. They are about 11 weeks old. 3 pekins. 1 hen and 2 drakes. They are about 10 weeks old. Last but not least 5 cayugas. I think 2 hens and 3 drakes. They are about 7 weeks old.

    I know I have to get rid of most of my drakes. Like probably all but 1. I do however plan on getting some more ducklings in a couple weeks. Will not do a straight run. Will get all females. Anyways, I am expecting they will start mating soon? Is this correct? I watch them and once I start seeing "issues" with my numbers I will be getting rid of some of the drakes. But I do not want to do it before I need to. 1 I like watching them and 2 I want to keep my favorite drake or one that seems to be gentle.

    They all live together. Free range during they day and locked in the coop at night. Depending on when I get up up the morning they get 12+ hours of free ranging. Each breed stays close together since they were raised together. But they all stay pretty close together as a whole flock.

    Any advice on when I will probably have to start thinning them out? Any advice on picking which drake to keep?
     
  2. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have about 8 drakes in with my 15 or so hens. The drakes are all between 2-3 months old and the hens range from 2 months to a year old. I've only had on super aggressive drake (not mean, he just wanted to mate with every hen all hours of the day).
    If you don't have a problem feeding and housing them, and aren't in a rush to get rid of them, then I'd just go by the looks/feel of the situation. If you notice them starting to get really aggressive towards the hens, those are generally the ones I weed out. I don't like my hens to be over stressed and have bald spots from over breeding.

    And none of my drakes fight with each other (yet). They aren't mean like roosters. I generally keep the drakes I like (friendly and if they are pretty : ) ) But if you are in it for breeding and selling them you should go by the best looking drakes. I try to have at least 3 hens to a drake, that usually keeps the hens happy. It usually depends on the breed of duck though. I'm not familiar with the mallards, so I can't help you there. But I currently have 3 hens to 1 drake in my pekin pen, and 2 hens to 1 drake with my cayugas and everyone seems happy like that : )
     
  3. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2011
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    I, too, would wait and see what happens. Especially if you are getting more females soon. I've heard that in smaller flocks you can get away with having more drakes (even a 1:1 ratio -- which I have done) than you would if you had a huge flock. I don't know if that's true because I've only ever had a very small flock of ducks. I can tell you that I've never had a problem--even when I only had two drakes and one hen.

    How many more females are you planning on getting?
     
  4. srpaint

    srpaint Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys for the advice. Glad to know hopefully it isn't right around the corner when I have to get rid of my beautiful boys!

    I am going to get probably around 10 more females. I want both cayugas and pekins.

    Also, I am just in it for the enjoyment. Might try and hatch a few eggs for myself. But not looking to try and breed/sell anything.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  5. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Virginia
    My drakes weren't interested in the females until they were 4mo or a little older. The females started sooner w/bobbing and smooching on the boys. I've read the males might start off aggressive and clumsy, since it's all new to them. But I wouldn't keep the ones who are just relentless or pulling a lot of feathers.
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:I noticed that with my hussies.......err... ducks, too! They're such teases!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    I have not had any problems with my drakes fighting. I suppose it is possible, but I haven't seen it at my place.

    The problem with too many drakes is that they will harass the females and give them no rest. Even if you get 10 more females, you have a lot of drakes for that number.
     
  8. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think I should've kept my mouth shut. I just noticed today that my female has sores on her back--one near where each wing attaches to her body. I can't think of any way she could have got them except from my male's feet. :-(

    Has anyone else seen this? I've heard of them pulling out feathers where they grab with their beak, but could he have made sores on her back? I've never seen this before.
     
  9. tiffanya

    tiffanya Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not seem it with my ducks but at the base of the wing is where my rooster rubs my hens bare. (The favorites at least)
     
  10. Duckville denizen

    Duckville denizen Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, the drakes grasp the back with their feet while they are holding the head with their beak. Living on the creek as I do, I have actually rescued ducks that had horribly torn up places on their backs from over-aggressive breeding. We have had an over-abundance of drakes, and they have also drowned some of the hens. There isn't much we can do about it, since it is a public park, and people just drop their ducks who are no longer cute and cuddly, and we wind up with whatever mix of hens/drakes that happens. [​IMG]
     

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