Why are my females fighting?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CMV, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    130
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    So, I have a small flock of waterfowl- 10 Khaki Campbell ducks and 1 Toulouse goose. All are females and have been living together their whole lives. My goose and one duck are from last year's hatch, and I introduced 9 new ducks this spring. Everything has been perfect up to this point. Integration went very smoothly several months ago. The flock has always been very close-knit. They've never given me a moments worry.

    Until today. Today I found my older duck locked in mortal combat with one of the younger ducks. Initially I thought they were just tussling a little, which is unusual, but not totally unexpected. I rapidly realized that they are trying to kill each other. Feathers are flying, and these 2 girls are trying to rip each others' heads off. I kept breaking them apart, but they would just run off and continue their fight further away. I have resigned myself to just letting them fight it out until whatever their issue is gets resolved. I am just hoping neither one gets hurt very badly.

    Is this unusual behavior for females? For this flock it is unusual, but I would like some input from others. I am rather at a loss. I have seen my hens squabble a bit, but never the ducks. And the violence they are aiming at each other is far beyond what I have experienced in an established flock before. What gives?

    Just a little more info- everyone is healthy. They have more room to roam than they could possibly use. Housing is of adequate size although they are never in it except at night. They have access to layer food and water all day. The only change in their environment is I had to put away their pool because it will freeze in this weather we are having, but I did that about a month or more ago.

    Thanks for any insights.
     
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Wow!! I wish i had some answers. I hope someone comes along soon. Have they settled down any?
     
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    My guess is that the younger group is really maturing now and one is questioning the dominance of the older one. Best you would be to get a drake to set things right.

    There have been issues in ducks getting aggressive because they are malnourished. I don't think yours are, but I would add some poultry vitamins to their drinking water. It doesn't hurt. Mine get is twice per months now, since it is winter. I think it calms them down and relaxes them.

    Overall, I think it is a dominance issue and I hope they resolve it soon.
     
  4. roocrazy

    roocrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2009
    minnesota!!!!
    Quote:X2 or you just have a meanie
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,793
    5,493
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I have 7 muscovies hens and they have been picking on each other. One of my hens will not even sleep with the others she sleeps by herself in one of our chicken coops. now I had to seperate another one of my older girls last night from the other 3 because they were picking on her. most of the time they all live together pretty peacefully. I think it's the younger trying to bully the older girls. I have 3 that are going on 7 yrs now and the younger ones are 3 and under.
     
  6. pirtykitty

    pirtykitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    862
    1
    151
    Dec 8, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    They may be establishing pecking order.. also.. I agree a drake would be helpfull..
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  7. Muscovies

    Muscovies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your older hen is just showing who is in charge so you don't need to fear that is normal.
     
  8. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

    295
    9
    113
    Jun 29, 2010
    Greene County, PA
    Yep, get a drake. [​IMG]
     
  9. treldib

    treldib Chillin' With My Peeps

    678
    1
    121
    Jul 5, 2010
    Southern California
    Or a gander...
     
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
    121
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    My female ducks have never fought. And i've had 3 different duck flocks. But i've always had a drake...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by