Why are my both my male and female ducks being so aggressive?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Raea, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Raea

    Raea Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Jul 29, 2016
    Right now I have 3 drakes and 4 female pekins. Everyone was living together and mating together just fine up until about a month ago. I know they're mating behavior is aggressive but I was never too worried about it until one night in there pen, where there is no pool, a female was completely attacked. There was both feathers and skin ripped from the back of her neck. I nursed her and she's doing fine now but I'm scared the same is going to happen to my other females. We were planning on killing who we thought was the most aggressive drake, and hopefully will this weekend. But it's not just him. Also, the only female who's neck isn't missing feathers, will participate in attacking the other females. Now I have two ducks who are 'sad'. A female and a pale beaked male who has always been picked on for looking different. They just walk around away from everyone else with there heads down. Last night I had to put the female in our shed because none of the other ducks, including the females, would let her drink water.

    So my question is, will killing the most aggressive male stop this? There will still be two males but the pale beaked one is submissive. And will this also stop the females from being aggressive too? I don't want to have to kill one of my egg laying females if I don't have to. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    107
    111
    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    I think people generally recommend having three females for every male. I would get rid of two of your males and keep the submissive male. Otherwise your poor girls will get ganged up on again.
    I had a similar incident happen. I had three males, and one was very dominant so I got rid of him. Then the two remaining males ganged up on my poor Rouen and tore her feathers out horribly, leaving patches of bare skin. I got rid of the dominant male and kept the wimpy male, and he has been fine. He's a smaller duck, plus he has seven girls. Apparently if you have two drakes, they're both trying to prove their dominance, but if you only have one, you've got a lot better chance of him being nicer.
     
  3. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    107
    111
    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    Also, I'd keep the bossy girl and see how she acts once you get rid of two of your drakes. Flock dynamics are funny. Once you remove one individual, sometimes other ones change their personalities. She might be acting aggressive so the boys will leave her alone.
     
  4. ManawaGirl

    ManawaGirl Out Of The Brooder

    81
    5
    33
    Sep 11, 2013
    I have an odd situation. We have 4 ducks. The three drakes (a blue Swedish, a Rouen, and a Buff) we got as one day old ducklings from Tractor Supply. Being experienced in chickens, I figured ducks would be a walk in the park. Which they mainly are. Ours are friendly and fun to watch. Then, I bought a mixed breed hen from an Animal Auction in September. So now I have three gentlemen who grew up together, and one hen. After a slow introduction, everyone is doing okay. She lays 3 eggs a week on average.
    Here's my question. They had a plastic wading pool in their pen. The pen is 20 X 10. Whenever I would empty and refill their pool, the three drakes would aggressively mate with Peanut-the-hen until I was worried they would drown her. If I remove the pool, all four act completely normal. I've tested this theory a few times, and I honestly believe if the kiddie pool is in their pen, they get really rough with her.
    Any ideas other than not letting them have a pool anymore?
     
  5. Raea

    Raea Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Jul 29, 2016
    Thanks! I appriciate the feedback! I was hopping to only get rid of one since I really like the other two but I guess it'll be worth it to have the hens safe. Thanks again!


    And to ManawaGirl, do your ducks free range? If so, I would suggest putting the pool outside of their pen so they can't use it at night or in small corners. If they don't, then I would probably take the same advice Adalida gave me. Change the female to male ratio by either getting more females or less males. Or possibly, only have the pool full for a few hours a day instead. Otherwise, I can't really think of any other option. Best of luck.
     
  6. Teaspoon100

    Teaspoon100 Out Of The Brooder

    13
    1
    24
    Aug 19, 2015
    Middle of Nowhere
    If the males are being too aggressive, I've heard that if you pick them up in front of all the other birds and force them to submit and be calm then they won't be as aggressive. If you cannot handle their fighting and if the females are getting hurt, separate them and put the males up for adoption, but DON'T needlessly kill them if you weren't planning to eat them in the first place. It is in their instinct to attack the weakest and gang up on females, so get more females or sell some of the males to another flock. OR, you could find a way to train them.
     
  7. ManawaGirl

    ManawaGirl Out Of The Brooder

    81
    5
    33
    Sep 11, 2013
    Hi Raea - They free range in the afternoons for 3-4 hours when I'm off work and can be home, and then they get to free range on Saturdays/Sundays when we are home. I used to let them out every single morning and lock them up in the evening for over a year without incident (originally we had 5 ducks, all drakes from TSC) until this August when my neighbor's dog got loose for the hundredth time and got into our property and killed a chicken and duck, and then we lost the 2nd duck a week later from the dog attack. But, all 5 were men and lived together fine. Our Blue Swedish is the most dominant. He kept his 4 brother's in line. Then, after we went from 5 to 3, no one really wanted to leave their pen for weeks. Which is why I bought the Peanut (our lone girl) at an animal auction.
    Looking back, Swedie-pie was always sorta bossy and semi-aggressive to the other 4 in the pool, but not on land. But now that we are at 3 drakes and one hen, they are all mate-aggressive to her, only in the pool though. Otherwise, hanging out in the yard everybody seems cool with each other.
    We originally got the 5 ducks just because we were at TSC buying chicken food and heard the peeping, saw the ducks and were hooked, so I really don't want to re-home any of my original 3 boys we have left. I may have to buy a few more females, though so Peanut doesn't have to bare the brunt of everyone's "love!"
    The aggressive pool mating takes place the second I whip out the hose and start filling it up. Swedie gets in first and starts goofing off, then Daisy and Roy (Daisy is a boy), and everyone is normal. Then, when Peanut waddles over and hops in, it's like a free-for-all. Hmmm..... maybe I will get another lady.
     
  8. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    107
    111
    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    ManawaGirl, I hate to say it but you really have a recipe for disaster with your current ratio of guys to girls. I've seen threads on here where female ducks were drowned to death or literally killed by drakes, she doesn't stand a chance once three drakes pile on top of her. My poor girl didn't stand a chance with only two, once they got aggressive. Especially if your female is much smaller in size. It's awful to find your duck badly injured from aggressive mating, you really don't want to take that chance.
     
  9. Raea

    Raea Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Jul 29, 2016
    I have another question is anyone is able to help. I was trying to break up another fight between the aggressive female and the sad one when I picked up the aggressive one. She was very quiet and wouldn't make much noise, which is fairly uncommon. But when she did it could be argued that it was very male like but it's hard to say for sure since she was mostly quiet. Is it possible though that this aggressive female is actually a male who just doesn't have a drake feather? Is that common with pekins?
     
  10. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    107
    111
    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    Can you post a picture of her? And how old is she?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by